16 Oct 2015

24 hrs alone in the bush. Could you do it?

We call it Solo. A reflective challenge for the end of our one year experience at Dilworth Rural Campus.


Objective one
The challenge of spending time alone, being ok about int and enjoying your own company.  Managing your self and getting the most out of the experience.

Objective two
To continue on a journey of understanding, of who you are as a person and who you could be. And realising the choice you have about that.

Objective three.
Reflecting on your experiences during the year and preparing your self for the final weeks of this year and the challenges to come.


We were based on the edge of a farm between the Hunua ranges and the Firth of Thames.


The students make their own shelters out of black plastic and twine, using sticks as pegs.  They have simple food prepared that does not require cooking.  They take only a journal and writing tools leaving anything that could distract them from the task at home.
Must do tasks
  • Read your journal
  • Prepare end of year speech
  • Write journal reflections on the past year
  • Read the later you wrote to yourself from the start of the year


Could do tasks
  • Enjoy doing  nothing, a chance to have some chill time
  • Take. It of when you eat and drink
  • Write a letter to yourself 
  • Write a poem, story, or song about your solo experience
  • Draw a picture of something you can see
  • Create a aculpture about your experience
  • Set some goals
  • Create a crossword or word find with key words about your learning experiences this year



Most students find the challenge a good one and either rip into the tasks, sleep or wander around deciding to be bored. For some though the challenge of being alone is really hard.  When was the last time you were totally alone for 24 hours? It doesn't happen often and for some of us may never have happened before.  For those that do struggle support is always near by in a conversation or a chance to move closer to the base.


Student Voice

What did you do?
What did you learn?
Was it worth it?
What will you say to people when they ask you about your solo?
  • Stick smashing hitting things with sticks
  • Pretty boring but got to find something to do 
  • Creating things and destroying things
  • Sleeping, sleeping, sleeping
  • Watched the sunrise
  • Pimped out my shelter
  • I had become the man I wanted to be when I read my letter from the start of the year
  • Gives you time to think, make the most of it.
  • Use resources around you to your advantage eg use a sharp rock to cut twine
  • 24hrs is a long time
  • Made a sculptures out of bark
  • Need to have stuff to do 
  • Prayer to bless us all and our families
  • Singing in my head and out loud
  • Important to have a positive mindset and not think about scary stuff
  • Looked at all the trees and bugs
  • I can survive the night alone
  • Pretend I'm shooting stuff with pretend guns
  • Time to think about what I have done this year and what will do for the rest of my life
  • Reading the bible
  • Not as scary as I thought it would be
  • At first it can be boring you just need to find things to occupy your time and have a good mindset
  • Throw rocks into the stream
  • Make sure you dig a toilet hole and take some toilet paper.
  • What if I am the only one left, are they dead? Have they left me behind?


In a way as staff we get to do our own solo while out here looking after the group, not with quite the same restrictions and we do get company and support of another staff member but we still get time to sit and think and reflect.  Which is why this post was created,it came from that space.  Also a good time to catch up on some work.




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