Minicamp Report February 2020

Posted on Updated on

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)

Minicamp – February 2018

Posted on Updated on


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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Minicamp – September 2017

Posted on Updated on

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Minicamp – June 2017

Posted on Updated on

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

An Unexpected Adventure

Posted on Updated on


As it was my first time enjoying a CISV minicamp naturally, I was shy. I didn’t expect to fit in straight away, as some of the kids have been lifelong members of CISV. How wrong I was. I was not left out in a single activity and had loads of fun.

At the camps and mini-camps, there are many songs and dances such as kitos, flag and others. In fact flag (a song) is sung by every single camp and minicamp all over the world from Chile to Australia.

One of the many unique things about CISV is that the adults aren’t even in charge half the time! A team of 14-year-olds and over (known as the JB’s), come up with cool activities like wacky energizers and mind boggling decoding.

But don’t go thinking the adults didn’t do much, in fact without the kitchen team slaving over a hot oven, no food would be served, and without our wonderful team leaders, the whole camp would just not connect.

The June CISV minicamp was an exciting adventure I’m glad I went on, and I hope I can enjoy many more adventures with the leaders, the cooks and fellow kids.

– Kalo Wood

Minicamp – September 2015

Posted on Updated on

Minicamp Sept 2015 (4)

This camp was themed Superheros, and over the course of the weekend we were able to participate in activities to develop our super skill of Conflict Resolution, which is the CISV Content Area of 2015.

We started off with energisers to get us working enthusiastically together as a united group, both new participants and seasoned CISVers, and then went into some name and getting to know you games.
Then we moved onto the designing of our place mats. Every minicamp we make placemats with our names and interesting things about us (such as our favourite food, sport, or what we want to do as a job), so that we can get to know each other during meals times by seeing and talking about each others interests.

Read the rest of this entry »

Minicamp – June 2015

Posted on Updated on

Minicamp June 2015 (9)

Minicamp started off as always with excitement, name and getting to know you games. We had so many kids this time it was important to play a lot of name games so that everybody could remember each others names. Then we designed our own placemats based on a range of questions like: what kind of super hero do you want to be? and what do you want to be when you are older? These placemats will then be used during meal times for the rest of camp. This enables us to sit with new people and have fun questions to ask about each others placemats. After a quick snack and drink its time for bed. Everybody gets into their PJs and we sing a mixture of Oasis and Taylor Swift songs together CISV lullabies style. Then comes bedtime. We are all still very excited but need our rest for the action packed next day.

Read the rest of this entry »