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OSCA Camp Tirohanga 2007

August 24-26, 2007

By Nicolle and Conrad Wong

On the last weekend of August, 40 OSCA members, ranging in age from 15 - (better not mention how old some of them were…), mostly high school and university students, met together at Tirohanga Camp for the weekend of a lifetime….

Friday 24th August:
Everyone arrived at the camp just in time for dinner and anxiously waiting for the weekend’s events. The night started off with ‘Getting to know each other’ games, such as ‘Honey I love you....but I just can’t smile,’ which ended in a bundle of laughs from everyone and a little more love shown than is legally describable.

As it grew dark, the nightline started. Everyone was taken up into the mountains and left in the dark. When they found their way down they were blindfolded ready for their turn to walk the mysterious rope....the rope of DOOM...secretly covered with purple slime, fake spiders, smelly fish and pigs’ trotters. Furthermore camp mums and dads were positioned nearby with water guns, ice buckets, feather dusters and other secret devices which we will keep anonymous....mwahaha!!

The night ended (or shall we say early morning started) with a grand camp fire, singing songs and toasting countless marshmallows which put everyone into good spirits.

Saturday 25th August:
The morning started off with the confidence course and team initiatives such as crossing the plank and skiing on wood. This demanded a lot of team work and skill. Even our visitors (some artisans from Shanghai) had a go at the skiing on wood!

The surprise of the afternoon was when a policeman turned up at the residence….the high school boys all thought they were in trouble for sneaking into a ‘No Entry’ area in the camp....those young trouble makers! Who would even do such a thing?! Or were they set up…!!!? The policeman, Paul Buchanan, started to talk about life in the police force while slowly transforming himself into a combat fighter. Suddenly a car pulled up in front of the residence and a woman was dragged into one of the cabins by a mysterious man…..it was the beginning of a mock hostage situation. Minutes later, squad patrol cars turned up and policemen spilled out armed with bullet proof vests, head gear, rifles and smoke bombs. All was revealed like a movie. It ended up being a great afternoon as we were able to ask the eight members of the Armed Offenders Squad many questions and look at all their ‘guns’ and no we’re not talking about their arms, we’re talking about the real deal here! Some of us were put through and passed the physical requirements for entry into the police force.

That night we had a formal dinner consisting of pumpkin soup, roast chicken, potatoes, mushroom sauce and salad. This was followed by a trifle for dessert. This was not the average camp meal.......it tasted like a five star meal.
The event of the night was the Annual Camp Lip Sync Competition - a hilarious but very energetic affair where five groups challenged each other in hopes of collecting the prize- the coveted Lip Sync Trophy. Yes, it was funny. Yes, it involved a lot of skills. Yes, there was more shaking than any 50cent music video. Yes, there was stripping of the clothes….....This year the Lip Sync trophy was won by PG13, followed closely by The Asian Invasion.
After all the excitement, the tiredness was beginning to take over....until the game of Prison Break Tirohanga Camp 07 began….Groups of five were tied together with rope and everyone was blindfolded, except for the front and back trusted team members of each group. Aim: To find five glow sticks in hidden areas using a map (vague map) while dodging flour balls and water bombs. Highlights: Fetching one of the glow sticks from a river, Jackson (blindfolded) running into a car, and the last group to finish arrived back nearly an hour later than everyone else….drenched in water, dusted in flour and with very unhappy faces….

Not much sleep occurred during that night.....unplanned events took place such as a water fight between the high school girls and university guys (who had a hose!) The girls ended up locked in the girls’ toilets for an hour! There was also a sleepover under the stars next to the camp fire and many other practical jokes which will remain unmentioned…

Sunday 26th August:
The morning started off with a DIY camp breakfast. We were given cans of spaghetti and baked beans, bread and sausages and cooked our meals on the camp fire. It was a delicious, fun and interactive meal.
After breakfast everyone got ready for the next challenge…Tirohanga Camp Fear Factor. There were teams of three; each person in the group had to attempt a different challenge. The challenges were:
  • Fetching unknown items (pigs’ trotters, tongues, eyes (or were they oysters?), ears and tails) from a bucket filled with brown water and other unmentionable floaters.....using nothing but their mouth.
  • A drink filled with raw egg, dried shrimp, spaghetti, marinated olives, tomato sauce and other unappealing substances.
  • Eating a plate of goodies consisting of raw onions, garlic, brain, cooked offal meats and wasabi on weetbix.
Everyone got involved and no matter how gross it was......and everyone still had smiles on their faces at the end of it. After lunch, we had another surprise visitor: John Barton, a magician came to show us his amazing tricks. Everyone in the camp was stumped by tricks….one being a wedding ring wrapped in cloth, and found in an egg……

The rest of the afternoon was clean-up time and then everyone went home like zombies. It was a very eventful weekend and we would recommend this camp to anyone. You won’t be disappointed and will have sore cheeks by the end of it with so many laughs.