On Thursday just under 100 members of CHE attended a visit to the International Antarctic Centre to learn all about penguins! We learned about the penguin’s anatomy (did you know a penguin actually has knees!! But they are fused at a high angle above the hips – which is why a penguin has to waddle on land, but is such a good swimmer in the sea!), and we discovered some of their special adaptations which allow many beads of penguins to live in the Antarctica – The coldest and driest place on earth!
We also learned about the importance of, and the threats to, the seas around Antarctica, and discussed why and how we can protect the delicate ecosystem in the Antarctic seas.
Then it was time to head off into the centre! We were able to watch the rescued little blue penguins that live at the centre swimming and relaxing – they looked very happy!
For those that didn’t mind the cold, we experienced the snow in the Antarctic snow room and even endured a short, but very cold and windy storm! Some of us chose to form a huddle; just like a waddle of Emperor penguins (those on the inside of the huddle definitely got the better deal!)
We had a look at what equipment and supplies you need to take out for an overnight stay on the ice, and discussed what it’s like to be an Antarctic scientist!
Our morning sessions concluded with a 4D movie experience of the Antarctica! – Not for the faint hearted!! Then there was plenty of time to explore the centre, and to pat the adorable Husky puppies!
In the afternoon we were able to go on a behind the scenes tour to discover how the Antarctic Centre care for their rescued Little Blue Penguins.
First we were able to go into the main penguin enclosure – one of the penguins loved swimming up to us to say hello! Then we went into the vet’s room where the penguins are cared for when they are sick or just need a little extra love and attention. It was such a privilege to get so close to these wonderful little guys, and was a perfect end to a perfect penguin day
Tall, majestic, and icy cold
Icebergs stand, sturdy and bold
Slowly dissolving and crumbling down,
The arctic is losing its icy crown
Polar bears roam with silvery pelt
But devastating change the ice begins to melt
Penguins are losing their habitat...
The icebergs are melting, the Arctic falls flat!
It’s the end of the icebergs, the Arctic is dead!
The bears are downcast, this is their worst dread.
Everything’s dying The mammals can’t cope...
We need something where is our hope?
Our hopes for the future, what will it bring,
The problems of winter followed by spring!
by Moriah, Alesia and Sarah
On the 9th of June 2021 I went into She chocolatiere for a chocolate class. We ate lots of chocolate, and we learnt how to properly temper chocolate. We also learnt about the origins of chocolate and how the chocolate we see starts off as a bitter bean. It is sundried then packed up into bags and shipped off to other parts of the world where it is, cooked on a low heat and then peeled leaving only a bitter bean then it is shipped to factories where it is made into chocolate we know and love. I was most surprised by how enjoyable the supposedly bitter beans were. My favourite part was making chocolate flakes out of the tempered chocolate.
We went to the Airforce museum to 'explore flight'. We learnt about the history of flight form the first idea of planes to a modern day plane. We put together a model of an Aerospace CT-4E Air trainer, learning the parts of the plane and how they relate to flight. We also got to make our own glider and learnt the movements of roll, pitch and yaw.
In March around 100 of us spent the day at Orana Park. We broke off into smaller groups and looked at different topics including: Caring for animals, food chains, habitats and animal adaptations.
It was great to get close to the animals, help feed some of them and learn more about how to keep some endangered animals safe.
Being a librarian for a morning went for three hours. The children enjoyed returning, sorting, finding and recommending books. They also did some library programming.
At the end of the morning the children took storytime for preschoolers. All the children received a certificate. It was an interesting morning, where the children learnt some new skills.
Thanks to everyone who came to the CHE camp at Wainui over the weekend 12th-15th March! We held our usual Friday night family quiz and Saturday evening talent show, and this year mixed things up a bit with some YMCA-fun activities - archery, high ropes, low ropes, search and rescue, and orienteering. Everyone made a huge effort to create a wonderful, safe and friendly space. It was great to see so many new faces as well.
With the support of funding from the New Zealand Red Cross 200 members of CHE spent an amazing weekend together at Living Springs, learning, exploring and pushing our boundaries. It was a fabulous weekend and everyone went home happy and tired with wonderful memories of our time together. We all owe a huge thank you to the team that did all the organisation for us. Check out some stories and pictures from some of our happy campers below.
Home Ed Camp by Max Harris
Last weekend we went to a home school camp and did heaps of cool activities with our friends.
We did Adventure Stream, Tree Climb, Low Ropes, Boulder Wall and Rifles and Archery. My favourite was the Adventure Steam.
We spent about 2 days at the camp we arrived at midday and spent the next day doing Adventure Stream, Tree Climb and Low Ropes the next day we did the rest and left after lunch.
There were also trampolines, a pool and a monorail we went in the pool twice, went on the trampolines heaps, but we never got to go on the monorail.
But I still had heaps of fun at the camp.
Adventure Stream by Alex Jones
My favourite part of camp was the Adventure Stream. I enjoyed jumping through the water and from rock to rock, like parkour! The narrow dark passageway, with water on the bottom was slippery and slimy. I got wet. There was a big rope tied to a post with knots down to the bottom. We put our feet on the wall and slowly lowered ourselves down, knot by knot. We started tumbling through the stream, leaping and jumping from rock to rock, using ropes to swing. And then we came across a rock, very flat it was, the entire stream flowing over it. We used a rope to climb down, water at our ankles. Once we were down we rested on a berm and chewed on some heart shaped leaves which help with toothache and digestion, I can't remember the name. And then we broke berm and headed into the river again, smooth sailing until we reached the deepest part. It was so deep that when an adult of 6ft stepped in it, it was up to his chin! We swung across the deep bit, some of us swam. We were tired and wet on the way home. We trekked through the undergrowth until we reached a road. We travelled down the road until we found the campsite. LUNCH TIME!
Marshmallow Roast by Lachlan McKenzie-Jackson
On Friday night we had a camp fire. I toasted my marshmallow to the extreme!! It looked like it was burnt by the flame of an asteroid as it hit our atmosphere. The burnt bit tasted like the inside of an ash tray but the inside of the marshmallow tasted like heaven, it was gooey and caramelised and it was like a carnival inside my mouth.
Fun At Camp - By Grace Jones
Put on sneakers,
Put on a harness,
Climb the trees higher than the hills.
Stomp through splashes
Across a bridge
What an adventure at the adventure stream
Over bridges, through the bush
You will find a cottage
With a wall of hooks.
Then to a slide
You might find a friend
Someone to have fun with until the end
Swim like a fish in a pool of fun
But never run!
And that’s the fabulous Living Springs
Thank you everyone,
A weekend of fun.
The Night Time Sky By Grace Jones
It was 8pm and everyone was having a bonfire. There were lots of laughs and chats. We had fun there. The fire had huge flames and was lighting up the night time sky. The sunset was pink with fluffy clouds. The birds were singing and everyone was enjoying themselves and having fun. The marshmallows on sticks were yummy and I made a friend. It was a brilliant night. And then it was bedtime. Goodnight everyone, have a good sleep.