Dannevirke: Abel Tasman life-changer

By Christine McKay -
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A school trip to the Abel Tasman National Park can be a turning point for pupils.
A school trip to the Abel Tasman National Park can be a turning point for pupils.

For Dannevirke High School pupils taking a school trip to Abel Tasman National Park is a life-changer, teacher Glenys Scott says.

Mrs Scott has taken more than 700 pupils from the school on camp to the park, back home to the place where she grew up and the area which captured her heart at a young age.

Mrs Scott said she has found the trip has made a real difference to the pupils who have shared her experience.

"The Abel Tasman is something which stops you in your tracks," she said.

"It's a pause in the life of the kids who go there. It's the journey, the people they relate to and the foreign visitors they meet. It all adds up to a rich experience many never forget.

"When the kids are down there it's a moment in their lives where just 'being' makes it so special and memorable."

The love of Nelson and the Tasman district is something Mrs Scott brought with her to Dannevirke High School 14 years ago and she's determined even more pupils will get to share in the park.

"Our principal David de Villiers said he can see the benefits of the trip south," she said.

"It's just a short break, but it changes lives."

To help pupils on their life-changing journey to Abel Tasman Mrs Scott is hoping to find sponsors to help with some of the expenses of the trip.

"Because of my connections I'm able to keep the cost of the trip down to $400, just $50 a day, but to take all the pupils who want to go, I need help," she said.

"I only want part sponsorship, because I want the children to fund some of the costs themselves."

The Abel Tasman school trip is unique in that it allows pupils to stop and really take in the beauty of the national park, Mrs Scott said.

"It's something Department of Conservation rangers comment on," she said.

"DHS pupils aren't making a quick trip, they spend days in the park soaking it all up."

This year DoC has given the school group the Anchorage camp solely for their own use for four days, which means 95 pupils and adults can share a unique camp.

"This is unprecedented and indicates the support DoC wants to give young people to experience this beautiful place," Mrs Scott said.

Pupils who have made the trip agree it has changed their lives and left them with life-long memories.

"It was a trip of a lifetime all right," Rocky-Anne a 2010 year 10 pupil said.

"Amazing people, incredible teachers, beautiful scenery, awesome weather and memories to keep."

If you would like to contribute to the Dannevirke High School Abel Tasman school camp, phone the school office on 06 374-8302.

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