TedX Youth Event!

Got to say, starting a day at 7am is pretty normal for me. However, starting the day at 7am in a room full of inspirational youth speakers is pretty out of the ordinary and just felt amazing!

Today my plan is to have great chats with a number of people, hand out goodie bags and of course make sure everything is running smoothly and I am helping as much as I can.

To start the day off, all of the volunteers arrived and we got a wee briefing on what tasks were expected to be done within our role as a volunteer as well as the general health and safety information.

As the guest speakers began to arrive, I can definitely say that building’s atmosphere was even more enlightened and it genuinely was incredible to be able to have the opportunity to speak with some of them about their story and to find out who influences them.

Moving forward to lunchtime, we were lucky enough to have Bacon Brothers provide us with food! Their food is always so delicious and definitely FILLING! This was the time when I was able to really connect with the attendees and find out what their highlights were so far into the day. Most of the responses were around selected speakers and what they had taught them, as well as others mentioning that it was the feeling of being in a room full of people who just like them are seeking some inspiration towards life.

As the day slowly came to an end, we began to clear out the area and thank everyone that had both came and helped to make the day possible! We then ran a debrief of the day where we spoke about what went well and how we could have improved in certain areas.

Overall, I felt that this day was super beneficial for both the attendees as well as myself! I can honestly say that I was able to take something new away from the speakers that I will forever be grateful for!

To find out more about the event, check out the Facebook page ‘TedX Youth Avon River’.

Thank you all once again for your support, and for taking the time out of your day to read about what it is I do with my days 🙂





Motion Leadership Training! (Auckland)

Was definitely an adventure of a weekend!

This was my second time heading back to Willow Park Kids Camp! Except this time I was going to be participating in a leaders training which would help me to find my strengths and gifts as a leader and then learn how I can use them for the best!

To start it off with a bit of a laugh, I managed to get myself a little bit lost (as it was night time and I struggled to see the street signs haha) I was on my last bus that I needed to catch to get to camp and I was a little unsure of where I was. So I asked the driver and he seemed to be just as confused as me!! But not to worry, a passenger who seemed to be under the influence of alcohol somehow influenced me to get off the bus and walk down the road to where I would supposedly find Willow Park.. After walking for about 20 minutes Willow Park was nowhere to be seen! But luckily two strangers were kind enough to give me honest directions.

I then made it to camp! Got my name tag and put all my bags in a cabin room before going down to meet everyone. We spent the rest of the night just chatting and getting to know each other which was pretty cool as there was a bunch of people I hadn’t seen since last July!

The next day we were able to choose two sessions to attend, and I chose ‘How to deal with tricky kids’ and ‘Games with God’. Both were super beneficial as I learnt a whole heap of new information which I can’t wait to use at the upcoming camps.

During the training we also completed some tests which gave us our strengths and weaknesses and what our gifts were. Mine totally added up and were 100% true!

As camp came to an end, I make it back to the Airport to then realise once I’d been through security that my flight had been cancelled. Surprisingly I wasn’t too freaked out! In fact I was more happy because Jet Star offered me a room in a hotel for the night as well as some vouchers to get breakfast in the morning! It was so cool!!

Motion Leadership Training was overall so much fun and it definitely tested my problem solving skills and how I react to change!

If you’d be keen to find out more about Motion (Lighthouse Leadership) then simply search up their social account on Facebook !!😊





Limitless 2018!

This year I had the absolute privilege of volunteering at the Limitless Conference!

Limitless aims to equip young leaders (year 10’s) with awareness, confidence and opportunities to pursue and excel in work they are passionate about. This is achieved through three stages one being the conference that was held this year!

Being my first time volunteering with Limitless I was a little nervous as one, I hadn’t been able to make the pre-meeting before the event so I didn’t think I’d know anyone. However, on the day I found out that a friend of mine was also volunteering! It was so good to have someone to go to for a bit more of an understanding of what’s going on.

As a volunteer I had the responsibility to co-lead the sessions that took place throughout the day, help out with sign in and also just talk with all the students about their future goals and interests!

This year Limitless focused around the topics strengths, values, goal setting, social justice and well being. I thought it was great that every student was provided with a journal which allowed them to note take during the conference and answer the given questions to then get them thinking more in depth about the topic!

Volunteering with Limitless for me was a pretty eye-opening experience. Especially as I was able to see young leaders grow with more knowledge and be inspired by the number of incredible speakers that spoke throughout the three days!

For more information about Limitless check out the below link!


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Living Springs Boot Camp! (Meeting Someone so Inspirational)

For those who may not already be aware, Living Springs runs weekend boot camps for new leaders and old leaders to be trained for the upcoming Kids camp. During the training we all get the opportunity to learn about they key components to being a leader at a camp.

This boot camp, we focused a lot on listening. Thereby we completed short activities that allowed us to trial out different listening styles to then decide on which would be the most effective at Kids Camp.

Whilst training itself was quite brief to cover all points, I met one the most inspirational person ever! Her name was Amy.

It was during lunchtime when I noticed she seemed to be a little excluded from the social groups that had so far been formed. I decided why not to go and have a chat with her and get to know her a little more as she came across as super friendly!! We start chatting and discussing all the things girls do like hobbies, boyfriends and jobs. Then she opened up to share her story. She explained that she survived a number of health issues that included glandular fever, severe tonsillitis, a brain virus as well as having blood poison and puss throughout her body! Due to this she was put on life support for 2 weeks and spent a total of 6 months in hospital! To put it into context, she told me that it started with just headaches, nausea and vomiting up blood. To try and cure this, she tried a type of herbal medicine which resulted in her not being able to breathe properly and then having to be sent to hospital. It wasn’t too long until she was put into a coma where she then heard the nurses discuss the fact that they’d need to somehow let her mother know that she’d need to prepare a funeral as they believed she was going to die. From that point on, she was just preparing herself to die, as her body shut down and she began to lose her ability to talk. She mentioned that the only words she knew at the time were “I am dying leave me alone” and her father’s name. After a number of treatments, she was moved into room where a night nurse looked after her. She was then lucky enough to be discharged and sent home. I was completely stunned by the fact that even though she’d been through an event no one would ever want to experience, she still came out of it wanting to volunteer!

I guess the reason why I chose to share this with you all is to prove that volunteering comes with so many benefits including being able to meet some of the most inspirational and motivational people! I definitely wasn’t expecting to go away from camp with such a story that influenced me hugely!

Also just to end with a wee promo:

Living Springs Kids Camp is coming up this October and we’d love to have as many of you on board as leaders or as general helpers! So if you have any questions or want to register, feel free to email me through:


Thanks Guys!!


(Below is a picture of Amy and I 💗)


Dancing Like The Stars!

It’s been so long since I’ve sat down and really blogged about all the awesome opportunities I have been involved with! So now it’s really time for me to fill you all in on the journeying I have done over the past few months.

I’m going to start with Dancing Like The Stars. This event is huge every year, as we have approximately 8 different primary schools come to perform at Isaac Theatre Royal. I really enjoy being a part of this event as it allows me to be behind the scenes with these children who are so passionate and excited. Whether it be because it is their first time ever performing on a stage, or if it’s just to show everyone what they’ve been regularly practising.

When I saw that this opportunity was available, I put my name down straight away because I knew that for one it would challenge me to interact with others and also develop my problem solving skills.

Volunteering at this event involved completing tasks such as delivering safety briefings with the dancers, guiding dancers on and off stage and being a general director for those who are needing it.

For me, I found that my highlight was seeing the change in the kids feelings from being anxious and nervous, to then beaming with joy and excitement once they’d performed on stage. It kind of reminded me of the performances I’d been a part of in my childhood where I also felt the exact same feelings!

Having previously participated in a variety of performances, this really enabled me to relate to the children and how they were feeling which was a real big bonus!

So I guess my advice for you if you’re thinking about what type of organisation you’d like to volunteer for, would be to find something that you can relate to or may have previous experience in. That way, you’ll find that you can really connect with the position and take away a lot more.




West Coast Youth Getaway!

Hands down got to be one of my favourite Recreate trips!

Started out with meeting all together to discuss the general expectations of the group and what is going to be involved in the overall trip.

Wasn’t long until we were on the road and off! And that was when it started to get darker as we reached the hills. By now we were at the point where the vehicle was travelling up whilst the speed was going down! It was quite hilarious + worrying when we started to think about whether the van would actually make it the whole way there!

There was 12 of us altogether which was really small! With 3 being leaders and 9 being participants I felt that the ratio was perfect.

Me being in the front meant that I was the ‘DJ’, which was pretty fun! And it also meant that I got to learn all the lyrics to the latest Ed Sheeran songs !!

On arrival, I can genuinely say that the accommodation was absolutely breathe taking! I’ve never experienced such a beautiful holiday home! (By the way we were staying at Drifting Sands, so if you’re ever looking for a home to stay in, in Hokitika, would 100% recommend!)

The night rolled round pretty fast till the next morning, when we packed our bags and headed off to Hokitika Gorge. Sadly the weather wasn’t holding up, so we had to head back 😦

BUT the entertainment on the way back was the funniest! We followed a group of around 30 cows walking down the road for literally 30 minutes!! They even all slowly crossed this really long bridge!

With popcorn in bowls and blankets to keep everyone warm and comfy, we all snuggled up to watch the movie ‘Ferdinand’.

The next day was filled with adventures! We firstly went back to the Gorge and walked along the swing bridge to take heaps of photos. Then we went to the ‘Kiwi House’ which was my favourite part of the whole trip!! The Kiwi House was literally like an Aquarium filled with different creatures from turtles to eels and of course kiwis!

Overall, this trip was so much fun! I can’t wait for what adventures are ahead with Recreate NZ!!



National Young Leaders day 2018!

A stadium full of motivated, young leaders is where I spent my Wednesday this past week.

It was my first time volunteering at the National Young Leaders Day this year! If I’m being honest, it was pretty crazy to experience the event from a whole new lens! In the past I have been along to this day with my school as a participant, where I got to sit and be inspired by a bunch of these well-known speakers from New Zealand.

However it was different this year.

To be able to sit backstage and actually have one on one conversations with the speakers I idolized not too long ago – It was an absolute privilege.

As a side job, I was allocated the task to sell merchandise and answer any questions needed at the help desk. This was the perfect opportunity to connect with the students who were at the event and just see them enlightened with new ideas and goals. As well as this, I was also able to see and experience a very successful event that gets held all over New Zealand each year, to then learn and take tips from the hosts and organizers.

I found that the most difficult part of this volunteer opportunity was definitely having the ability to be flexible and just go with the flow. As personally I am an individual who loves structure and routine, this was something that I had to adjust in order to get the most out of the event.

On the other hand, the most rewarding part of volunteering at NYLD 2018 would easily be meeting all the speakers and just being moved in a whole new and different way. The speakers that came along to this event included William Waiirua, Amanda Wilson, Riley Hathaway and Jono Naylor. They all were so diverse in their personalities and interests, yet they all carried the same values and just really merged well as a team.

Overall I found this opportunity to be super rewarding and hope that I will get the chance to get on board with it again next year!


All the best,

Tarryn Wilson


Nelson Seeking Summits Tramp

Volunteering with Recreate NZ is always different for every trip!

Starting the weekend off with a 5 and a half hour drive was most definitely the perfect way to both numb my bottom but also get to know the new participants who joined us all the way from Auckland. With stops along the way, we were able to explore around many different areas such as petrol stations and public toilets! (I must add that I say that in a completely sarcastic tone) Although we did get the opportunity to visit an old-fashioned store which was pretty wicked!

On arrival we were quick to put up our tents as the last thing we would want to be doing would be trying to put together a tent in the dark. Shortly after, all the participants were absolutely pumped to go and jump off the wharf into the lake (bare in mind it would’ve been around sunset time so the water would’ve been freezing!) But this didn’t stop them from doing it.

Fast forward to the next day, and we’re off tramping to the hut. The plan was to stay at Lakehead Hut which would take approximately 5 hours until our team got there. It was so heart-warming  to see all the participants working together and encouraging one another! Not only that, but the trust that was built throughout the weekend was incredible!

Once we get to the hut, I take the lead in running the classic game we know as ‘I spy with my little eye’. Then we had a joke off! They had some of the funniest jokes that really enlightened my night. One of which was “What do you call a guy with a shovel on his head? Dug. What do you call a guy with no shovel on his head? Dug-less” As the night wrapped up we all set up for the night.

Waking up the next morning, the day definitely went by super fast! As we headed back to the camping ground we were all discussing our highlights and funny times that had occurred so far throughout the trip.

Overall it was so different to be doing tramping with a whole new group as I have always tramped with my Outdoor Education class at High School. I found this trip to be in particular very enjoyable and fun! When I talk with my friends about Recreate, I always mention how unbelievable it is that each and every participant has their own quirks and characteristics that shape them into who they are. This is what I appreciate the most when volunteering with Recreate because I could never become disinterested towards them as they are always doing something that will either make me laugh or smile!

To end this blog, I’d just once again like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has supported me through the journey of TravelVolNZ! You’ll all amazing and I couldn’t be anymore grateful!


All the best,

Tarryn Wilson


Glenroy Youth Getaway Camp

Where do I even start?

It felt like it had been so long since I had last been on a trip with Recreate NZ! But then when I arrived, it was almost like the length of time from the last camp till then had just shrunk. We all just carried on conversations from the past trip and laughed about all the funny memories.

To be completely honest, I had no clue where Glenroy was so I kind of just went with the flow during the road trip. Once we arrived I took everyone for a tour around the site before we then set up for bed.

The next day was a mission and a half! We drove to Lake Lyndon with the kayaks to give them a go in the water. Just as we were driving in, the van got stuck in the rocks. It was hands down hilarious! But luckily we were able to push it out and keep driving. As the group of us was rather large, we split into two groups where one would kayak whilst the other walked around the lake. Due to the weather conditions, we ended up having to head back early and make dinner at the same time the leaders ran some games outside. Of course the first game that came to mind was spotlight! It’s crazy how well the game actually turned out and just the fact that everyone got the chance to hide where they’d like.

Fast forward to the next day, we ran through some abseiling with the participants which was awesome! Seeing them all work together and encourage one another was so enlightening. Even though the cliff wasn’t too steep/challenging, it was still enough to get the sense of what abseiling is like.

That night was by far my highlight of the entire camp! We had a talent show where every participant had the chance to show everyone their dance moves or singing talent. It really blew my mind how confident each individual was; Just the fact that they would really give it 100% and not care what we as the audience thought. It just made me think about how different our society would be if everyone had the same self confidence as these participants!

Overall, Glenroy was an uplifting experience that really shaped my thoughts.



Christchurch Youth Council Planning Day!

On the 17th of February 2018, I attended the Christchurch Youth Council Planning Day. The purpose of this event was to put new ideas out there for what we wanted to achieve in 2018 and also learn a little more about the background of the Christchurch Youth Council.

One of the first activities we completed was an ice breaker which opened the door to meeting all the new members and also getting to know one another. After this we all were handed a membership folder which included CYC’s kaupapa, important dates and the meanings behind all the abbreviations that get used during meetings. We then put together a group contract for 2018 which we all felt suited.

Shortly after the lunch break, we all split off into groups to brainstorm some new ideas for what we’d like to achieve this year. I found that I was less nervous when discussing in a small group as it meant that the others could support my ideas and give me constructive feedback without having to share with the entire group. Some of the ideas that were shared included CYC merchandise, growing our outreach and working more on the Slice Of Youth event.

Overall I found this event to be rather beneficial in the way that I now have a much more clearer understanding of what our goals are!

If you’d like to learn more about the Christchurch Youth Council and how you can get involved, click the link below!


Have a great week everyone!

Tarryn Wilson