MERC camp in our own words

The moment had arrived! Tuesday May 4, 7.30 a.m. We were off on our long-awaited camp to MERC - the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education and Recreation Centre in Long Bay, Auckland. After putting all our luggage into Ashe’s mum’s horse float, the Year 6s, the parents, Mrs Isaacson and Mrs Graham all went into their cars to head to Auckland.

Halfway along the road trip, we stopped at the Matamata playground for morning tea and to play. Half an hour later, we hopped back in the cars for another long drive. 

When we all finally arrived, we got taken to the hall. The instructors introduced themselves to us. They talked to us about where things were, what we would be doing, and the best thing of all: having fun! We got to know our groups and our instructors, then we did team-building games. 

After the small games, we did the main rotations: paddle boarding, raft building, archery and stack ‘em. On the first day each group only did one rotation. All of these activities were really challenging and also fun. The weather was so nice, we were all wearing our T-shirts and shorts most of the time. It was different to Taupo weather.

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In the afternoon, we had the challenge of a sand sculpture competition. We used shells, seaweed, and all sorts of things from the sea. (The next day it was all gone.) We loved the calm and sparkling beach and exploring the rocks nearby. Some people loved finding crabs and other creatures under the rocks. Some of the boys squealed when they touched them. We don’t have crabs at the lake like that.

Dinner was burgers and we were really hungry. Of course that night we could not go to sleep very easily, we were too excited to be at camp. We were all tired the next day.

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On Wednesday we woke up and had some delicious breakfast - different types of cereals, toast and fruit. Some kids went to the park after breakfast and some stayed back at camp. When the instructors arrived, we got into our groups, ready for abseiling, more raft building, archery, stack ‘em and paddle boarding. That night we watched Surf’s Up on the big screen, snuggled into our sleeping bags in the hall. It was like a giant sleepover.

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The third day were our whenua and moana missions. This meant doing missions on land and on water. These were big missions and we had to take our morning tea with us. We did hiking, capture the flag, rocky shore exploration, kayaking and canoeing. Luckily the weather was just stunning and the sea was smooth like glass.

Our favourite instructors were Sol (he was funny), Keilan, and Rebekah.

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That night was a camp concert, which Keanu called ‘Camp’s Got Talent’. Piper and Jorja were hosting it. People were a little shy at first, then they started showing their acts. There was dancing, skits with parents (Zaara’s dad is an amazing actor!), some singing, clever card tricks, and joke telling. We were all entertained and had a lot of laughs. The teachers and some parents did a funny act, too. Afterwards, Kevin and Asharntay gave a thank you to all the helpers, the teachers, Diana and the parents.

Friday was our departure day - it had gone so fast. We left in the busy Auckland traffic after the parents tidied up the camp for us and we had a big group photo. We farewelled our favourite playground.

We had a visit to Hamilton Zoo, which had a huge amount of wild animals. Believe it or not, we saw rhinos, giraffes, a tiger, and four cheetahs which are new to the zoo. We had a lesson about the zoo animals from Ken - he taught us a lot.

We were all exhausted as we headed back to school. We were happy to go home as we unloaded the horse float with all our bags. We made lots of memories. Watch our video here.

By Emily, Ava and Piper, Room 8

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