Latest News from our Duke of Edinburgh Groups

By Robyn Bruce

Silver Training Weekend

On the 3rd to 5th February, eight year 11 students completed their silver training in the Tangihua forest. The weather was hot and sunny (even though snow was forecast for Mt Tangihua ... or so Flynn thought!)The group camped outside the Tangihua Hut and actively trained to their bivvy site at the campground on the other side of the forest. River stones formed cooker platforms and Alana found a 'natural bed' to sleep in.

That night, the night sky lit up with strange lights and light formations. The mosquitoes were forgotten about as Flynn gave a running commentary and the boys tried to decide if the aliens were really coming or if some other strange phenomenon was responsible for them. The answer was in the news the next day!

Sunday saw lots of jumps into a deep pool in the Pikawahine stream and a morning of stream/bush bashing. A compass bearing back to the campsite was worked out and a leapfrog technique was used by the groups to get back.

The bivvys were dismantled, a debrief was held. The group was homeward bound.

Thank you very much to Ken Hames and Robyn Bruce for delivering the training weekend and thanks to Sharlene Tornquist for her help.

Gold Training Weekend

On Thursday 6th to 8th February, thirteen year 12 students tramped in the Kaimais over various tracks to complete their gold DOE training. Mt Te Aroha,at 954m, provided plenty of challenges for the group and they were rewarded with a magnificent 360 degree view of the landmarks below. A wasp nest was upset on the Waipapa Track down to Watawheta Hut with several people bearing the brunt of the angry wasps!  Stingose and a welcome swim in the river relieved the pain.

Day two saw a theory session at the hut before tramping along the old tramline down to Daly's Clearing. A great swimming hole was found and cooled everyone off before the climb to the clearing, where the afternoon was spent making bivvys to sleep in.That night was like 'possum central' as possums came out to try to steal food from backpacks. One even decided to take Lily's pencil case ...obviously a very intelligent possum. Needless to say one got much sleep!

The third day saw the group tramp to Karangahake Gorge again following the river. An amazing water hole was found and no one could resist joining the locals for a swim. 

This group is now ready to do their pre-expedition tramp around the Tongariro Northern Circuit at the end of February.

A HUGE thanks to Ken Hames and Robyn Bruce for the training and to Samid Buksh and Michelle Kemp for helping.