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WillowPark Kids Camp Auckland

This is the post excerpt.

First blog post! Wanted it to be something special!

From the 9th-13th of August 2017 I flew to Auckland to be a Kids Camp Leader at WillowPark! I remember applying and thinking that there would be no possible way that I would be given such an opportunity; But then I got the email back saying that they’d love to have me on board!

Day 1:

I was waiting at the airport, bare in mind this was my first ever flight. I remember thinking about all the negative outcomes that could happen and just multiplying the possibility of it happening by 100.  When I arrived in Auckland, I had to try and find the SkyBus which would take me into town, but luckily it was right outside the airport! I remember the people in Auckland were just so incredibly helpful in the way that they were willing to give up their own time to make sure I caught the right bus to the Camp’s location. So I get to camp and everyone has their cliques. There’s the boys who are really only there to find ‘the one’ and then there’s the ‘I have been to 12 camps so far, how about you?’ leaders. I met a girl with a sense of humor identical to mine, she was so sweet!

Day 2,3,4

I’ve decided to put these days together as they pretty much followed the same itinerary. We would wake up the campers send them off to an activity whilst the leaders got together and discussed how the day would flow. Then we’d come back have some typical camp breakfast (cold toast, ricies or corn flakes and fruit salad). After breakfast they’d be some activities for each colour group which would vary from indoor games to making pancakes on a gas cooker. As the day would come to an end, we’d bring everyone together and share some camp stories before officially heading off to bed.

Day 5 (Last day!)

So today I was meant to be so much better than what it actually was… I had planned to catch the Ferry into the city of Auckland to have a look around and do all the typical tourist things! I left early in the morning after worship and managed to get the ferry for FREE!! It was pretty insane. I thought that being in town from 11am-5pm wouldn’t be long enough, but I shortly realised is was way more than enough time!

I would have to say the highlight of my trip would be both making some pretty funny and blessed friends and of course also getting my ferry for free! However if I were to go again, I would definitely plan out the final day alot more so that I wasn’t left walking up and down Queen Street for 2 hours.

God bless you all,

Tarryn Wilson

 

P.S (If you are wanting to personally be a camp leader yourself, follow the link http://www.willowpk.org.nz/ to apply!!)

 

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West Coast Youth Getaway!

Hands down got to be one of my favourite Recreate trips!

Started out with meeting all together to discuss the general expectations of the group and what is going to be involved in the overall trip.

Wasn’t long until we were on the road and off! And that was when it started to get darker as we reached the hills. By now we were at the point where the vehicle was travelling up whilst the speed was going down! It was quite hilarious + worrying when we started to think about whether the van would actually make it the whole way there!

There was 12 of us altogether which was really small! With 3 being leaders and 9 being participants I felt that the ratio was perfect.

Me being in the front meant that I was the ‘DJ’, which was pretty fun! And it also meant that I got to learn all the lyrics to the latest Ed Sheeran songs !!

On arrival, I can genuinely say that the accommodation was absolutely breathe taking! I’ve never experienced such a beautiful holiday home! (By the way we were staying at Drifting Sands, so if you’re ever looking for a home to stay in, in Hokitika, would 100% recommend!)

The night rolled round pretty fast till the next morning, when we packed our bags and headed off to Hokitika Gorge. Sadly the weather wasn’t holding up, so we had to head back 😦

BUT the entertainment on the way back was the funniest! We followed a group of around 30 cows walking down the road for literally 30 minutes!! They even all slowly crossed this really long bridge!

With popcorn in bowls and blankets to keep everyone warm and comfy, we all snuggled up to watch the movie ‘Ferdinand’.

The next day was filled with adventures! We firstly went back to the Gorge and walked along the swing bridge to take heaps of photos. Then we went to the ‘Kiwi House’ which was my favourite part of the whole trip!! The Kiwi House was literally like an Aquarium filled with different creatures from turtles to eels and of course kiwis!

Overall, this trip was so much fun! I can’t wait for what adventures are ahead with Recreate NZ!!

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National Young Leaders day 2018!

A stadium full of motivated, young leaders is where I spent my Wednesday this past week.

It was my first time volunteering at the National Young Leaders Day this year! If I’m being honest, it was pretty crazy to experience the event from a whole new lens! In the past I have been along to this day with my school as a participant, where I got to sit and be inspired by a bunch of these well-known speakers from New Zealand.

However it was different this year.

To be able to sit backstage and actually have one on one conversations with the speakers I idolized not too long ago – It was an absolute privilege.

As a side job, I was allocated the task to sell merchandise and answer any questions needed at the help desk. This was the perfect opportunity to connect with the students who were at the event and just see them enlightened with new ideas and goals. As well as this, I was also able to see and experience a very successful event that gets held all over New Zealand each year, to then learn and take tips from the hosts and organizers.

I found that the most difficult part of this volunteer opportunity was definitely having the ability to be flexible and just go with the flow. As personally I am an individual who loves structure and routine, this was something that I had to adjust in order to get the most out of the event.

On the other hand, the most rewarding part of volunteering at NYLD 2018 would easily be meeting all the speakers and just being moved in a whole new and different way. The speakers that came along to this event included William Waiirua, Amanda Wilson, Riley Hathaway and Jono Naylor. They all were so diverse in their personalities and interests, yet they all carried the same values and just really merged well as a team.

Overall I found this opportunity to be super rewarding and hope that I will get the chance to get on board with it again next year!

 

All the best,

Tarryn Wilson

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Nelson Seeking Summits Tramp

Volunteering with Recreate NZ is always different for every trip!

Starting the weekend off with a 5 and a half hour drive was most definitely the perfect way to both numb my bottom but also get to know the new participants who joined us all the way from Auckland. With stops along the way, we were able to explore around many different areas such as petrol stations and public toilets! (I must add that I say that in a completely sarcastic tone) Although we did get the opportunity to visit an old-fashioned store which was pretty wicked!

On arrival we were quick to put up our tents as the last thing we would want to be doing would be trying to put together a tent in the dark. Shortly after, all the participants were absolutely pumped to go and jump off the wharf into the lake (bare in mind it would’ve been around sunset time so the water would’ve been freezing!) But this didn’t stop them from doing it.

Fast forward to the next day, and we’re off tramping to the hut. The plan was to stay at Lakehead Hut which would take approximately 5 hours until our team got there. It was so heart-warming  to see all the participants working together and encouraging one another! Not only that, but the trust that was built throughout the weekend was incredible!

Once we get to the hut, I take the lead in running the classic game we know as ‘I spy with my little eye’. Then we had a joke off! They had some of the funniest jokes that really enlightened my night. One of which was “What do you call a guy with a shovel on his head? Dug. What do you call a guy with no shovel on his head? Dug-less” As the night wrapped up we all set up for the night.

Waking up the next morning, the day definitely went by super fast! As we headed back to the camping ground we were all discussing our highlights and funny times that had occurred so far throughout the trip.

Overall it was so different to be doing tramping with a whole new group as I have always tramped with my Outdoor Education class at High School. I found this trip to be in particular very enjoyable and fun! When I talk with my friends about Recreate, I always mention how unbelievable it is that each and every participant has their own quirks and characteristics that shape them into who they are. This is what I appreciate the most when volunteering with Recreate because I could never become disinterested towards them as they are always doing something that will either make me laugh or smile!

To end this blog, I’d just once again like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has supported me through the journey of TravelVolNZ! You’ll all amazing and I couldn’t be anymore grateful!

 

All the best,

Tarryn Wilson

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Glenroy Youth Getaway Camp

Where do I even start?

It felt like it had been so long since I had last been on a trip with Recreate NZ! But then when I arrived, it was almost like the length of time from the last camp till then had just shrunk. We all just carried on conversations from the past trip and laughed about all the funny memories.

To be completely honest, I had no clue where Glenroy was so I kind of just went with the flow during the road trip. Once we arrived I took everyone for a tour around the site before we then set up for bed.

The next day was a mission and a half! We drove to Lake Lyndon with the kayaks to give them a go in the water. Just as we were driving in, the van got stuck in the rocks. It was hands down hilarious! But luckily we were able to push it out and keep driving. As the group of us was rather large, we split into two groups where one would kayak whilst the other walked around the lake. Due to the weather conditions, we ended up having to head back early and make dinner at the same time the leaders ran some games outside. Of course the first game that came to mind was spotlight! It’s crazy how well the game actually turned out and just the fact that everyone got the chance to hide where they’d like.

Fast forward to the next day, we ran through some abseiling with the participants which was awesome! Seeing them all work together and encourage one another was so enlightening. Even though the cliff wasn’t too steep/challenging, it was still enough to get the sense of what abseiling is like.

That night was by far my highlight of the entire camp! We had a talent show where every participant had the chance to show everyone their dance moves or singing talent. It really blew my mind how confident each individual was; Just the fact that they would really give it 100% and not care what we as the audience thought. It just made me think about how different our society would be if everyone had the same self confidence as these participants!

Overall, Glenroy was an uplifting experience that really shaped my thoughts.

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Christchurch Youth Council Planning Day!

On the 17th of February 2018, I attended the Christchurch Youth Council Planning Day. The purpose of this event was to put new ideas out there for what we wanted to achieve in 2018 and also learn a little more about the background of the Christchurch Youth Council.

One of the first activities we completed was an ice breaker which opened the door to meeting all the new members and also getting to know one another. After this we all were handed a membership folder which included CYC’s kaupapa, important dates and the meanings behind all the abbreviations that get used during meetings. We then put together a group contract for 2018 which we all felt suited.

Shortly after the lunch break, we all split off into groups to brainstorm some new ideas for what we’d like to achieve this year. I found that I was less nervous when discussing in a small group as it meant that the others could support my ideas and give me constructive feedback without having to share with the entire group. Some of the ideas that were shared included CYC merchandise, growing our outreach and working more on the Slice Of Youth event.

Overall I found this event to be rather beneficial in the way that I now have a much more clearer understanding of what our goals are!

If you’d like to learn more about the Christchurch Youth Council and how you can get involved, click the link below!

http://www.chchyouthcouncil.org.nz/

Have a great week everyone!

Tarryn Wilson

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YMCA Hawdon Hut Tramp!

I’ve got to say that tramping with kids is so much more different than what it’s like tramping with my Outdoor Education Class!

When I arrived at the YMCA on Thursday, I had brought all of my gear in a bag the size of a regular school bag. This is because I knew that it was only going to be an overnight tramp so I just brought the basics. Little did I know that I was meant to bring my multi-day pack as I would be carrying some of the extra food and equipment. I wasn’t off to a good start. However all of the gear managed to fit throughout the kids packs. I felt really bad though as besides one other kid, I was the only one with a day pack bag.

On the way to the tramp site we stopped off at a mall to let everyone grab some snacks for the tramp. The supervisor and I realised it probably wasn’t the best idea when all of the kids came back with McDonalds…

Then as we are almost there, the van gets stuck in a ford. The kids reactions were hillarious! I couldn’t help but not laugh. Some were asking to film, others tried to remove rocks from underneath. Luckily there was some others on site that were very kind and towed us out. Besides all the obstacles we had to face we arrived at the site.

Starting the tramp seemed to be rather easy as everyone was walking at the same pace, we had a routine for each river crossing and there seemed to be no sand flies. But then it comes to around 3 hours in when we realise that we’ve had around 7 different breaks and we’ve only just reached the junction which was the half way point. By this point the kids were all getting hungry and were sick of walking.

Cutting to the point, we arrived at the hut around 7pm and started sorting out the bedding arrangements. As there was more boys than girls we had some of the boys on the top bunk with me between them and the girls. Seemed like a good idea until bedtime when I had one girl’s feet in my face and a boy snoring in my ears!

On the positive side, day 2 was absolutely amazing! We all woke up early to get ready and packed everything up. We started tramping at around 7.45am which meant that the sun wasn’t quite out yet so it wouldn’t drain out our energy. Around half way, the supervisor played a prank on the kids by pretending to faint to see what they’d do. I was quite surprised by what the did! They had one boy run back to the others and I while the rest stayed with the supervisor. Then when I  had caught up to everyone they had started to put him into the recovery position. He then woke up and started laughing! The kids were all so annoyed with him as they thought he was being serious.

We finished the tramp back in around 3 hours!! It was so good! Everyone got back in the van and he headed by to the YMCA. The children were all sleeping in the back so we decided to prank them again by screaming our heads off as if we were about to crash. It was so funny! One kid woke up screaming and then realised it was a joke. I filmed it on the work phone so that they could see their reactions and they thought it was so funny.

Overall, the tramp was really enjoyable and I can’t wait for the next one!

If you think YMCA could be something that you’re interested in, feel free to check out the site below or email me on: travelvolnz@gmail.com

http://www.ymcachch.org.nz/children/holiday-programmes/

Have an awesome week everyone! Once again, thank you for all the support!

 

Tarryn Wilson

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Learn Active Program 2018!

It was my first day volunteering with the Learn Active Program! I was really nervous and only had a slight idea of what to expect. As I currently volunteer with Recreate NZ, I figured that it should be rather similar to that organisation. Which was luckily true!

When I arrived in the morning, a lady greeted me and we had a chat about the day and what to expect from each of the members coming along. I remember feeling a little anxious as the group size was going to be a lot larger than what I’ve previously worked with.

Not too long after, everyone began to arrive. The expressions each teenager had on their face was priceless! They were all so excited to be spending another day with Learn Active. It wasn’t long until I started to learn everyone’s names and hobbies. I loved how they were all so open for conversation and I could see the connection they had built with each other. By then I was no longer feeling anxious but instead confident and excited for what the day could bring!

We arrived at Corsair Bay and went for a walk in the shade down to the water to see a group of sailors. One of the boys started to tell me all of his favourite jokes which was hilarious! He said one along the lines of “why do giraffes have long necks?…. Because their feet smell so bad!”.

After walking around we sat down to have lunch together before heading into the water. I found it to be pretty crazy how everyone worked together to ensure that we were all safe and having fun. Sometimes I wish I could be as courageous as some of the teenagers on the program! It was as if they were so happy doing their own thing that the thought of being judged wasn’t at all there.

Something I have learnt from volunteering with Learn Active is that youth with disabilities are just as awesome as anyone else! I believe that if we all took the time to spend with someone with a disability, it would really change your thoughts and even give you the chance to learn more yourself. I loved how enthusiastic and inclusive everyone was! Even though I had only been there for one day, it felt like I had spent the whole holidays with them!

If you’d like to know more about Learn Active and how you can volunteer within the organisation, simply click the link below!

https://learnactive.co.nz/

 

Thank you all for the support!

Tarryn Wilson

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