Second chance to connect students to the outdoors

As the end of the 2015 school year rapidly approaches, and the new one is on the horizon, several schools are looking at Hillary Outdoors to help prepare their school leaders for some of the challenges they, and the school, will face in 2016.

Rotorua Boys' Hillary OutdoorsRotorua Boys’ High School is one such school. Their leadership journey with Hillary Outdoors began with 20 of their boys visiting the Hillary Outdoors Tongariro centre in October of 2012, as Year 10 students. In January of 2015, a lot of these boys returned as Prefects for Rotorua Boys’ High School. One of the students that attended Hillary Outdoors as both a Year 10 student and as a Prefect was Jordan Lawrence. Jordan writes:

“I participated at Outdoor Pursuit Centre as a year 10 student in 2012 and returned again as a school prefect in 2015. When I attended in Year 10 I was terrified of heights and not that confident with many of the activities. As the week progressed I was able to, with the support of my group and instructors, achieve everything the rest of the group did in the high ropes area even though I was really nervous about being challenged before arriving. I almost didn’t attend because of how anxious I get in new situations, however, I found that the instructors and my group did not force anything on me and because of the trust that was built within the group I felt confident to give things a go.

 “On returning as a year 13 school prefect in 2015, I knew what to expect and was one of the key leaders amongst the group. I was excited rather than nervous about attending this time around. The week posed a whole new set of challenges that tested me physically of which walking twelve hours to include a summit of Mt Ngauruhoe was one of the most memorable achievements in my life. It was the pinnacle of how far I had come as young anxious year 10 student to a confident school leader in year 13. I am certain that if I had not attended OPC in year 10 that I would not have had the confidence to attend in year 13 and develop into a strong school leader today.”

Bruce Buckton, Senior Master and Principal’s Nominee, at Rotorua Boys’ High School co-ordinates and runs the Leadership programme, which he says Hillary Outdoors play an integral part in developing and bringing out the true leadership potential of the young men Rotorua Boys’ High School send. Bruce says that experiences his students get while at Hillary Outdoors are enhanced by “the professional attitude of staff, their trusting relationships they build with students and the skills to know what makes our boys ‘tick’ is the reason we keep returning”.