“Everyone enjoyed learning new skills, trying new things and pushing ourselves to the limit” – Craighead girls
Rock climbing gives students an opportunity to experience the thrill of climbing in the outdoors. Personal fears are faced and teamwork developed as groups of students work their way from climb to climb. Climbers are able to take on challenges at their own personal level and in their own time.
Peel Forest Outdoor Centre uses a variety of climbing areas in the Timaru district including Spur Road and Mt Horrible. We can either transport groups from Peel Forest, or meet groups at the crag. All climbing (except bouldering) is undertaken on top ropes.
A variety of climbs are set up during the day, which can vary from the very easy to extremely difficult. These climbs are chosen to suit the group’s needs, motivation and the degree of challenge that they seek.
Abseiling is a personal challenge that can be a great way to get students out of their comfort zone and have a high impact experience. We use several sites for this in the local vicinity, both at Andrew’s stream in the Orari Gorge and at Emily Falls, one of the beautiful waterfalls in Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve. We can also combine Abseiling with a climbing day at one of the Timaru crags.
We use a series of progressions and practice abseils to set the students up as well as we can, for success.
There are numerous half-day, full-day and multi-day tramps in the area. We are able to provide planning assistance, equipment, safety plans and instruction, as well as sharing our knowledge and passion for our environment.
The unique mix of broad leaf podocarp forest and plants dating back 1000 years, together with alpine native vegetation, allows us to teach students about our native environment along the way, while offering instruction in the following:
- Navigation skills
- River crossing
- Group management skills
- Leave No Trace camping
- Fire lighting (if appropriate)
Bush survival focuses on safety in the New Zealand bush and the skills required for outdoor survival/rescue. Activities covered range from fire lighting and cooking, bush survival and shelter/bivouac construction, to rescue techniques and stretcher construction, what to do if you are lost and leave no trace principles.
Adventure Based Learning
Adventure based learning brings groups together to work on solving problems, completing challenges whilst working as a cohesive team to achieve them. The focus of the day is on group dynamics and the components of a group that go together to form an effective team. Breaking the ice, communication, trust, problem solving and personal responsibility are all part of the day.
The groups progress through a variety of activities with the instructor drawing out the learnings through front loading and group reflection. We can also set this up as a challenge event in teams where students rotate around a series of activities with a competitive element to it, if desired.
Orienteering is a sport that involves participants finding their way across country using map reading and compass work to locate markers in the area.
The focus is on teaching basic map reading skills, identifying features on the map and the orientation of the map. An advanced course would see the participants progress on to using compasses and locating control points through grid references.
We have a permanent orienteering course set up which is set at an orange level that takes students from 40 to 90 minutes, depending upon skill and fitness. We can also set up easier white and yellow courses for younger students.
We hire out maps for schools to run this activity on their own.
The focus of the Environmental Education programme is to promote positive attitudes and actions towards the native New Zealand ecology. This is accomplished by a ‘hands on’ approach in dealing with the current issues facing the group. The group will develop skills and knowledge that will assist them in helping the environment and allow them to contribute to its care and preservation.
During this programme, the session is punctuated by games and tasks that are front loaded for the group and relate to the topics being covered.
Tree Planting and Eco-service at Peel Forest Outdoor Centre is based at the EcoLodge site where we help the 18.7 hectare QEII Covenanted site, re-generate in native vegetation through tree planting and weed control.
This can be a great way for students to give back to the environment and establish a greater connection with the place and it works particularly well at the end of a multi-day camp in Peel Forest.