Four decades of unique camp

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Queenstown Primary youngsters are flat out fundraising to attend what’s become a school institution.

Next March will mark the school’s 40th Stewart Island camp. Teacher Fran Bailey says the camp is “quite unique”.

“It’s a rite of passage,” she says. “And then when they get to high school they do the Branches Camp, so it’s amazing preparation.”

During the week-long adventure, pupils get to try everything from beach activities and heading out on a fishing trawler, to learning about the island’s recycling and waste disposal systems.

At the very first camp, pupils stayed with locals on the island. For the past three years, they’ve stayed at Mamaku Point Conservation Reserve.

Pupil Valentine D’Andre, 10, says her favourite part of the camp was the Burma Trail, where pupils walk along a trail at night guided by a piece of rope while teachers and parents try to give them a fright.

This year’s year fives are working to raise $30,000 for the camp. It costs about $500 per child, but through fundraising the school tries to bring that down to about $140.

A quiz night is being held at the school tonight, with tables still available.

Winnies is also running a fundraising promotion for the camp.

People can buy $20 Winnies vouchers for $10 through the school office, with proceeds donated to the camp.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz