For the first adventure of the holidays, two Challenge 2000 staff members and eight young women cautiously agreed to brave the Rimutaka Forest Park on an overnight tramping expedition, which was for most, their first experience of this kind.
With of our basic survival needs on our backs, we set afoot on a three-hour journey ahead. We learned about our native surroundings. We ate Supple-Jack vine and Kawakawa leaves along the way (rest assured, this was as well as apples and muesli bars) and learned about basic survival skills for being out in the bush.
Our bags were heavy and the girls became tiresome, so arriving at Turere Lodge in the afternoon was an exciting affair. Propped up on the riverbank with a majestic view up the river valley, we were feeling rewarded after a hard slog. The girls settled in and we made the place home for the night.
The girls led the way through an interesting team building activity in the evening trying to thread each member of our crew through a spider’s web (see photos). This helped each member of the group realize the way they function as a part of a team and ultimately brought the group closer together.
At 8.00pm a Search and Rescue Helicopter landed practically in our own back yard (not for us… whew!) to rescue some Boy Scouts who had lost their way up the river. Thankfully, the boys were all safe and unharmed. This was an added bonus for our group who reveled in the excitement of it all once we were sure that everybody was okay.
We then shared a candlelit dinner and reflected on the excitement and struggles of the day before we tucked ourselves into our sleeping bags to rest up before the big walk out the next day.