School programme instruction is generally given between 9am and 4pm each day, however there is scope to organise short duration, single day and multi-day courses.
Programmes vary from course to course and are developed to meet the needs of each group. Instructors and management take responsibility for the development of unique client programmes and needs. The following are examples of the activities & programmes available.
Land Based Activities available at MERC
Abseiling is a natural extension to the rope and harness work we do on our specially designed climbing wall. The wall is designed to give first timers a gentle introduction to an exciting activity. However, leaning backwards over a sheer drop still requires nerve & a great deal of trust; completing the abseil installs feelings of self-empowerment & achievement
This is a whole group exercise, which is not weather dependent. Small groups compete against each other in a fast and furious series of tests. Teamwork and strategy lead to success. The marine theme adds to the excitement of an activity. It is always a firm favourite with groups and best suited to 7-12 year olds.
Adventure Based Games / Team Challenge
These are used predominantly as an icebreaker activity for all incoming groups. The games are non-physically threatening and are cooperative in nature. They are good fun and set a positive tone for the rest of the course.
This activity requires discipline, skill and patience. Through focused safety instruction and goal setting everyone achieves success (hitting that first bulls-eye is a thrill not easily forgotten).
Participants challenge themselves and each other on the climbing wall. A low height bouldering-wall enables development of skills without the fear of height. With planning, communication, cooperation and trust as key elements the climbers are harnessed and roped into a safety system and use the bolted holds to reach the top. As confidence grows the return descent is often a highlight with a real sense of achievement.
A challenging rope and harness activity where participants work together to reach the top of the Giant Ladder. Requires teamwork and good communication. Sounds easier than it is!
Large scale games where the whole group is involved. Examples include ‘The Conservation Game’, an opportunity to be a part of the ecological food chain and ‘Who Done It’ or ‘Cluedo’, where groups complete activities and use cards in an effort to work out who did it. Good introduction or concluding camp activity.
Skills and maintenance session takes place in the park. The group then heads off onto the trails over the hills of the Long Bay Reserve.
Multi Sport Challenge An end-of-course option which pitches group against group in a variety of land and water based events. This is a most suitable concluding activity.
Initial introductions enable students to understand the elements of reading a map. From this base they are then able to take part in orienteering events (without the use of a compass). Sir Peter Blake MERC has a series of professionally drawn maps and orienteering courses that can extend most students at a variety of levels.
The Stack em High activity is where participants are harnessed in before proceeding to build a tower of milk crates. A great activity for balance and concentration while competing against each other to build the tallest tower. These challenges are often used as a peak experience, but suitable only for mature students and adults.
Teamwork Activities, including Slingshot
This is an all-weather option where groups are put to the test using a variety of progressive initiative type of activities. Designed to draw the strengths of participants, each challenge is a blend of the physical and cognitive. While not overtly physical, the activities do require teamwork, strategy and implementation for success. Activities may be used to address a variety of issues such as communication, goal setting and trust. A most suitable activity as camp draws to a close to unite groups in their commitment to solve problems. These activities can be made available to day groups. Clues are given to find the treasure being pieces of a puzzle, which when completed form the instructions for building a slingshot. This is a great team-building activity, with the opportunity for lots of fun along the way as well as on the slingshot’s completion.
Learn how to survive in the great outdoors. Get the basics about weather patterns, gain knowledge of the multi functions of the equipment you should take with you, shelter building, cooking and what plant life is edible and what is poisonous. This session can be done either indoors or outdoors. Get prepared for the ultimate adventure.
These can take a variety of forms; land or sea based, from a couple of hours to a couple of days. An overnight camp involving cooking on an open fire and sleeping under canvas always adds to the adventure. A number of different environments can be studied. There is the beach itself, the rocky shore, kayaking or sailing to the Okura River estuary and the historic Okura native bush walkway with its fine stands of kauri trees. The latter is only a 10-minute drive from site. Learning about survival in the great outdoors can be an exhilarating experience.[/table]
Water Based Activities available at MERC
|Water safety skills are quickly gained and smiles bear testimony to the exhilaration of riding the first wave. This activity takes a priority when the surf is up.|
|Using large open canoes, participants learn the importance of communication and quickly develop team paddling and control skills. The canoes can be lashed together to form catamarans for extended coastal expeditions.|
|This is an introductory small-boat safety activity where participants experience balancing, paddling, capsizing and swimming under buoyant dinghies. The participants also discover the benefits of wearing the appropriate safety garments (wetsuits and buoyancy vests). This is an ideal activity for boosting water confidence before moving on to other marine pursuits.|
|Participants respond to the fun and games approach and soon grasp essential paddling strokes. This is a popular activity designed to instill a successful experience and for participants to feel good about themselves. After an introductory session, paddlers have the skills to embark on a coastal expedition or surf on waves rolling onto the Beach.|
|Stand up paddle boarding on our Nalu boards. Great for balance and fitness. The Nalu is stable yet manoeuvrable, and most of all fun! Paddle over the reef or along the coast. Suitable for 10 years and above.|
|An activity designed to promote team building, communication, delegation, goal setting and planning skills. Each group's mission is to design and build a seaworthy raft using craft & rope skills. They soon learn from their mistakes because the rafts either sink or float.|
|This is an introduction to sailing under the watchful eye of the instructor.Students' have a go at steering the boat, turning and handling the sheets. This activity builds on the knowledge gained from the dinghy games. Teamwork is very important.|
|A sequence of introductory mask and snorkel activities soon puts paid to head under inhibitions. The group gains a first hand look at the underwater life on a marine reserve. Wearing wetsuits, the group floats about the reef investigating the wide variety of marine life beneath them. This very popular activity is more suitable to the summer months.|
|Everyone's seen it, why not try it? The thrill of standing up and riding a wave is unexplainable! Have some fun in the sun with top instructors while increasing technique and water confidence.|