Auckland Girls’ benefit from Community Partnership in the Great Outdoors

DSC_0939_smallerFrom Media Release: 7 June 2016

10 students from Auckland Girls’ Grammar School had the ‘outdoor experience of a lifetime’ recently as the result of a community partnership between Hillary Outdoors Education Centres and Torpedo7.  Last week, the students visited one of New Zealand’s most remote and rugged locations when they took part in a 5 day Outdoor Education programme to develop leadership and life skills at Hillary Outdoors Tongariro.

The girls, some of whom had hardly ever left Auckland, were able to take their learning beyond the classroom into what their teacher in charge, Briar Hale, describes as a “gruelling and very real way of putting theory into practice”.  In particular, students were able to learn how dialogue impacts growth and discover the implications of a fixed mindset. “I was really pleased with how the students were able to change their mindsets more readily by the end of the week and how they talked about their challenges in a more positive manner”, commented Briar.

The trip was a result of fundraising efforts undertaken in Torpedo7 stores and via the Torpedo7 website at the end of 2015 in partnership with Hillary Outdoors.  The aim was to give students from low decile schools the opportunity to participate in programmes that they may have otherwise not been able to afford – Auckland Girls’ Grammar School was the first to benefit from this initiative.

DSC_0957_smaller“The experience was more challenging than I had anticipated, especially the overnight expedition” said Briar, “…part of the reason it was so character-building is because the instructors did an incredible job of pushing the girls to achieve what they initially thought they couldn’t, all in a safe and controlled environment”.

One of the many activities the students participated in over the 5 days was caving. Briar was very impressed with the level of empathy girls demonstrated towards a fellow student who was claustrophobic. “The group rallied around her and it really highlighted how much they had learnt about working as a team”, she says. Overall, the girls thrived off both the opportunities for growth from the week, as well as chance to get to know a magnificent National Park.

“We are very grateful to Torpedo7 for their support”, adds Briar, “it is really important that young New Zealanders build a relationship with our land and being amongst it gives them a chance to understand how important these places are for future generations to experience”.