Mr Kemp NZ

School Camp’s

Over the last 6 years I have taught Year 3-6. I have been lucky enough to teach Year 5-6 for the last 4 years and one of the benefits of teaching this level at my school is School Camp’s.


When I took over the Year 6 class in 2008 the school did not run a camp, as far as I viewed it. The “camp” that they had done was a 2 day outing to various places around Dunedin and a 1 night stay at a local camping ground. 
To be perfectly honest I thought this was pathetic and with an appointment of a new Principal we got to work on planning an organising a more exciting Year 6. 

We started off with the planning and organising of a 2 day leadership camp at the beginning of the year – we still run this today. The idea behind this is to take the children away as a group of “new leaders” and bring them back with new knowledge and confidence ready to take on leadership responsibilities around our school. We challenge them with team building activities and get to know each other in a positive non threatening environment.


At the end of each year now we go away for a week to a camp site at least an hour away from Dunedin. Lately we have been going to Waianakarua which is just South of Oamaru. It is a wonderful camp and really good for the kids at my school. 


This camp is an end of year finale – a chance to take the children outside of their comfort zone and to stretch them above and beyond all of their wildest dreams. We do Search and Rescue, river rafting, archery, rifle shooting, abseiling, a massive flying fox, orienteering, sailing, kayaking, team building activities plus so much more. And all of this is done in 4-5 days.


The children come away from this experience as a tight unit and this is ALWAYS the 1 thing that they remember and I hope will always remember of their time at our school. The 1 opportunity they got to push boundaries, challenge beliefs, step outside of their comfort zone and enjoy the company of their friends and teachers in an unknown environment.


I love this part of my job and think that in environments like this is where TRUE learning begins ….


I would love to hear about the camp’s you run and the experiences you give and the feedback you receive.


Here are some photo’s from this year’s end of year camp …..

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Global EdTech Consultant based in Singapore but working with Schools and EdTech companies all over the world. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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  • My greatest memories of teaching at a very low decile intermediate for many years are associated with our camps. So many laughs and even some tears. No RAMS matrices in those days, tg – nowadays you wouldn’t get away with some of the crazy things we did. I always loved taking the toughest kids and on all but one occasion they never let me down. Taken out of their hard lives at home, they became the leaders at camp and you could see how they had developed resilience and coping strategies in their lives. I think I could write a book about our camps and what we got up to, but I’m not sure anyone would believe me 🙂
    As well as all the usual camp activities I also did a heap of creative challenges. I’ve just started to pull these together into a resource that I hope to publish. I shared some of them with an Intermediate teacher recently and her kids loved them.
    Camping with your class is one of the most fulfilling – and memorable experiences you will ever have in teaching.

  • I enjoyed your reflection and the photos. We use McKerrow’s pond for sailing and kayaking as well. You have prompted me to get thinking about camp prep as we have ours in March.

    I think as New Zealanders we tend to take the outdoors for granted and the true magic of school camps can sometimes be easily overlooked. I agree that camp is an awesome time. It is a time to develop leadership and to challenge children beyond their comfort levels. The sense of achievement and community is fantastic.

    Having said that, I must admit I don’t get a lot of sleep that week! Must be sad to have completed your last camp for a wee while…

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