By Reuben Cook | Posted: Thursday April 5, 2018
Let me tell you about the journey of our Year 10 camp in 2018.
The journey started on a cold Dunedin morning as my class boarded the bus and began the four-hour bus ride through the stunning scenery of the Central Otago region. As we got closer, the scenery really started to change dramatically and snow was evident on some of the hills. We knew we were in for an amazing journey that has been treasured by many of the older boys that have gone before us.
After the long bus ride, we were dropped off at the entrance to the Matukituki Valley and our first mission started, find the lodge! After a good couple of hours of walking, what felt like a marathon, we finally reached the bridge. We were given our heavy back packs and food as we walked up to the lodge across bridges and rivers through the extraordinary valley. As the lodge came in sight, cheers of joy all around and the week was underway. We settled into the historic lodge very nicely as we made dinner and got into our bunkrooms. The week started with getting to know the area with many day walks. The days flew past and it was time to overcome the biggest challenge yet in our lives for some……..the overnight.
In preparation for the overnight we got a big lunch down us and off we went down the valley. We stopped and waited for the stragglers to join back into the group before we crossed the river. Two hours later we finally arrived at the location where we would be staying the night. It was our first time to stop and take in the breathtaking views of the valley. We found a spot to pitch the brand-new tents the school had provided away from the wind and began cooking dinner. We had to cook our own food and make a fire on the river bank with the resources around us. One of the highlights of the overnight was telling stories around the fire, enjoying the scenery and environment with the brothers. As it became darker, it was time to get into our sleeping bag. The morning dawned and we cooked our breakfast and got going on our next adventure. The hike to Rob Roy Glacier was magnificent and such a worthwhile walk to the top where we had our lunch. This was a real highlight of the camp, being able to take a break from technology and see some of New Zealand’s best scenery.
The standout for me personally was the kayaking. We were very lucky to get a kayak in as the water level had been very high as a lot of rain had fallen overnight and the van was not starting – half full of water! Like a good OBHS lad, we showed great perseverance and courage and carried the kayaks up the valley to a nice location where we learnt to kayak in the rapids and get to play in the Wishbone Falls.
I have been on many camps, but this was something like no other and I am sure will be one of my best moments at Otago Boys'. The memories and friends I have made will not be forgotten. The number of things that took me out of my comfort zone was the main challenge for me. I can speak for the boys that this camp was one of the best moments in Year 10 and has forged many good friendships. Thanks to the school and the old boys before us who helped make this an amazing lodge and experience.