This was the first camp I've organised since 2005, so I was full of enthusiasm and nervousness. I began considering what this camp might look like over a year ago. It firmed up more during term 4 last year, and really began to take shape during January.
I was thinking of this unit for term one that looked at ourselves and New Zealand. I wanted to focus on how people came to NZ (Kupe; Maori migration; whalers, missionaries and sealers; the Treaty of Waitangi; settlers, kauri loggers, gum diggers, gold miners; where our own families fitted into coming to NZ) and how people coming to NZ changed the land through clearing the bush and building farms, towns and cities. We would look at how people would set goals to achieve a new life in NZ and work towards them, and how we set goals for ourselves and work towards them
I planned a full on itinerary, had it all in place... and then real life hit it.
A week before leaving on camp, I was having a parent meeting. I had planned our first stop on camp to be the DOC Kauaeranga Forestry Centre up behind Thames.... so I jumped online to check out some details to tell the parents ten minutes before the meeting.... and discovered the centre was closed for two weeks due to re-construction, including the day we were to visit!
To say I was upset was to be mild... this part of the trip was to look at the kauri logging of the Coromandel and life back in the day.
So I told the parents that we wouldn't be going there, I'd be adjusting the timetable as a result and then later in the day I rang DOC to see what the story was, and they kindly sent the DVD they usually show at the centre... but it's still disappointing the kids didn't get to see the life size replica of a log dam that used to be abundant in the Kauaeranga Valley.
So I changed the timetable to have a later start time for camp, and at the childrens' request, put in a stop at the L&P bottle.
All sorted. Yeah... right.
Always count on the unexpected. And my unexpected happened three days before camp began in the form of two wasp stings above and below my left knee... that developed into cellulitis within 24 hours. So the day before camp I'm at the doctors having an IV lure inserted into my inner elbow and being given the medication for two further days of IV antibiotics.
I wasn't going to be able to walk on the first day of camp!! I could barely drive my car the day before camp!!! I started to tell my principal he'd have to come to the first day, arranged for a parent who decided to come at the last minute due to weather conditions to be my driver.....
Oh yeah, the weather. I'd been looking at the long range forecast for a week on the Met Service website for the Coromandel (http://www.metservice.com/rural/index) and it was not looking good. Rain was too polite a term for the weather forecast for Week 8!!
A new newsletter goes out to tell parents that the start time will be 10:15am to gather instead to allow for my IV antibiotics to be administered.
Then there was the shopping trip to get groceries for camp as we were going to be self-catering (first time for me). Always make sure if you are using the school credit card that you know the PIN... or that the principal actually knows the PIN. Because it did not work and it looked like we were going to camp with no food. Luckily, a month earlier, our school had filled out forms to have an account at the local Pak n Save. Nobody however knew what had become of it. I found out at the checkout when the chief checkout lady found our completed application in the service desk and saved my bacon!!! Love that lady.
So the next morning, everything is ready to go in the car before I pick up a parent to head out to school, my 'nurse' (mum, who actually is a nurse) has drawn up the antibiotics ready to inject into the IV lure.... and the IV lure falls out!!!!
*^$%*&*!!!! To put it mildly.
My doctor is in a town 20+km away, but no one in the town I live in would put in a new lure. So that means a trip to 20+km to get the antibiotics put in!!! I ring the principal and let him know, jump in the car and start driving. I get over half way there and find a tree has come down and the road is closed and I have to stop and ask for directions to get around it!! Then a wait at the doctors for the next nurse available which allows me to text and ring the parents coming on camp telling them what was happening and asking them to pick up the last remaining things at school and get on their way, saying I'd meet them along the way at the set time and place.
Once the nurse was satisfied I wasn't going to die of an allergic reaction to the antibiotics, it was back in the car and back home (because a cat had hidden inside), and round to pick up the parent who I was supposed to pick up earlier.
And we were on the way!!!