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Blue Light Camp

posted 30 Jun 2015, 21:46 by OC Web   [ updated 30 Jun 2015, 21:47 ]
On Monday 8th June Connor Blair and Aiden Bainbridge-Simpson went to Lower Hutt to attend the Blue Light Camp. This is run by the Defence Forces of New Zealand, mainly the Army. Connor and Aiden had to apply for this camp and were selected with 12 other North Island students. The Camp was about learning leadership skills, teamwork, discipline, organisation, respect and life skills. Even though it may sound like a camp for troubled youth, it is the exact opposite. Students attending this camp are carefully selected which means selection alone is a really high achievement. Furthermore this camp is for students that want to stand up for their communities and that care about the safety of others. The camp gives everyone an idea what it will be like in any of the Forces of NZ. During the week students did a lot of physical exercise such as running, push ups, sit ups and marching, but they also had class time where they learnt what it actually means to be a leader, practise their presentation skills, their group work and practical thinking. During the week they had representatives from the different Forces leading their activities and talking to them. On Thursday the whole group went to the Adrenaline Forest in Porirua which was a personal challenge for many students, particularly those afraid of heights. This improved their teamwork and trust in each other. Every day the students practised marching and drill. On Friday they had their graduation where they marched the parade grounds.

Their drill master said that even soldiers who have practised for 6 months couldn't do the parade as well and in sync with each other as the 14 students after only 5 days of practice. The staff were really proud of their students, not only because of the great parade but also because it was the first group where every single student completed the camp and graduated at the end of it. All teenagers were really proud of themselves and of each other after their graduation.

Even though it was hard, challenging and out of their comfort zone Connor and Aiden said that they had really enjoyed the camp. One of the things Aiden learnt from this camp is to keep trying and not to give up, through that you can achieve a lot more than you originally thought. Connor said that he had learnt the meaning of leadership. He was the marker in the drill and parade which is a very high responsibility. He was leading the parade for the graduation. After the graduation ceremony Staff Sergeant Norman told us that Connor had been runner up for the Excellence Award for Best Overall Student. Both, Aiden and Connor can be very proud of themselves for participating at the Blue Light Camp and doing so well.

Report written by Ines Depner
Year 13 Student