In 2012 we ran two inaugural five week courses, one for girls and the other for boys. After 8 years the programme is still surging ahead with strong support from parents, students and the local community. The course requires students to live independently in double berth cabins with students responsible for their cooking, washing, personal and group requirements. There is no cellphone coverage at the camp and contact is made home once a week.
Students are supervised by a mixture of Hillcrest High School staff and Hillary Outdoors instructors. Under their expert guidance the students undertake 2-3 day expeditions and a range of outdoor activities including coasteering, high ropes course, sailing, sea kayaking, tramping, steep creeking, fishing, snorkelling, gardening and adventure based learning.
They undertake a cross-curricular study of cultural, economic, environmental and social sustainability, interacting during the process with local tangata whenua, business owners, primary school, Glenfern Sanctuary, DOC and the Orama community.
At the end of each course a celebration evening is held during which the students deliver a presentation of their experiences and studies to their parents, along with taking the time to acknowledge their accomplishments and present awards.