On Friday 20 November, twenty Eco-Warriors from the Somerville Intermediate Enviro Team travelled to Arataki Visitors Centre to compete in a Sustainability Challenge.


In groups four, they had to navigate around the Waitakere ranges, finding checkpoints and completing activities with a sustainability theme. Some of the activities included identifying various native plants and animals, learning about how native long tailed bats use echolocation to navigate and catch prey, identifying pests by their teeth marks, and how valuable our kereru birds are when dispersing seeds. 

Most students had never taken part in orienteering, so it was a steep learning curve. However, after a few mistakes and setbacks, they got to grips with the basic elements of map reading and started to accumulate points around the course. There was an element of fitness involved as well as problem solving. The students experienced great satisfaction when success was achieved, either by successfully completing a challenge or finding an elusive checkpoint using clues and a never give up attitude.

The day would not have been possible without our wonderful parent helpers, Mr Wilson, Ms Smith, Mrs Burgess and Mrs Moon who each directly supervised a small group of students. 

Although we didn’t place anywhere, the students had heaps of fun developing their leadership and problem solving skills, as well as learning new aspects of sustainability.