3 Dec 2015

The Journey Back

We have just finished our first Journey Back.  In nutshell it is a 5 day expedition from the Dilworth Rural Campus at the southern end of the Hunuas to the Dilworth Senior Campus in the Middle of Auckland.
We did this as a transition Journey for our 92 Year Nine students that have been at the Rural Campus for the whole year and they will be continuing their lives and education next year at the Senior Campus.
It is a rite of passage, being removed from day to day life and pressures for 5 days while making a journey of transition between two significant place.  During this time is opportunity to reflect on what has been over the last year, who they are now, and what is about to be happening soon.

There is a definite atmosphere of growth during this journey.  They leave Rural Campus as boys and are welcomed at Senior Campus as young men.

The first three days are tramping.  There is some tough terrain and long days to overcome.  This is not an easy ask, however by the end of the second day the most physcially challenging part of the journey is over.

Last look at the Rural Campus in the Background

Day 1
This was a 6-7 hour tramp through the bush with a quick swim in the river to wash off at camp and staying in tents.
The daily theme was "You are a special person.  A masterpiece."
Tramping throught the Hunuas 
We did positive affirmation activities in the evening, writing small notes to each other to celebrate what is good about all of us.

Day 2
Another 6-7 hour tramp through the Hunuas but this time with a shower and an indoor bed near Hunua Falls for the night.
The daily theme was "Character is one of the most important possesions we have.  Build yours well."

Day 3
The final day tramping, making it to Clevedon.
The daily theme was "Challenges and difficulties build character.  Hardship is what removes the rough to reveal the gem."
The Chairman of the Dilworth Trust Board, John Wain, spoke to the boys about his experience as a student at Dilworth and how it has changed.  They boys then prepared and gave speeches to their Cabin members from the year, sharing significant moments and learnings while thanking and acknowledging each other.  Here is a bit about what being in a cabin is like from a post I did earlier.

Day 4
Today was a bit different, a cycle ride to the beach and a wander along to a wharf and a swim, the final wash before the Powhiri at Senior Campus the next day.

The daily theme was "Be Courageous."
The last night was a chance for Cabins spend a last moment together.  My Cabin spent time talking about the year and saying thank yous.

Day 5
This day was a short walk to the ferry at Beachlands.  We caught a ride over into Queens Wharf and walking the streets through to dilworth.  Following a similiar route to what James Dilworth the founder of the Dilworth Trust walked when he first arrived in the 19th Century.
The daily theme was "You are incredible and are here to do important things."

Getting to the Senior Campus was a great moment both physically and emotionally.  The Staff and year 10 student organised a wonder full Haka Powhiri.

Where the toki that was made as a Legacy Project by a Rural Campus student was gifted to the Senior Campus for this momentous first Journey Back.

The Powhiri was followed by a warm welcome at their new boarding houses by the staff there and then a tour of the new campus by current students.  

We concluded all this with what may be the most important part of any gathering, a great feast.

I am so proud of what each student has accomplished this year, academically, in the outdoors, socially, and as a person. 
Cabin 3 2015 

Finishing this stage of their education with a Journey of this significance and challenge has been incredible tiring for all involved and this is balanced by a great sense of satisfaction.  Thanks to all that put in the countless hours to make this huge effort happen.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing journey Campbell! Such a great idea to link the Rural Campus with the Senior Campus in this way. This is obviously a trip that the boys will remember for the rest of their lives. Kapai!