At Waikato Diocesan, we aim to develop balanced young women who are empowered to meet their full potential, and we provide a wide variety of learning experiences to achieve this. Our outdoor education camps allow students to push themselves beyond their comfort zones in a controlled environment. Together they learn to manage risk responsibly while challenging themselves physically. In doing so, their confidence and self-esteem are enhanced, and their relationships with their peers are strengthened.

Teamwork, group interaction and basic outdoor skills are woven into the programmes. We believe that the environment, the culture and the history of the places we visit are essential to our sense of identity as New Zealanders and our place as citizens and custodians of the land. This theme is woven throughout our camp and retreat programme from Years 9 to 13.

To ensure that the experiences are challenging and that safety is paramount, the school uses specialist and experienced outdoor education providers with a low student/instructor ratio to lead the students on all activities and manage the camps. Dio staff accompany the students for pastoral support and to assist with some camp activities.  We also consult and work with guidelines from the Mountain Safety Council and other independent organisations.

Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award

The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award is an internationally recognised programme designed to challenge and motivate. The Award is a super rewarding way for young people to get recognition for developing skills, giving back to the community, growing independence and getting outdoors in our beautiful country. It is open to participants aged 14-25. 

There are three levels of the Award: 

  • Bronze (for ages 14+)

  • Silver (for ages 15+) 

  • Gold (for ages 16+)

Participants complete a Skill, a Service and a Physical Recreation for an allocated amount of time for each level. They also complete an 'Adventurous Journey' - where they can get out and about in our great outdoors on a hike, bike or canoe adventure. 

The Award is student-led, and participants learn invaluable life skills and foster strong friendships through the programme. It is a great way to get involved with fun and exciting activities in your free time - or to be acknowledged for what you already do! 

If this sounds like something you'd like to get involved with, or you're keen to find out more, email Aimee Donovan