Hillary Outdoors Programme

During the summer holidays a group of Prefects and potential Prefects for 2016 had the opportunity to experience the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Camp. This was an expedition to strengthen the bonds between our leaders of the school. On arrival our competitive nature was as electric as ever, as we straight away challenged the two schools already there to games of volley. We met our leader by the name of Hugo who seemed like an outgoing and tireless man. The first day he secretly assessed us and was impressed with what he saw. From then on Hugo put us through the highest level of challenges the camp had to offer. We tramped in the bush for the rest of that day which was miserably wet. The only thing keeping us sane whilst drenched was the humor from Reuben Te Kani- Taylor and Jayden Sargent. Over the next couple of days we managed to get lost in caves and also do a risky traverse over the edge of a cliff, which really tested our fear of heights and who would show it. A highlight of this was the way Kaleb Trask dealt with the nervousness by singing Drake's ‘Jumpman’ which could be heard at the bottom of the cliff by those who had already finished. It was not just the big actions or moments that highlighted these boys’ fine leadership qualities, it was also the ability to get little things done with no questions asked that really showcased the maturity of our soon to be Prefects. Ryshawn Kereama Vercoe was constantly being helpful and putting others first throughout our journey. On the second-to-last day we set out towards Tongariro National Park to embark on the most treacherous and brutal endeavour. Our task on this two-day voyage was to summit the deadly Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings (aka Mt Ngauruhoe). This Mountain stands at a daunting elevation of 2291m. We set out on the Tongariro Crossing, passing a picturesque waterfall before trudging up hundreds of steps, each of us losing two kilos in sweat. The decision was made to spend the night camping off the track in a gully and make the climb in the morning to see the sunrise. By early morning I mean we woke and started our tramp at 3am! The small rocks fell at our feet making it brain-numbingly slow to make any progress. After two hours of climbing up a slope of 45 degrees we made it to the top. As the sun rose we were that high that it cast a shadow of the mountains distinct shape onto the clouds. A sight not seen anywhere else. We had made it, only just. Without the brotherhood and support of the boys I believe that we would have been like the rocks and crumbled. Hugo said we were the most physically able group he’d had. This was a trip that brought us closer as we saw ourselves in times of desperation. Everyone emerged a confident leader because they know the feeling of needing help or a boost and how good it feels getting one. Yet it was the feeling of everyone having each others back that truly showcases what it means to go to Rotorua Boys’ High School.

By Sam Bocock