Two dozen boys are buckling down at a school camp about to be hit by Cyclone Gita in Marlborough.

The Marlborough Boys' College Year 9 students are in Department of Conservation cabins at Nydia Bay, in the Pelorus Sound.

Principal Wayne Hegarty said the decision was made for the boys to ride out the cyclone rather than attempt the three-and-a-half hour tramp back.

The boys are the third of eight Year 9 groups sent to the area for a four-day camp. Hegarty said that the camp moulds them as a group and supports their induction to the school, its values "and the way we do things here".

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Read more: Cyclone Gita live blog

Hegarty said that weathering the stormy weather would be a bonding experience for the group.

"They do a variety of activities around the camp related to the outdoor environment, trust activities, they get to know one another and their teachers in an outdoor setting."

Last night a group of boys had been allowed to camp away from the cabins but all the boys would spend tonight in a cabin.

Hegarty said a coordinator had been in touch with the group and described the mood as "buoyant".

"They are battened down to get through what's going to come today.

"They are like everybody: it's changed the nature of their day."

Based on the effects of the cyclone the school would decide tomorrow how the boys will come out. There would be a debate over whether they could walk or needed a water taxi, Hegarty said.

The next camp was due to go in tomorrow, and whether it would go ahead would also be decided after the cyclone.