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School camp pitches up close to home

Flagstaff Team

In-tents experience… Sunnynook Primary School pupils (from left) Immanuella Nyati, Miriana Peeti-Roberts, Zoe Salatielu and Isabella Kwon went tenting at school after Covid-19 ruled out an off-site camp.

Sunnynook Primary School students were excited to pitch tents and camp out on the school grounds, after the annual year-6 camp was cancelled due to Covid restrictions.

The school originally planned to have the camp at Carey Park in Henderson but Level 2 restrictions at the time meant only groups of 10 people could gather.

“The kids were gutted,” said teacher Monica Duffield. “It has been a tough year for them, so I thought we could have a camp at the school and we are really grateful that we still have the opportunity to do this. The kids are really excited about the activities we have planned.”

Camping at school cost parents less than a quarter of the price of heading off-site.

Families provided their own tents, sleeping bags and some of the food. A go-karting experience for the kids was also supplied by a family.

“We’re really making use of the resources we have to hand and the kind offers of help from our school community to make this happen and keep costs down,” said community liaison Nicole France. “We do work hard to ensure camp is as affordable as possible and always ensure that the cost is not a barrier to all of the children attending.”

She said it was encouraging to see the students put up their tents so fast and still get excited about camp despite it being on school grounds.

The school is tucked away near Sunnynook’s Lyford Reserve and surrounded by enough greenery to feel like a camping location.

A treasure hunt around Lyford Reserve and an evening bush walk with torches through some of its tracks were on the camp programme.

Happy campers… the assembled year-6 campers at Sunnynook Primary
Teacher Rebekkah Hagen helps out with a tent peg.
(from left) Reya Vashani, Laela Higgins and Zac Lampard

This article originally appeared in the 22 January 2021 edition of the Rangitoto Observer.

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