Last week as part of my classroom placement I got to tag along with the kids as they went to camp. New Zealand style.
They went to a place called Camp Iona. The week's activities resembled a very moderate outdoor ed program at Kiwanis. The two days I spent out there were pretty fun. I've started to enter my yearly yearning for camp so this sorta hit the spot.
I got to lead orienteering, first dinner, and assist with leadership and fire cooking. Though by no means the usual extent of my roles or responsibilities at camp it was nice to get to use my true strengths in my first placement.
How do New Zealand camps compare to Canadian ones. Well as you can see from the pics their just as nice in buildings and grounds as ours. This place felt like a slightly smaller and cheaper Kiwanis. That being said and done there is a key reason for both these minimalisms.
Here down under camps aren't staffed by anyone (other then a site manager), and aren't used in the summer for true camp. Rather they are purely rental facilities. This kinda dulled the place to. It didn't feel lived in like a camp back home would.
As of such programs were all carried out be teachers and parent volunteers (oh and student teachers if their kicking about... duh LOL). Though this would seem a bad thing in my logic it actually is a fantastic thing for me at least. Unlike other teachers I'll be wanting to do ALL things camp when my skool goes. As of such if and when I'm teaching at camp I'll be able to relive the glory days!
The only other major point of note was the lack of true camp fire. Though I assisted with making fires at camp these were daytime blazes and used strictly for cooking. There was none of the ritual of fun of a good old sing song campfire at the end. This really robbed me of getting camp out of my system, and thus I'm still left kinda jonesing for it a bit...
Overall camp was definitely a fun part easing into my first placement. I got to know the kids a lot better, and them definitely better me. Was a nice familiar setting and environment to get back into kid mode, and figure out NZ kids (their a little more sporty with things like Cricket and Rugby, but otherwise the same as Can kids).
The camp itself was kinda meh. However I need to remind myself I've worked at 2 of the best camps in the world, and I'm "past" that part of my life... So with that realization I'm off to go cry in the bathroom a little while.