YMCA Hawdon Hut Tramp!

I’ve got to say that tramping with kids is so much more different than what it’s like tramping with my Outdoor Education Class!

When I arrived at the YMCA on Thursday, I had brought all of my gear in a bag the size of a regular school bag. This is because I knew that it was only going to be an overnight tramp so I just brought the basics. Little did I know that I was meant to bring my multi-day pack as I would be carrying some of the extra food and equipment. I wasn’t off to a good start. However all of the gear managed to fit throughout the kids packs. I felt really bad though as besides one other kid, I was the only one with a day pack bag.

On the way to the tramp site we stopped off at a mall to let everyone grab some snacks for the tramp. The supervisor and I realised it probably wasn’t the best idea when all of the kids came back with McDonalds…

Then as we are almost there, the van gets stuck in a ford. The kids reactions were hillarious! I couldn’t help but not laugh. Some were asking to film, others tried to remove rocks from underneath. Luckily there was some others on site that were very kind and towed us out. Besides all the obstacles we had to face we arrived at the site.

Starting the tramp seemed to be rather easy as everyone was walking at the same pace, we had a routine for each river crossing and there seemed to be no sand flies. But then it comes to around 3 hours in when we realise that we’ve had around 7 different breaks and we’ve only just reached the junction which was the half way point. By this point the kids were all getting hungry and were sick of walking.

Cutting to the point, we arrived at the hut around 7pm and started sorting out the bedding arrangements. As there was more boys than girls we had some of the boys on the top bunk with me between them and the girls. Seemed like a good idea until bedtime when I had one girl’s feet in my face and a boy snoring in my ears!

On the positive side, day 2 was absolutely amazing! We all woke up early to get ready and packed everything up. We started tramping at around 7.45am which meant that the sun wasn’t quite out yet so it wouldn’t drain out our energy. Around half way, the supervisor played a prank on the kids by pretending to faint to see what they’d do. I was quite surprised by what the did! They had one boy run back to the others and I while the rest stayed with the supervisor. Then when I  had caught up to everyone they had started to put him into the recovery position. He then woke up and started laughing! The kids were all so annoyed with him as they thought he was being serious.

We finished the tramp back in around 3 hours!! It was so good! Everyone got back in the van and he headed by to the YMCA. The children were all sleeping in the back so we decided to prank them again by screaming our heads off as if we were about to crash. It was so funny! One kid woke up screaming and then realised it was a joke. I filmed it on the work phone so that they could see their reactions and they thought it was so funny.

Overall, the tramp was really enjoyable and I can’t wait for the next one!

If you think YMCA could be something that you’re interested in, feel free to check out the site below or email me on: travelvolnz@gmail.com


Have an awesome week everyone! Once again, thank you for all the support!


Tarryn Wilson





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Learn Active Program 2018!

It was my first day volunteering with the Learn Active Program! I was really nervous and only had a slight idea of what to expect. As I currently volunteer with Recreate NZ, I figured that it should be rather similar to that organisation. Which was luckily true!

When I arrived in the morning, a lady greeted me and we had a chat about the day and what to expect from each of the members coming along. I remember feeling a little anxious as the group size was going to be a lot larger than what I’ve previously worked with.

Not too long after, everyone began to arrive. The expressions each teenager had on their face was priceless! They were all so excited to be spending another day with Learn Active. It wasn’t long until I started to learn everyone’s names and hobbies. I loved how they were all so open for conversation and I could see the connection they had built with each other. By then I was no longer feeling anxious but instead confident and excited for what the day could bring!

We arrived at Corsair Bay and went for a walk in the shade down to the water to see a group of sailors. One of the boys started to tell me all of his favourite jokes which was hilarious! He said one along the lines of “why do giraffes have long necks?…. Because their feet smell so bad!”.

After walking around we sat down to have lunch together before heading into the water. I found it to be pretty crazy how everyone worked together to ensure that we were all safe and having fun. Sometimes I wish I could be as courageous as some of the teenagers on the program! It was as if they were so happy doing their own thing that the thought of being judged wasn’t at all there.

Something I have learnt from volunteering with Learn Active is that youth with disabilities are just as awesome as anyone else! I believe that if we all took the time to spend with someone with a disability, it would really change your thoughts and even give you the chance to learn more yourself. I loved how enthusiastic and inclusive everyone was! Even though I had only been there for one day, it felt like I had spent the whole holidays with them!

If you’d like to know more about Learn Active and how you can volunteer within the organisation, simply click the link below!



Thank you all for the support!

Tarryn Wilson







Taupo FastTrack Leadership Training!

I’ll start with how blessed I felt to be accepted onto a program that I knew was going to shape my future! To be given the opportunity to fly up to Taupo and spend the week with a group of inspiring leaders, it was pretty extraordinary!

It all started when one of the staff members from Living Springs offered this training to the leaders at camp, at first I didn’t raise my hand to suggest that I was interested as I knew that there would be no chance that I would be one of the 10 people from New Zealand to be accepted. However I was wrong!

Arriving on the first day I remember feeling exhausted as I had just finished January camp at Living Springs. Nonetheless, I kept reminding myself that the information I’m going to receive within this week is going to be very valuable and I should make the most of it.

Luckily Day 1 was really chilled out and didn’t require much attention or effort. We stayed at a holiday home which was so welcoming and comfortable! At first the group of us leaders were really shy, but it didn’t take long for us to open up and get to know each other. It was great to learn more about the strategies each of us use at camp to both run activities and deal with kids’ behaviour.

The rest of the week ran on a schedule that meant we would have training from 9am-5pm everyday and then free time after 5pm. It was incredible how much information you can take in, in such a short period of time. I now have a clearer understanding of how to give instructions, ask questions and listen/receive feedback.

The best thing about this training is that it isn’t just a one time event! I will be heading back to Taupo later this year, so be sure to stay tuned to hear about the next training!


Thanks for all the support so far!

Tarryn Wilson

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Living Springs Space Camp 2018

Space Camp 2018!

I think this camp was definitely a lot different to the rest as for the first time I was a co-leader for a group of boy campers. Having this in place both brought forward challenges and opened new doors for me to learn more! At first, I felt that working with boys would result in them not viewing me as someone with the authority to take charge but instead as just another person on the camp. However, the boys instead saw me as their leader and understood that I had the right to discipline them if they weren’t acting respectfully. Also by working with boy campers, I was able to get to know their traits and learn new ways to interact with them.

Throughout the camp we had some pretty fun activities! These included heading to Rapaki Beach, having a porridge war in the rain and running our own clinics. Rapaki Beach was very enjoyable and it gave the chance for the campers to not be stuck at the camp site for the whole week. Even though I had to listen to ’99 bottles of coke on the wall’ the whole bus ride there, I still can say that the trip to the beach was one of my highlights of Living Springs Kids Camp!

It was my first time having a porridge war ever this camp and I absolutely loved it!! There was at least 6 big tubs of porridge placed around the Founders Field and we all just ran and slid everywhere whilst covering each other with porridge. Whilst getting ready for the war, it was really interesting listening around to campers discussing that this would be their first ever time actually having the freedom to get dirty! It meant that camp had given them the chance to do something that had never been able to do before, which was awesome!

One of the other activities that I really enjoyed was the clinics. This was a time where the leaders were given the chance to run a skill based activity with a group of campers. The clinics were all so different and ranged from guitar lessons to learning to be a ninja. I had the opportunity of running a dance clinic with another leader. At first there was a few issues with camper numbers, but it all went so well in the end! I felt that by working with another leader to run our own activity, it really gave us the chance to put our leadership skills into practice. This is because we didn’t have any of the directors or other staff members there to tell us what to do or how we should run it.

Overall, I really appreciated being a leader at the Living Springs Space Camp this January! And I am excited to see what’s next down the line of camps with Living Springs!

Have a great week everyone!

Tarryn Wilson



Living Springs Leaders Boot Camp

What a blast! Living Springs really knows how to teach their leaders!

From the 18th-20th of December, I attended the Living Springs Leaders Boot Camp to learn more about how to handle child behavior and gain my first aid certificate.

To start the camp off, we listened to others experiences with camps and what they found to be their ‘why’ statement. We were then given the task to make a ‘why’ statement for Living Springs which wasn’t too difficult because there was already so many reasons why I am a leader for their Kids Camps!

In our free time we got to hang out and chill with each other which gave us all the opportunity to get to know one another. It was great how we all got along so well and everyone was super inclusive! We went on a trip to Rapaki for a dip in the water and my friends and I went for an adventure around the edge of the bay. It was heaps of fun spending time outside of the camp ground with all the leaders and I feel it gave us the option to really bond with everyone.

The next day we learnt a whole lot of games to play with the children. By having a new Camp Manager who was from America attend the training, this opened up the opportunity to learn a wider range of activities!

Then it came to the last day which involved completing the first aid course. Lucky enough we were able to have it subsidized as we were leaders that were going to be working with children. The course was very thorough and taught us how to deal with issues ranging from heart attacks to allergic reactions.

Overall Boot Camp was an awesome learning experience, and I felt that I had gained a lot of important knowledge and skills from being there!

If you’d like to learn more about Living Springs and how you could become a leader yourself, click the link below!



Seasons Greetings!

Tarryn Wilson


YMCA 2017

I’m so excited to share with you all my experiences with being a leader at the YMCA! For me personally, I think the YMCA has offered me some of the most life-changing opportunities that before becoming a leader, I would not have seen myself doing.

I’ll start with addressing the fact that everyone at the YMCA is so friendly and supportive. During what we call ‘Monday group’, we are given a chance to share our highs and lows of the week (what went well and what went not so well). This really opens up a chance for us to really get to know each other and trust one another. YMCA recognizes that for us to become great leaders, we are going to need the help from others in order to build each other up.

One of my main roles with the YMCA is a holiday program leader. This allows me to spend time teaching and influencing children during the most important times of their lives. I remember when a group of kids alongside an adult and myself went and camped up at Packhorse hut for the weekend. Throughout the trip it was so incredible seeing how much the kids looked up to me! I almost felt idolized just for being there to make sure they’re having fun and are safe.

And of course YMCA doesn’t just throw you into the challenge without giving you any training! Throughout my time at the YMCA, I have been to many leadership training camps that have helped and advised me on the best way to work with children. By attending these training’s, I believe that it has personally grown me as a leader!

In the end, YMCA has really been so unbelievable and I would 100% recommend it to anyone who is wanting a fun way to give back to their community!

If you’d like to learn more about the YMCA and how you can become a leader like myself, click the link below!



Happy Holidays!

Tarryn Wilson


Christchurch Youth Council

Christchurch Youth Council 2017!

I remember at the beginning of the year when one of my teachers recommended that I applied for the opportunity to work with the Christchurch Youth Council as she felt that I would be a perfect fit for a position. At first, I had no clue who they were or what they did as an organisation so I did a bit of research. It wasn’t long until I started to picture myself in that environment creating new ideas for our city, Christchurch.

Shortly after I had put in my application, I met up with a lady known as Kate. She was so genuinely lovely and helped to give me a further understanding of CYC and what they do. Then a few days later I heard back with the good news that I was accepted as a General Member for Christchurch Youth Council.

Slowly but surely I began to gain confidence in the Council and I started to get more involved with planning out certain events and ideas for how we could make Christchurch better. Over the year we managed to help out with the Youth Action Plan and the Connecting Before Electing event.

So many awesome opportunities have arisen from being in the Christchurch Youth Council. I have had the chance to attend a range of interesting and fun events. These include executive meetings, recruitment days and skill workshops. On Monday the 11th of September we as the Christchurch Youth Council attended a strengths finder workshop to learn a bit more about our personal strengths and how we could utilize them in a team environment.  I definitely learnt a lot about myself as well as others and found that it was okay to have different strengths to others especially when it comes to working in a team.

To wrap it all up, being a general member for the Christchurch Youth Council has presented itself with many exciting opportunities that I would not have otherwise received. I have learnt to become a more open-minded person and can now see from others points of views. I believe that attending workshops and meetings has been one of my highlights for this year as well as being able to work alongside a team of passionate, motivated young people.

If you’d like to become a Christchurch Youth Council member to be able to experience what it’s like to have your say on some of the changes happening to Christchurch then click the following link and register!



All the best!

Tarryn Wilson





Ashley Gorge Adventure Camp Recreate NZ

What a weekend!

Was so good to see everyone from Recreate NZ again! The road trip was rather short as it only takes less than 2 hours to get to Ashley Gorge from Christchurch. Once we got there the weather turned horrible! It was wet and slippery which made the mish to get our cabins and tents set up a lot harder. It wasn’t long until the sun came out though!

The next day it was boiling! We headed down to the water with our tubes in one arm and our day pack in the other. There was heaps of people down by the water which created a more friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Once we had soaked up all the sun from the day it was time for bed. It was so hot that night, so it was quite hard to get everyone to sleep.

Waking up the next morning with a big day ahead. We were off to the lake to do some kayaking and then go for a walk through Cave Stream! I remember seeing a large spider on the rocks and trying so hard not to scream!

The drive home was just as good as the drive there. We had the classic road trip playlist going while snacking on some goodies!

I would have to say my highlight of this trip was definitely going through Cave Stream for the first time with everyone! Then the not so good part about the trip would be getting attacked by sand flies and burnt to a crisp.

If you’d like to become a volunteer with Recreate NZ and work with a group of lovely young adults with disabilities, click the following link:



Have a good one!

Tarryn Wilson


Queenstown Girl Guide Training

Before I start, I might as well start with the fact that two hours before my flight was leaving Christchurch Airport, I had just entered the room where I would be sitting my first external of 2017. It honestly was as stressful as it sounds! To complete a 3 hour exam in less than an hour, it was definitely difficult!

Anywho, I managed to not miss my flight to Queenstown which was a good start. However I then had to face the tricky task of trying to find the Super Shuttle that would be taking me to the accommodation for the weekend. It wasn’t long until a group of middle-aged women wearing the same guides uniform as me started waving down the shuttle. When we arrived at LakeLand Park Christian Camp the view of the Queenstown lake was absolutely stunning. The night was filled with the normal ice breaker activities and taking a tour of the campus.

The next day:

So not going to lie, the food at this event was pretty fancy to the normal food you would be served at camp. We had pea soup with garlic croutons and this poncy version of pizza bread. Although, I’m not going to complain because it was delicious!

The activities you would complete depended on what stage you were in as a Guide Leader. As I am fairly new to Guiding, I had to complete the beginner learning modules. These included learning about the traditions involved in Guiding and planning out an event you would want to run for your girls.

Last day:

My cabin and I woke up at 5am to go and see the sunrise this morning. The disappointment was real when we realized that because of the mountain range around Queenstown, we wouldn’t be able to see the pretty colours of the sunrise!

Pretty much this day consisted of cleaning and sharing our highlights of the weekend. I would say that my highlight was being able to go down to the lake to walk some of the tracks.

If you’d like to become a Guide Leader yourself, click on the following link and let them know that you’re interested!



All the best to you all,

Tarryn Wilson



WillowPark Kids Camp Auckland

This is the post excerpt.

First blog post! Wanted it to be something special!

From the 9th-13th of August 2017 I flew to Auckland to be a Kids Camp Leader at WillowPark! I remember applying and thinking that there would be no possible way that I would be given such an opportunity; But then I got the email back saying that they’d love to have me on board!

Day 1:

I was waiting at the airport, bare in mind this was my first ever flight. I remember thinking about all the negative outcomes that could happen and just multiplying the possibility of it happening by 100.  When I arrived in Auckland, I had to try and find the SkyBus which would take me into town, but luckily it was right outside the airport! I remember the people in Auckland were just so incredibly helpful in the way that they were willing to give up their own time to make sure I caught the right bus to the Camp’s location. So I get to camp and everyone has their cliques. There’s the boys who are really only there to find ‘the one’ and then there’s the ‘I have been to 12 camps so far, how about you?’ leaders. I met a girl with a sense of humor identical to mine, she was so sweet!

Day 2,3,4

I’ve decided to put these days together as they pretty much followed the same itinerary. We would wake up the campers send them off to an activity whilst the leaders got together and discussed how the day would flow. Then we’d come back have some typical camp breakfast (cold toast, ricies or corn flakes and fruit salad). After breakfast they’d be some activities for each colour group which would vary from indoor games to making pancakes on a gas cooker. As the day would come to an end, we’d bring everyone together and share some camp stories before officially heading off to bed.

Day 5 (Last day!)

So today I was meant to be so much better than what it actually was… I had planned to catch the Ferry into the city of Auckland to have a look around and do all the typical tourist things! I left early in the morning after worship and managed to get the ferry for FREE!! It was pretty insane. I thought that being in town from 11am-5pm wouldn’t be long enough, but I shortly realised is was way more than enough time!

I would have to say the highlight of my trip would be both making some pretty funny and blessed friends and of course also getting my ferry for free! However if I were to go again, I would definitely plan out the final day alot more so that I wasn’t left walking up and down Queen Street for 2 hours.

God bless you all,

Tarryn Wilson


P.S (If you are wanting to personally be a camp leader yourself, follow the link http://www.willowpk.org.nz/ to apply!!)