Opportunities for Young Men - Form 4 Camps

Opportunities for Young Men - Form 4 Camps

Students white-water rafting

*Important: Parents must download, read, sign and return this consent form to Mr Gebbett, the Form 4 Associate Dean by email.


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. This camp is a very important part of the School's 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

Cost: $545 - this 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 Mr Gebbett well in advance so that we can discuss the situation and an alternative schedule of payment can be arranged. You can email him or ring him on (09) 623 5402 ext. 566, if you have any questions regarding payment.

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 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. A full list of the required gear is below. Failure to be correctly clothed may endanger not only the particular student's safety, but that of the whole group.


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 Gebbett, Form 4 Associate Dean, by email or by phoning (09) 623 5402 ext. 566. The Venturelodge contact number is (06) 385 8933.

Students at Ventutrelodge Ohakune

Gear List

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.

To bring:

  • Sturdy lace-up shoes or tramping boots
  • Waterproof jacket (not the School jacket)
  • Waterproof pants
  • Polypropylene tops x 2-3
  • Polypropylene pants x 2
  • Fleece tops x 2
  • Fleece/warm pants (NO JEANS!)
  • Shorts x 2 light and fast drying (board shorts are good)
  • Light shirts x 2 (cotton is ok for this)
  • Thick socks x 5 (polypro or wool is preferable)
  • Underwear (x 1 for each day plus spares)
  • A Water bottle (minimum 2L capacity)
  • Daypack
  • Warm hat (like a beanie) and gloves
  • Sunhat
  • Older clothes for caving (covering the knees and elbows)

Other Essentials:

  • Bed sheet
  • Second pair of shoes for wet activities
  • Torch and spare batteries (or head lamp)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, soap, etc)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow case (pillows are provided)
  • Comfortable clothes for kicking around at the Lodge
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleeping clothes
  • Towel
  • Large plastic bags for wet gear
  • Camera (optional)


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, chocolate etc.


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