Students want adventure camp despite risks
By Ashlee Butler
Sacred Heart students in New Plymouth are worried their annual adventure camp will be scrapped after three people died rock-climbing at Paritutu Rock this month.
Year 10 students from Sacred Heart Girls' College (SHGC) were due to attend the week-long camp at the Taranaki Outdoor Pursuit Education Centre (Topec) next term. But a recent accident at Topec, where two students and an instructor died, has put future camps in jeopardy.
Spotswood College students Felipe Melo, 17, Stephen Kahukaka-Gedye, 17, and Topec instructor Bryce John Jourdain, 42, were swept out to sea while rock climbing at Paritutu Rock on August 8.
Only Felipe's body has been recovered so far.
SHGC students say they understand the concerns but still want to attend the camp.
“We understand they will be more cautious but we still want to go to Topec,” says one student.
Students from the college who had attended the camp in the past said it was an “amazing experience” that helped students face their fears.
The school says it will either delay the camp, restrict activities or switch to another camp, such as Vertical Horizon
Topec has been running outdoor adventure camps for Taranaki students since 1986.
SHGC offers a subsidy on the camp, with students paying approximately half of what it would cost to do the same activities elsewhere.
Activities on the camp include rock-climbing, a ropes course and bush walks.
Past students who had completed the camp said it was a hot favourite and will be missed.
Ashlee Butler is a young writer-in-training for the 3 News ‘3Youth’ programme.