Senior National Camp
In October of last year, 35 senior Rally members (and 12 leaders) arrived at Ngaruawahia CYC to enjoy 4 days of fun. The weather played ball and stayed fine for most of camp.
Senior Nationals and Arura’s are times of catching up with old friends as well as making new ones. So, with some already knowing each other from past times together, it didn’t take long for everyone to relax and feel they belonged.
After everyone arrived, found their beds and had a look around camp, we were put into four teams. A bit of an Olympic flavour….. we had to choose a name for our team, invent a country, design a flag, create a song/chant etc. This was a good time of interacting and getting to know others.
Greg Wallace was MC for camp and Jono Bay was our speaker. Greg kept us well occupied with activities and Jono took a theme of life being a journey/race & running it well.
Day Two was our Great Race Day. Heather McIntosh planned an amazing array of activities. Each team chose 2 members to compete in each activity, so that everyone had to do something. Teams were judged, and points given for each activity.
We had outdoor races:
- throwing a disc as far as possible from off the verandah
- Standing long jump, and running long jump
- Running & a team relay
There were outside competitions:
- Flying fox – holding a cone of water in your mouth
- Gumboot throw
- Mini putt golf
Then kitchen challenges:
- jointing a chicken
- Icing & decorating cupcakes
- Cutting a pineapple
- Making meringues
Also, how quickly your whole team can get into a small car; & drinking a 2 litre bottle of cold flavoured milk! Yes, a rather large amount was brought up again by the contestants!!
In the evening we enjoyed a great bonfire, with damper & s’mores. (toasted marshmallows between biscuits)
Day Three – Go 4 Gold, a dance/drama performance. Each team came up with an idea….Jonah & the big fish, drink drivers, bullying, & don’t judge outward appearances… and Melissa Bonner (a dance teacher) shared ideas, help & encouragement to all the teams. There were props to make, moves and lines to practice and then it was performing in front of the others.
Day Four was the Trip Out – to Candyland. We started early to get the morning session. There were so many of us we had to book ahead. A very informative lecture on chocolate, how they coat lollies & then we all chose a lolly to dip & eat. On to the candy making - after we watched them make the candy, we all got a large piece of it to twist and/or wrap around a stick. MMmmmmm!
Back to camp for lunch and then to enjoy all the special activities the camp had to offer. There was an awesome hydroslide, flying fox, kayaks and paddle boats. A swim in the hot pool was crowded & noisy, but a great luxury after a tiring day!
2010 Outside the box From the logo to the activities, ‘Outside the Box’ was the key to Arura 2010.
269 campers & leaders descended on Totara Springs Christian Centre. Because it was a smaller than normal camp, there was no need for tents/marquees. So, our accommodation was all in cabins, lodge rooms & motels. Luxurious!!
Some totally AWESOME and OUTSIDE THE BOX brainstorming provided us with ‘A Knights Tale, Jousting, Flash Mob, Ice cream & Jelly, & Quizzicles. See Arura Antics, pg 12 for some of these. Rain was predicted for much of the week, but the Lord blew most of it away & we only had 1 real wet time – that was on our Young Adults overnighter! The girls tent leaked and half of them returned to camp so they could sleep in a dry bed! Think some of them were quite happy about that!!! The rest of the days we had to watch for sunburn.
The CR8 (craft) team had us making wonderful paper-bag albums, Arura Antics games, & dice. The albums were so popular that the leaders requested a special night so they could make a sample each, & some leftover bits were also sold to Rallies.
The usual camp activities (go-karts, BMX, swimming, kayaks & tubing, archery, ropes course & hydroslide) were hugely enjoyed, but there were a few too many accidents. The ambulance became a regular visitor – but we praise God for our trained nurse & first aiders who were always in attendance.
Arura 2010 was divided into 3 age groups – Juniors, Intermediates & Young Adults.
Day One – Thursday
Arrival, registration & familiarisation of camp site. Our awesome and fun Aussie friends (Queensland & Tassie) arrived the night before so were able to help us with some preparation.
All the campers were part of a colour team activity, then after tea we had our Opening Ceremony. We were all dressed in our Arura shirts so it was a sea of blue – very impressive. The local Maori group welcomed us, a local comedian entertained us & various folk shared briefly. Then suddenly – a police bomb squad (at least that’s what it appeared!) came running over to tell us they had to dispo
se of a possible bomb. There was a big bang, and our large Welcome to Arura ‘outside the box’ sign opened and balloons flew skyward! Phew! Certainly dramatic.
Day Two – Friday
BBB – for Juniors was various ‘B’ activities - firing water Balloons with a Bungy cord, Bubbles games, Bouncy castle. The Young Adults girls were set to making lovely bead bracelets, while the boys enjoyed a swim & slide in the mud/river! Intermediates began their prep for Jousting. This was one of the awesome feature activities of Arura. For the jousting prep – each member had challenges to do - & the overall winner in each colour group had the responsibility of representing their team in the finals. Then the teams began making their armour, flag & horse for the contest. See pg 12 for further details of jousting. The Young Adults got busy preparing items, activities and games for the Pirate Pool Party they would run for the Juniors.
The evening was huge fun with Ross Bay leading the Barn Dance. Day
Day Three – Saturday
Young Adults had huge fun running the Pirate Pool Party - & the Juniors enjoyed it – even ‘walking the plank’. Intermediates were busy showing their prowess in the jousting finals, and the 2 foam lengths taped together with a boxing glove on the end were ideal jousting lances. Many spills, laughs and ‘hits’ later they had their Intermediate finalist.
After lunch Quizzicles (see pg 12) kept some intermediates busy while the young adults prepared the arena for “A Knights Tale”. They made backdrops, dressed medieval, and even ate a dinner to the theme (on tables under a tent, with fingers & there was a pigs head on a platter as centre-piece to complete the mood!) This was a special activity that parents were able to attend, held in ‘The Bowl’ and many were dressed accordingly. A medieval jousting group from Auckland attended & put on a show for us. Horses and men dressed in armour, jousted & showed their skills. Juggling by a Camp worker & our young adults dressed to the theme added to this very memorable evening.
A late soak in the hot pools before bed relaxed us & enabled campers to settle well.
Day Four – Sunday
Each day began with Devotions. The group from Aussie led our singing & they were AWESOME. Thanks guys! Luke Goodwin (Juniors), Simon Alexander (Intermediates) & Craig Barrow (Young Adults) were our speakers. Water sports, CR8 (crafts), team sports & camp activities were enjoyed & the young adults learnt their part of the dance for Flash Mob. (see pg 12)
The canteen & shop were very popular each afternoon – mainly for lollies! But the shop did sell toiletries, gifts & Rally Supplies stock as well. The Young Adults began their ‘Shipwreck’ journey after lunch. Divided into 2 teams, at each ‘stop’ an activity had to be accomplished to earn extras, eg. a hammer for getting over the climbing wall, a tent for abseiling down a rock face, a person to help put up the tent if enough team members rolled over a barrel…. They were sleeping out, & cooking their own dinner, so needed all the extras they could get!
*Intermediates ran about on a Treasure Hunt (tied to their team-mates) looking for folk dressed as clowns. Clues led to the clowns & the rewards for finding them were ingredients for your burger (dinner!) Swaz or Swap was a copy of ‘Deal or No Deal’, & some cabins feasted on the extra prizes won. Yumm!! It rained heavily around 1-2am!!! The girls’ tent leaked so some came back to camp for a dry bed & sleep.
Day Five – Monday
This was Tour Day for Juniors to the Zoo then Chartwell for shopping. Need that component at any camp!! The Young Adults were off to Mt Maunganui for a walk/swim/lie on beach then shopping at Bayfair. Our blue Arura shirts made it easy to recognise campers & the shopping malls were very interested in what we were about as we looked so distinctive.
For the Intermediates still at camp there was CR8, electives & hydroslide (a favourite) plus it was time to learn their part for the Flash Mob dance.
Day Six - Tuesday
The Intermediates turn to go on Tour – to the Zoo & Chartwell, while the Juniors & Young Adults enjoyed the challenges of quizzicles, electives & CR8. The Young Adults had extra late nights with Play Station, Café, Movie etc. There were no behaviour problems with our Young Adults – they appreciated the opportunity to stay up later that they were given, & went to bed when asked. Thanks guys!
Day Seven - Wednesday
Ice, Cream & Jelly was a highlight for Intermediates. They were divided into the 4 colour teams & took turns at each ‘station’.
Station 1 – members took turns sitting on a trolley & riding down the hill holding a cup of water. Their aim was to gather the most water. Meanwhile….. to distract them & hopefully tip them off……
Station 2 – Throw handfuls of loose ice at the trolley rider.
Station 3 – Squirt a creamy substance at trolley rider.
Station 4 – Throw handfuls of jelly (gelatine & poster paint) at trolley rider.
No wonder they were told to wear their old clothes!!!
The rest of the camp tested kayaks & camp activities. The evening programme was the Challenger Series Show Time. Campers competed to display their skills – loudest scream, longest standing jump, most goals, most accurate bungy sponge aim, highest matchstick tower, quickest scull of water etc.
Day Eight - Thursday
The last full day of camp- this was Option Day. Half the campers chose to stay on site – there was paintball, water-slide, tubing, grotto & water rockets. Others went horse-riding, blo-karts, Tirau castle & shopping or water sports at Lake Karapiro. A great day for all.
Our closing ceremony was very memorable- we were all dressed again in our Arura shirts. The jousting finals between the Junior, Intermediate & Young Adult finalists was won by … the Juniors!! Then we were piped (bagpipes) into the lecture theatre for a short devotion & a Flash mob practise. Then into the Gym/Audi for the Flash Mob filming (see it on you-tube) & prize-giving of Challenger series.
After supper the campers were allowed a late swim then pack bags & into bed. This was easy for Juniors & Intermediates as the supervisors bribed them – best rooms tidy & off to sleep got choc bars/lollies! It worked!!
The awesome Arura 2010 badges were presented to each camper. A great finale to a wonderful camp.