Opportunities for Young Men - Camps

Opportunities for Young Men - Camps

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Form 4 Camps

*Important: Parents must download, read, sign and return the consent form (download here) to the student office. You must also complete an online dietary and medical form (here).

At Auckland Grammar School, we encourage our students to recognise and develop their individual potential and gain pride and satisfaction by setting demanding personal goals and striving to attain them.

While these goals are often set in the classroom, on the sports field and on the stage, we also encourage the development of the whole person by offering a number of opportunities for our young men outside of the School. These include initiatives such as Leadership Camps, the Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award, the Spirit of Adventure and various overseas cultural and historical tours.

Taking part in these activities helps young men at Auckland Grammar gain valuable skills in often challenging situations, while discovering and building on their strengths, their interests, their knowledge and their personality.

All Form 4 students at Auckland Grammar School are required to attend a five-day camp at Venturelodge, the School's Outdoor Education facility at Ohakune, which is an important part of the Form 4 programme. Students will participate in an extensive programme of activities in a challenging outdoor environment. The programme is, in many ways, ideal for their personal and social development.

The course aims to:

  • Introduce students to a range of outdoor activities, and safe practices they need to adopt to pursue these activities independently;
  • Provide opportunities for enjoyment, adventure and challenge; and
  • Increase the students' self-confidence and to develop their social and interpersonal skills in a challenging but supportive environment.

Course information for parents

The cost for the camp is $575 which includes all activities for the week, transport and food at Venturelodge. Boys are advised to bring their lunch with them on the Monday, as the bus will make a lunch stop en route to Ohakune.

It is important that student's camps are paid in full before his camp departs. Payments can be made in instalments on the Parent Portal which has been loaded onto your sons account at the start of the year. Cheques made payable to Auckland Grammar School can be paid directly to the Finance Office. All consent forms should also be taken to the Finance Office.

The School wishes to ensure that no student should miss out on camp due to financial hardship. If payment presents a problem, please get in touch with the Finance Office via email or phone (09) 623 5400 ext. 425, so the situation can be discussed and an alternative schedule of payment can be arranged.

Programme Overview

Students will be given instruction in outdoor safety and survival. They will participate in a range of activities which are selected daily in accordance with weather conditions. Activities include caving, tramping the Tongariro Crossing, white water rafting on the Tongariro River, gorge walking, rock climbing and abseiling. They may learn basic navigation skills, undertake the High Ropes Course and will camp out overnight at some stage during the camp.

All of these activities involve some degree of risk - this is what makes them challenging and educational. The activities are run by qualified, professional outdoor instructors and safety is their prime concern at all times. A full risk management process has been carried out for each activity. Each class will be accompanied by at least two Auckland Grammar School staff, and four reliable Form 7 students.


The camp is part of the School's teaching programme. Normal School Rules apply and must be strictly adhered to. Any serious breach of these rules could result in the student being returned to School at the parent's expense.

If you have any concerns please contact Mr Hare by email or by phoning (09) 623 5400 ext. 546. The Venturelodge contact number is (06) 385 8933.


The mountain and plateau environment can be harsh and unforgiving. Dramatic changes between extremes of temperature are common and students must be equipped with clothing for the most adverse conditions, even in summer.

This means waterproof raincoat and over-trousers, sturdy boots or walking shoes, woollen/polar fleece jumpers, woollen gloves, hats and socks, woollen or polypropylene shirts and undergarments. Failure to be correctly clothed may endanger not only the particular student's safety, but that of the whole group.

It is essential that each student has all the items on this list. Without suitable warm clothing to provide protection from the elements, your son will be a danger to himself and his group and therefore may be barred from participation in outdoor activities.

Purchasing all the required gear will be very expensive. It is strongly recommended that you borrow items from friends and family. Every student in last year's Form 4 went on camp, so try asking some of them. Alternatively, the Living Simply outdoors store in Newmarket has jackets, boots and sleeping bags available for hire. You could also try Kathmandu and Bivouac Outdoor.


Students will be provided with all meals whilst at Venturelodge (apart from lunch on travelling days), however they are not provided with morning or afternoon teas and therefore will need to bring sufficient foods to snack on between meals to provide energy whilst in the field. Suggestions are muesli bars, scroggin and chocolate.


Although there is a drying room at the lodge, there are no facilities for the students to wash their clothes. Dirty gear will be taken home for washing.

Camp dates for 2021

Term 1

  • Week 3 (Monday 8 - Friday 12 February): 4A
  • Week 4 (Monday 15 - Friday 19 February): 4B - this has been postponed due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions, to be rescheduled at a later date
  • Week 5 (Monday 22 - Friday 26 February): 4C
  • Week 6 (Monday 1 - Friday 5 March): 4O and 4P
  • Week 7 (Monday 8 - Friday 12 March): 4P and 4R
  • Week 8 (Monday 15 - Friday 19 March): 4N
  • Week 9 (Monday 22 - Friday 26 March): 4M

Term 2

  • Week 2 (Monday 10 - Friday 14 May): 4D
  • Week 3 (Monday 17 - Friday 21 May): 4E
  • Week 4 (Monday 24 - Friday 28 May): 4F
  • Week 5 (Monday 31 May - Friday 4 June): 4J
  • Week 7 (Monday 14 - Friday 18 June): 4K
  • Week 8 (Monday 21 - Friday 25 June): 4L

Term 3

  • Week 3 (Monday 9 - Friday 13 August): 4G
  • Week 4 (Monday 16 - Friday 20 August): 4H
  • Week 5 (Monday 23 - Friday 27 August): 4I


Form 6 Leadership Camps

Auckland Grammar School is pleased to be able to offer an opportunity for Form 6 students to gain valuable skills in how to be effective leaders through experiencing challenging situations within an outdoor education context.

As part of our wider Leadership Programmes portfolio, two Form 6 Leadership Camps will operate out of Venturelodge in Ohakune in Terms 2 and 3. The camps run for the duration of the week with the students departing early Monday morning and returning early Friday evening.

Each camp will see the students work from our base in Ohakune, using the contrasting terrain in and around the Tongariro National Park. Your son will be expected to lead a number of team activities and scenarios throughout the five day camp. The activities are designed to place students out of their comfort zone, so that they gain a better understanding of their own leadership skills and how team dynamics operate, with a view to developing strong leaders.

The cost of the camp this year will be issued in our application correspondence and will include travel throughout the week, all food, activities, and instruction. During the week your son will receive verbal feedback on his performance from his team leader. The skills learnt on this camp can be utilised in form 7 leadership roles and we would strongly encourage him to act as a Form 7 leader on one of next year's Form 4 Camps.

The application process will open mid-way through term 1 and if students are selected, they will be given a greater volume of information on the itinerary and pre-camp requirements through meetings in the coming weeks. Your son's application will be reviewed by the Form 6 Dean, the School's Leadership Team and the Master in Charge of Leadership Programmes, Mr Hunter, to determine a list of successful candidates