Learning in the outdoors on Mt Taranaki

Alex Smart making his way to Wilkies Pools.
Alex Smart making his way to Wilkies Pools.

Alex came racing in the door “Mum we’re going to camp at Konini Lodge up the mountain.  Can you come?”  The mountain Alex is referring to is Mt Egmont and one I had never tramped even though I live in New Plymouth!

Visions of the last camp I attended flooded back; sleeping in a hall with 60 children and 10 parents, exhausted from spending the day in the sun doing activities on the beach, and children still talking at 2am in the morning.  One thing I remember was being woken at 5am by voices, only to see two girls playing cards with the dimmest of lighting from the kitchen.

“Not if I don’t have to” was my hasty reply.

But as I put the necessary paperwork in saying Alex was allowed to go, I thought about it and I decided to go too.  Perhaps it was the write coming out in me, time to think outside the square and push previous thoughts to the back of my mind.

For those not familiar with Mt Egmont here is a bit of a history lesson.  Captain Cook named the mountain Mt Egmont after John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont, the First Lord of the Admiralty.  In the 1980’s it was ruled that its official name is Mount Taranaki or Mount Egmont – there is still controversy about which is its rightful name.  For me it was a mountain, which meant I was going to have to do a bit of tramping, great!

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