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Minicamp Report February 2020

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Camp started at 8:02 sharp! This camp we had a focus on the Junior Branch (JB) group (14+ year olds) into running as much of the camp as possible. This started with JBs running introduction name games starting with a game to string along names together to remember each name & another staple camp game called Bang! You have to say someone’s name before the other person says your name. You really have to learn the names quickly to stay in the game.

This camp we tried laminated placemats so a reminder of camp could be taken home. Ask about these and stick it on your fridge! The parent helpers joined in with the group’s lullabies and then the Junior group (9-12 year olds) went to bed and the Junior Junior Group (JJB – 13 year olds) and JBs went on to do another night activity.

None of the juniors who went to bed talked after lights out, honest!


Saturday dawned cool. The early risers started with a conversation on the deck about ducks & then we moved on to a fast game of indoor soccer (with Hamish’s great kicks) before waking everyone else up for breakfast. It’s surprising how noisy they were willing to be to wake up the rest of the camp.

Morning activity 1 started with running games. Heba’s running games (who planned an activity even though she wasn’t there!). There was a game where everyone circles a large bucket holding hands. The aim of the game is to get others to touch the bucket and not touch it yourself. If anyone touches the bucket or let go, they are out. Lots of pushing, pulling and challenge. Clair was the real champ. Great game!

Then Human Tic Tac Toe. A fast game of listening, speed and action! Fast & furious actions and laughs and spills.

For activity 2, The JB, JJB and younger CISVers were all together for activity two! Hamish and Fritz started us off with the famous gasoline energiser!

The focus of activity two was to learn a bit about Te Ao (the world of) Māori. We got into groups and brainstormed what we know about this year’s CISV theme – sustainability. We learnt about how sustainability is also about sustaining cultures, which led us to our next activity of learning about pepeha (a way of introducing yourself in Māori). We worked on our own pepeha which was quite challenging and interesting.

After this, the younger group worked together to help make a korowai cloak. We learnt a little about the history and use of korowai, then decorated paper feathers with what we value in CISV and started making the cloak together.

If there are any Māori whānau in our community who want to korero about this activity please get in touch. Feedback is most welcome.

Lunch was bread rolls with salad and egg, tuna or ham. With cheese. And lots of noisy conversation!


5Activity 3 the JJB & JB went off to an activity and the junior group were divided into groups. Each group had 3 cups and a large bucket. The group had to complete challenges and the prize for each completed challenge was a cup of water. Their challenge was to get the most water to fill your bucket. Unfortunately lots of water was spilled during the game and was wasted. We had a conversation about this, how we could make the most use of water and how could we not waste it. Slow down, don’t fill your cup to the brim and so waste it, share more and case more. And be really careful when you are pouring!

At afternoon time, instructions were given for the Juniors and JJB to put on clothes that they could get wet in. We then played a game where team work really helps but mostly you just get wet. The game involves 1 team as catchers in a field and the others as runners. The runners get a cup of water and wait on the edge of the field. The leader (who isn’t supposed to get wet!) then says something like, “everyone with black shoes”, and then everyone with black shoes runs. If the runner is tagged by a catcher they do paper, scissors, rock (runner wins ties). If the runner wins, they keep going to the other side of the field and put their cup full of water into a bucket at the other end of the field. If they lose paper, scissors, rock, the catcher takes the cup full of water, and tips it on the runner’s head. After a few rounds, we swapped over and the catchers became the runners. And just to be clear, the leader wasn’t supposed to get wet!!!

After this activity we had free time and showers. This camp we had 3 main activities during free time; Tracey on the confidence course, Jess making flowers out of flax (beautiful roses) and David found the water slide. Water, bubbles and a mattress to slide down on. Even David had a go down the slide (even if involuntarily). Also this was the time for a warm shower too. After 2 wet activities, this was really needed.

Dinner was honey soy chicken and pasta, and pavlova, ice cream and fruit salad for dessert.

The JB organised skits this camp (as they usually do). The camp was split into groups and each group was given an environmental challenge, a famous person and an item. There was acid water, zombie apocalypse (poor baby!), radioactive waves & giant bugs, and food not growing. Some were funny, some were scary, but all were good.

Supper, lullabies and bed for the juniors and JJB and time to reflect on camp so far for the leaders. The JB went off for their own night activity.

Sunday started cool and even a bit wet, but this cleared up and after more soccer and wake up noise we got down to breakfast and then camp clean up. The JBs then ran an activity where everyone was split into 8 groups and every group had to make a challenge and then, after morning tea, all the groups rotated though the challenges. Rebekah said, “it was good as you got to experience lots of different things” like, guessing a song with only been told 1 phrase/line for it, or passing 1 person along the whole group without moving your feet.

Finally it was time to say goodbye for another camp. Phone numbers were exchanged between new friends and promises of see you next camp could be heard.

Thanks so much for entrusting your kids to us leaders and to the JBs for leading so well this camp. Thanks to all the parent helpers, we really couldn’t do camp without you all!

Thank you

The Leaders

(Jess, Carol, Tracey, Noah, David)

What Happened at National Training Camp!

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The cool thing about National Training Weekend is that it brings us together for a shared purpose – we bond together, workshop together, and gain new knowledge and skills to be used both inside and outside of CISV.

This camp we were lucky enough to have a Trainers Team made up of both Leaders and JB.


Our fantastic NJRs Grace and Francois opened up the weekend with Skits that looked at the ‘why’ of CISV – we were able to share with each other the reasons why we have a passion for our organisation, and then do a rap/Shakespearean performance/mime/interpretive dance to really bring the message home. They were both hilarious and insightful – a definite highlight was Lucie’s impersonation of her brother and our Junior NJR, Francois, complete with his watch and facial expressions.

Lovina, one of our inspirational JBers, alongside Kayla and Hannah, started off our cold Saturday morning with a model IJB activity called ‘How do you define conflict?’. They had participants think about the different forms that conflict can take in our lives, and how resolution is often intrinsically tied to conflict.


We then went into our key training sessions – over the rest of the day, split into our training groups, we were able to learn from some of our most experienced leaders with activities on their areas.

The wonderful Danni taught us about Risk Management in CISV, and how we can be a part of ensuring the safety and comfort for everyone on our programmes and workshops.

We were so stoked to have Bronwyn come up from Wellington, to teach us about different roles in CISV and also be the ‘fountain of all knowledge’ for our questions. Thank you, Bronwyn, for both sharing your incredible wealth of experiences with us, but also listening to and valuing ours.

Mackenzie and Gemma lead us through a practical skills session on how to plan activities – we learnt about the CISV Educational Principals and how to use these to help us facilitate top quality activities.


And lastly, Tess lead a discussion around conflict prevention and self-care – conflict resolution is our content area for 2019 and learning practical tools for self-care is so helpful in our CISV and other leadership roles.

Before bed we got a crash course in the best short games we can play, from Gemma and Anahera. King of the Jungle was ready for a comeback, with some weird and wonderful new characters making an appearance.

Sunday was another jam-packed day – the JB planned their next 6 months, leaders and JCs officially finished their formal training, and Bronwyn ran us through different evaluation techniques, so we could learn while also evaluating our weekend!

From the Trainers, I’d like to extend some thanks; to the JB and the trainees for this NTC, who bought their enthusiasm and wisdom in full force – your group is stronger than ever, and we can’t wait to see what you do with that momentum. Thank you also to the amazing whanau members who came to help us with cooking, cleaning, and all the other essential details which we are so grateful to have had your support with. Good luck to all our up coming leaders and participants for Village, Step Up, Youth Meeting and International Junior Branch Conference!


Next Minicamp is at Hunua Falls Presbyterian Camp, Hunua, from 20-22 September 2019. We look forward to seeing you then!

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CISV Movie Night Fundraiser: NOBLE

Noble Movie Poster Hero Image (1)
Join us for a wonderful evening: a great movie, a silent auction, and a chance to get together with friends before the movie starts – and also hear a bit about CISV!
The New Zealand arm of CISV International is hosting the Asia Pacific Regional Workshop in 2020, and funds raised at our fundraiser movie night will go towards this.
Complimentary nibbles and cash bar!
From a harsh childhood in Ireland to the streets of Saigon after the Vietnam War, this is the true story of Christina Noble, a courageous, feisty and inspirational woman. Rated PG
Tickets available from:

Minicamp – February 2019

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It was a bright hot summer’s day on Friday the 15 th of February as campers started to arrive for our Motu Moana camp. This camp the situation was turned around as the littlies (9-12yrs) were to be located up at Mowgli Lodge and the Junior Branch (14+yrs) plus the JJB (13yrs) were co-located at the main camp site (lower), and the littlies gear was kept together to be taken up to Mowgli as a group (see fun later in the story). Plenty of campers came nice and early, which meant lots of games while we waited for everybody to arrive. The JB learned some old favourites of the leaders, and the littlies played a great running game thanks to Abby and Katie!

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This camp we had Abby & Katie working with the leaders and they started off the camp
with a bang (literally, the game Bang). Pretty soon Dave grouped the littlies together to
set up Mowgli. They were arranged in cabin groups, collected their things, only to have to tie their cabin together and move up as a single unit. After pushing, shoving and moving in the opposite direction, the groups moved off at their own speed with one of the leaders supervising through the darkening night. There were no tears but plenty of laughter as foot work and coordination was sorted out. After reaching the lodge, they un-tied themselves and beds were made before moving back down as a group to the main site. Back down at the lower site, placemats were drawn (your partner drew a part of your face (e.g. nose) before swapping to a new partner to draw the next part. Then everyone (JB & Littlies) went back up to Mowgli for lullabies. This was done as the
littlies needed to go to sleep afterwards and we didn’t want them to be excited before
sleep. Turns out they were still excited and took a while to settle down. While the littlies were off to bed, the JB and the JJB were competing in a quiz night.

Saturday was another beautiful day and before breakfast, some of the littlies were awake
early so games of Ninja (ask your children to show you) and music kept them busy before we woke up the rest around 7:30am – then we went down for breakfast.
After breakfast, Heba led the littlies in conflict resolution and negotiation. This revolved
around getting different partners to agree to your wishes. This was things like, cross the
line to my side. I can tell you there were many promises (not sure I believed all of them),
many lies and many heated discussions about how good the view was on this side or how
nice the shade was on that side. Afterwards, Heba asked the question about, were we trying to get the person to our side, or not go to their side. She made a point that if both people had swapped, then both would have won. This was a powerful statement on win-win negotiation rather than win-lose.

minicamp 3

After morning tea Tess ran an amazing race. Normally our activities don’t cross multiple
sessions but Tess’ activity merged all our kids together to learn how to team build all
together. In stage 1 the teams ‘crossed the river’, with the whole team having to move 20 meters without touching the grass. They had sheets of newspaper to use, as well as their
creativity. Stage 2 used some CISV trivia. The groups used word cards to create the CISV statement of purpose, and gain a little understanding of why we do what we do! The CISV statement of purpose (as everyone figured out in the end) is ‘CISV educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world’. In our third stage, the teams silently learnt a few things about each other, having to stand in a line from first to last. They silently communicated things like ‘stand in alphabetical order, according to the second letter of your Mums first name’, or ‘how long have you been in CISV’. Stage 4 was a water cup filling race where the bag to fill was a long way from the bucket, the cup to fill the bag mysteriously had holes in it and the path between the bucket and bag crossed the other teams path. The leaders made the team leader hold the bag (and so couldn’t help organise) and everyone had to take the cup at least once. At the end the teams had to carry the person holding the bag back to the bucket to refill it. Chaos. 2 extra points were awarded to the team who a) used everyone in the team to carry the bag holder back (that was fun to watch) and b) asked if they could use the team-before-them’s cup (that was thinking outside the box). Then, once the task was judged finished, it was off to the end. 

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There was a short lunch intermission in between sessions, then we moved onto stage five. Tess’ final part of the activity was to get the Team to convince the other teams why they should be the winner. Some interesting speeches, songs and interpretive dancing followed.

In the late afternoon, Danni ran a re-using water exercise for the littlies and a
shock for the water goblins (read “volunteer” leaders). The activity centered on appreciating how much water it takes for daily tasks (e.g. brushing teeth, cooking, cleaning). This was simulated by the group ‘completing’ as many tasks as possible by filling a cup full of water from a bucket, passing it along the line and dumping the cold water on a water goblin’s head. Did I mention cold? After the first round, the groups could re-use the water (some food colour was added to the cup of water to indicate it had been reused, and it was returned to the bucket). The buckets of water slowly turned coloured and then it couldn’t be used. Big praise to Goblin 5 (Leader Aiden) for taking a shower – 50 cups. Rather him than me. Brrr.

Dinner was a spicy chicken or Moroccan curry and apple/boysenberry crumble + ice cream. After dinner everyone gathered together for some skits that were to die for.
Tonight’s lullabies were a bit different. During the day we had noticed that there was a
really cool fire pit area at the site. Of course a fire was out of the question but 2 UE Boom
speakers and a sound track to suit allowed for an amazing campfire (sans fire) experience. It was really cool to hear all of the camp, including parent helpers,
gather together and make some noise. Each littlies cabin had a volunteer JB organised to
guide them to and from the fire pit before lullabies and as the “Goodnight” song was sung. The JB team leaders gathered their cabin and took them up to Mowgli lodge for sleep. The singing continued for a while after that and when the JB leaders returned, leaving the littlies with the Leaders group, the JB went on with their night activity.

Sunday is always a busy day and this time camp was ending at 11:30am, so straight after
breakfast the 2 sites were busy packing bags and finding property that had been left out
on the line (or playing slugs/Turtles in their sleeping bags). The littlies up at Mowgli Lodge packed up and cabin by cabin the leaders moved them outside the lodge and then took them to the main site and stored their gear inside the quad for security.

minicamp 6

While the JB were doing their evaluation of their weekend, Mackenzie led the littlies in
different energizers before moving on to fun running games, e.g. Monsters & Chickens, which they enjoyed so much, followed by another game where the kids were divided up in groups of Leaders, JCs, Staff and delegates to play an engaging running game to wrap up activity 1 for the day. After morning tea, Dave ran an exercise on thinking outside the box. Teams had to get from one end of the field to the other but had different rules for how they could get there, e.g. everyone carried or everyone in 2 hula-hoops, or passing a ball. The exercise was designed to help us see that even though the task is the same, it can be achieved in different ways. And also to have a final bit of fun before the end of camp.

A big thank you to all the parent helpers though out the weekend, from the organisation team, booking the venue, buying the food or bringing the supplies, to the kitchen staff, and the Sunday cleaners. Also to Tracey for making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time. Also to all the leaders and JB leaders (Abby, Katie, & Kayla) for all your
support and willingness to make this weekend work. And finally to the parents for lending us your children which is who we are all doing this for.

If you have ever thought about helping out at camp and getting first-hand experience of what we do, I strongly encourage you to get involved at our next minicamp in Hunua Falls Camp on the weekend of September 20th – 22nd 2019. 

minicamp 7

Minicamp – February 2018

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Friday night launched off in the activity hall at 8 pm with games to get us familiar with each other’s names, and getting to know each other. We always love a mixture of brand new participants and seasoned CISVers, so beginning camp this way gives us an opportunity to bond before continuing onto the rest of camp as a team.

After names games, we made our placemats for the weekend. We use this as another opportunity get familiar with each other, and then we mix up the placemats every meal time to make sure we all have a chance to talk with different people throughout camp. After completing our placemats we went off to get ready for bed, grab some biscuits and a drink of water for supper, and then gathered back together in the activity hall from our ‘wind down’ time singing a few lullabies together. At 9.30 it was lights out, ready for a big day on Saturday!

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NJBM Evaluation

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NJBM was an exciting time with a much-improved participation than last year. Overall we had an extremely fun time and although there was limited participation from the Christchurch chapter, we are optimistic about future involvement with them. On Saturday we had a group hang out in town, and we went treasure hunting with an app named geocache. Overall, thanks to the beautiful weather in Auckland the participants had a fun time and we feel like the overall community and friendship within CISV NZ JB was strengthened. The cohort of JB coming through seem to be very committed to CISV, and this is encouraging as hopefully, our JB can grow from strength to strength.
The Sunday was when we got down to the more serious side of the training. Held at the Titirangi Community House, the first activity was centred on restructuring our JB committee. We decided that we would have a bunch of teams to fulfil the roles of running our JB to improve the effectiveness on how it runs. Next year we are confident we will have youthful people in positions to run successful and productive JB events such as minicamps, fundraising events as well as social events. Furthermore, the JB learnt more about what the NJR (National Junior Representative) and in turn we discovered there were some who were keen on trying to apply for being an NJR.

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Minicamp – September 2017

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September’s minicamp was at Piha Mill Camp. The roads out to Piha get dark early at this time of the year, so the lights of the camp shone out through the darkness as if to welcome people. After the (organised) chaos of registration, we got down to a fantastic camp with a group of amazing young people. Want to know what happened? Then read on …


Friday began with a name game to get to know everyone. This included everyone coming together to greet returning campers and meeting the new ones. Some were team activities, and some were competitive! Saying your name twice then someone else’s name twice takes on a whole different meaning when you can’t show your teeth and are trying your best not to laugh. There was a whole heap of teeth shown, that’s for sure! It was during the Friday evening that the camp leaders were introduced; Gemma, Tracey, Mackenzie, Ellen, David, Aiden, Tess, Danni, Heba (Whanganui) & Jamie (Christchurch) coming up from down south to join the fun.

Afterwards, participants made their unique placemats with their names. They were then randomly assigned to tables for meals, and people needed to sit by their placemats. This system got everyone to mingle, meet new people and allowed for some great conversations. One of the things on the placemat this camp was a picture of your two favourite animals combined into one. A bird moose or Boose, a Unigon (Rainbow Unicorn Dragon) were just a couple of crazy designs.
At the end of the night, lullabies and bed drew everyone to bed with the leaders evaluating the day and making sure tomorrow would be awesome. Soooo tired – must sleep now!

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Minicamp – June 2017

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June’s camp was located at Hunua and focused on activities to develop an understanding of Human Rights, which is the CISV Content Area of 2017.
We started us off with Energisers (small actions to wake us up and to get us working enthusiastically together as a united group). Afterwards, we went into some ‘getting to know you’ games, and then we moved onto the designing of our placemats. Every minicamp, we make placemats with our names and interesting things about us (such as our name and our favourite super power). These are then randomly placed around the tables at meal times to get people sitting next to new people and generate conversation.


Then it was 9 pm – supper, flag and lullabies were in order. Everyone managed to calm down with the songs, and we were ready for bed. After the littlies had gone to bed, some of the Junior Branch (14+ yrs) participants continued working hard at planning activities for their group the next day. This planning practice is part of camp for them, helpful in their development as CISVers and for organising their activities at home or school.


The Saturday morning was cold and misty but this burnt off and we were ready to go! Breakfast was Toast & Cereal, and after washing our dishes, we were off to our first activity. We started the morning with some running games to get warmed up and energised! The first game was “get to know you fruit salad”. This was a fun way to learn more about each other, and wake our brains up!
Next, we played “newspaper hockey”; we were split into two teams; one team was numbered off, the other was given a letter of the alphabet each; then a letter and number were called out, and it was a one-on-one hockey game!
After hockey, we played a few more running games. The ladder game, where it was a race against the person opposite you back to your spot, was heaps of fun, especially when we had to do it side stepping with pincers like a crab!
Goblin and fairy bump tag was also a fun and silly way to burn up some energy before morning tea.

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