Outdoor adventure activities at Shakespear Lodge

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Adventure activities for everyone, from archery and bush skills to climbing and kayaking

Why take part in outdoor adventure activities? People often have common goals: they may want to learn outdoor pursuit skills, build confidence and trust, improve communication or get to know one another. Shakespear Lodge can design an outdoor education programme with adventure activities tailored to the goals of your group. 

With our team of friendly, inclusive and professional instructors leading the adventure activities, participants can learn and improve their skills in a variety of pursuits. Our outdoor adventure activities include everything from mountain biking and orienteering to raft building and sailing, and plenty more. We can even offer initiative exercises for those who want to build confidence while challenging themselves! 

During our outdoor adventure activities, education comes first. We design our sessions based on the philosophy that once a person has learnt the skills needed, they will be able to have fun and enjoy the experience. Shakespear Lodge’s outdoor adventure activities have even been credited with the OutdoorsMark standard, ensuring a safe and enjoyable learning experience for everyone. 

YMCA Shakespear Lodge is an registered Adventure Activity Provider with an OutdoorsMark safety audit

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Activities In the Sea

Coasteering

What is it?

An exciting adventure for all ages, it is a mix of scrambling, walking, wading, swimming and sometimes rope work. Skills covered can include: entering and exiting the water safely; defensive swimming; and water confidence

Why do it?

Provides an excellent opportunity to explore the rocky shore environment, geology and bird life alongside gaining confidence and working as a team.

Kayaking

What is it?

We use sit-on-top kayaks to offers a safe and fun way to learn kayaking. The emphasis of the activity is learning skills for manoeuvring the boats and using them to their potential. We use guided discovery techniques, games and explore the area to aid the learning experience.

Why do it?

A great introduction to kayaking on the sea, and allows participants of all levels to work and improve together, whilst enjoying our beautiful bay.

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Raft Building

What is it?

As a team, with the equipment provided the participants must build a raft to float on the water with all of their team on board, during the activity participants will gain knowledge of basic knot tying and construction methods.

Why do it?

A great sense of achievement can be gained by building something together that works. But if it doesn’t float there are still many lessons learnt.

Safe Boating

What is it?

This Coastguard Education course, delivered by YMCA instructors is a hand’s on activity looking at how to prepare for a boating trip, how to call for help if things go wrong and how to look after yourself if you get into trouble out on the water. There is a short theory session on land before heading out into the water to learn the practical skills

Why do it?

All participants who complete the activity will receive a Coastguard Education – Safe Boating Programme certificate. As well as potentially lifesaving knowledge.

Safe Boating Extension

What is it?

A more in-depth program from coastguard education. We teach the standard course but with added scenarios to encourage participants to apply the skills they have learnt.

Why do it?

By taking part in the water scenarios, we hope that the skills will be retained and potentially help save lives in the future.

Coastguard Boating Education

Sailing - Large Boat

What is it?

Half the group at a time will head out on our 16ft Hobie Catamaran and and can try their hand at sailing and crewing or just experience sailing. The other half can enjoy some beach time with the assistant before switching over.

Why do it?

Participants can learn about sailing basics and experience larger dinghy sailing without having to do it alone.

Sailing - Small Boat

What is it?

A lesson in how to sail, participants will learn how to rig and launch their dinghy as well as sailing techniques, manoeuvres and recovering their dinghy. The lessons use the 'Topper" sailing dinghy which can be used by 2 participants to give a real hands on experience

Why do it?

Learn how to sail and gain some independance out on the water

Activities On the Land

Air Rifles

What is it?

An interesting and rewarding activity. The session covers firearms safety, and correct target shooting technique

Why do it?

Gives participants the opportunity to learn about and use a rifle in a safe and controlled setting, leading to better awareness when encountering firearms outside of this well managed environment.

Archery

What is it?

Our session follows the New Zealand Field Archery Association (NZFAA) 10 Step programme – introducing correct shooting techniques, safe use of a weapon and correct archery terminology, through the teaching of skills and playing games.

Why do it?

It promotes a high rate of success and enjoyment for all participants regardless of sporting ability.

Bush Cooking

What is it?

During this activity participants will get to use and learn about a number of different types of camping stoves that are often used when going into the outdoors and test them out by cooking pancakes.

Why do it?

Gain an understanding of the fire triangle and increase your confidence around stoves and fire.

Bush Skills

What is it?

A chance to look at the skills needed to reduce the likelihood of incidents occurring in the outdoors and dealing with them if they do. Scenarios are used to get participants actively involved in learning the Outdoor Safety Code.

Why do it?

Provide participants with the knowledge they need to have safe and enjoyable adventures in the outdoors with friends and family.

Climbing

What is it?

Using a combination of bouldering and top rope climbing, participants will learn different climbing techniques, as well as correct use of equipment and how to keep each other safe working in small groups to belay each other.

Why do it?

Participants will gain knowledge on the wider world of climbing, as well as challenging themselves and trusting others.

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Fire Lighting

What is it?

Learn the skills needed and have a go at preparing, laying and lighting your own fire. Use a knife as a tool, whittle sticks to help get your fire roaring.

Why do it?

Important skills that can be applied to real life scenarios out in the NZ bush. Develop confidence around fire and knifes in a safe learning environment.

Mountain Biking

What is it?

Works on some of the skills needed to ride a mountain bike including, correct braking, use of gears and downhill technique. Once riders show they can safely control their bike, the group heads off for a trail ride around the regional park.

NB: YMCA staff will do their best to bring group members up to the standard needed to ride the trails around the park. However, if someone is unable reach this standard, they will have to stop riding and remain behind.

Why do it?

Most people can ride a bike, but this session allows you to push your skills further and get a taste for mountain biking as a way to explore the outdoors.

NB - Year 7+

Mt Boarding

What is it?

A mountain board is like a snowboard crossed with a skateboard, with big off-road wheels. Riders get the chance to progress from flat ground to riding downhills, doing slaloms and maybe even a couple of runs down our steeper trails. The activity’s structure allows individuals to develop riding skills at their own pace whilst keeping the whole group together.

Why do it?

A unique activity, and relates to many other outdoor sports. It allows a chance to progress quickly and gain confidence in a new sport

Orienteering

What is it?

It is the sport of navigation, using maps participants will head out into the park and work in groups to find controls whilst moving at speed.

Why do it?

Combines physical fitness with mental skills and gives a knowledge of map reading which is relatable to other outdoor activities. Competition can be used to put these skills to the test.

Pioneering

What is it?

A construction based, problem solving activity, involving basic knot tying.

Bridge building – Working together as a team from opposite sides of a “stream”, to build a suspension style bridge for your team mates to cross.

Chariots – work together as one or two groups to build a chariot capable of holding one of your teammates.

Catapults – with the help of the whole team build 2 catapults and compete in several competitions to see who’s is best.

Why do it?

All great options for learning how to work together.

Bridge building Needs the most Cooperation and communication. It develops collaboration and problem-solving skills alongside the construction skills needed to build the bridge.

Chariots is the easiest option for our youngest participants. It allows for a more guided build including methods of design and construction

Catapults Can help to develop collaboration and constructions skills and offers the opportunity for some friendly competition. It requires the most construction out of our 3 choices.

Shelter Building

What is it?

Work in teams to build emergency shelters in the bush using a mixture of specialist equipment and natural materials.

Why do it?

Learn not just how but why you might need to build a shelter in the bush. Provides a challenge for both the thinkers and the do’ers.

Team Challenges

What is it?

The group are set several different challenges, mental, physical and skill based. Participants are challenged in many ways: using different communication techniques; sharing ideas; identifying strengths and weaknesses and breaking down barriers of personal space.

Why do it?

A great activity for getting the group to work together and think outside the box. Often allowing for different participants to shine.

UHF Radios

What is it?

While learning to use ‘walkie-talkie’ radios, the students explore the camp, and play games such as sardines (a versioan of hide and seek). The activity is lots fun and exciting.

Why do it?

This activity has a fantastic balance of instant appeal, and worthwhile curriculum links. It leads participants to actively use listening skills and develop skills in speaking clearly, using structured language and speaking in a public forum

Multi Sport

What is it?

A competitive team event using the skills, knowledge and experience gained in the other activities done during your stay. It requires your group to have done orienteering and at least 2 other land-based activities during your time at Shakespear Lodge.

Why do it?

This is a great event to finish an activity programme off and tie all the activities your group has done together.

Tramp to Camp

What is it?

After meeting at the entrance to the park, YMCA Instructors will help you explore the regional park and guide you to the interesting parts, before ending up at the Lodge. There are many different routes that can be taken, and participants will take it in turns to lead the group.

Why do it?

Gives groups an understanding of their home for the week of camp as well as hopefully catching a glimpse of some of our native birds that live in the Park. Group leaders can set up in peace and relax in the wonderful surroundings of Shakespear Lodge. (YMCA Staff will assist if required with the transfer of bags etc from the meeting point to camp)

Sanctuary Discovery

What is it?

An educational talk that outlines why the sanctuary is needed, what it looks like now, what it means for native wildlife, the plan for the future, and what people can do to get involved. YMCA Shakespear Lodge has a strong relationship with the Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society and will organise this activity for you during your stay

Why do it?

It is ideal for the afternoon of your arrival day or in the morning of your departure day. The entire fee for this activity goes to SOSSI to help with their fundraising for their ongoing work.

NB - run by a SOSSI volunteer

Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society

Regional Park Give Back

What is it?

Staying in a regional park and open sanctuary is not something you get to do everyday. To say thank you to the environment and support the work the Auckland Council is doing in the regional park why not volunteer some of your time to give back? Tasks could include track maintenance, beach clean ups, tree planting......

Why do it?

This is a whole group activity, ideal for the afternoon of your arrival day or the morning of your departure day. A chance to give back to the park you have been staying in.

NB run by an Auckland Council Park Ranger

Shakespear Regional Park - Auckland Council

Get Programme Ideas

Find out how the team at YMCA Shakespear Lodge can create a tailored programme based on your unique needs

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