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$10,000 In Prizes For Local Schools Launch Camp Raukawa’s New Programmes

Whanganui’s Camp Raukawa has transformed its outdoor education programme – and two lucky local schools have won celebratory $5,000 prizes.

The camp, located on the Mangawhero River just north of Whanganui, has always made the most of its natural beauty and fantastic activities to provide fun for generations of Kiwi kids. Now its managers are bringing a new level of education and professionalism to the Camp Raukawa programme.

“Previously we put an instructor on each activity and the teachers led the students through the programme,” says Russell Jacobi, Outdoor Education Programmes Manager. “Now each group spends dedicated time with a single instructor, using adventure-based learning to help the kids have better experiences. By getting to know the students, we can protect their emotional safety, too – we know when to push them a bit, when to step back, and how to teach them things they can’t learn in the classroom.”

Durie Hill and Cloverlea schools take home the prizes

To showcase the refreshed programmes for schools, the Y team hosted educational evenings in Palmerston North and Whanganui, with two $5,000 prizes on offer. One of the prizes was won by Durie Hill School in Whanganui, to the astonishment of principal Geoff Simes: “I was over the moon – it was such a generous prize! It will definitely be put to good use at the camp. We see Raukawa as part of our EOTC programme well into the future, because it’s got a really good range of activities and when the kids return from camp they’re buzzing.”

The other prize went to Cloverlea School in Palmerston North. Principal Leiana Lambert says the school community spends all year fundraising to ensure every student in years 5 and 6 gets to attend camp, so the money will make a big difference.

“The parents are going to be so excited and grateful,” says Leiana. “Cost can be a big barrier when it comes to where we can go and what we can offer. This is roughly $50 off the cost of camp for each child and we know the impact it will have.”

Schools can make sure camps meet their own values

Because the new programmes have Y instructors as the experts, camp at Raukawa should now be an improved experience for the teachers, too, adds Jacobi:

“By using us as the experts to run the outdoor side of the camp, the teachers can focus on doing what they do well and meeting their school’s own values. Once the schools have been through our camp system they come back, because they love what we do.”

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