BMAC Autumn Kids Peak
Blue Mountain Adventure Centre (BMAC) recently held their Autumn Peak for children aged 8 to 13 years. Epic activities included caving, high ropes, rafting, hot pools, traversing a mountain ridge, rock-climbing, bush walking and more. Evening activities included campfires, games, a Burma trail and movie night, along with values-based teachings.
The camp is one of seven outreach camps that BMAC runs each year. Children come from across New Zealand to attend these camps, which are held during the school holidays.
BMAC Manager Kyle Aitken said they had 16 children attending this camp, a good number, meaning more time for the instructors to get to know them individually.
‘It works for our instructors really well when there’s a small group of kids so that they can actually have more relationship building, one-on-one sort of stuff. So that’s our intent, to make it quite specific to the kids that come,’ he said.
While children can feel a bit nervous on their first day of camp, they find that on completion many have had such a good time that they don’t want to leave.
‘By the end of it, they’ve had a great experience and they all challenge themselves in some way. They build relationships and I think it’s a worthwhile experience for kids at that age,’ said Kyle.
Most children were pumped to try activities, though some were scared. However, Kyle explains that they supported each other to face their fears and conquer them. When they traversed along the mountain, the kids went in pairs with an instructor close by. By the time they finished, the were all ‘buzzing’.
In the evening, there were fun activities along with discussion times. While it wasn’t always specifically faith focused, the value teachings were topics they could take away and reflect on.
‘They were ultimately things that will bring them closer and more in line with God’s way of living,’ Kyle pointed out.
Overall, the children had an amazing time at camp making new friends, stretching themselves and embracing every opportunity, but Kyle reflects that there’s an overall lack of camps available for kids in this age range, despite being an age group who enjoy camp the most.
‘At that age, they’re really into it and willing to give everything a go, and the more challenges you can give them that age, the more resilient they’re going to be.’
There are also opportunities for older kids to come as helpers. For this camp, BMAC was blessed to have Daniel from Elim College working alongside the instructors and supporting the kids.
The next upcoming camp is Winter Peak for teenagers aged 14 to 17 years, from 3–9 July, held at the Blue Mountain Adventure Centre. Check out the website for more details: https://bluemountainadventure.org.nz/