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Hi I’m Jessica Ensing, I am studying Environmental Planning and Geography at Waikato University. While I was at high school I participated in a couple of POET (Perry Outdoor Education Trust) camps as a both a participant and as a leader and had a lot of fun with the activities and experiences POET had to offer me.

I believe that many of the schools which POET supports would not have otherwise had these opportunities and experiences of learning of the outdoors and actually getting out there and enjoying it and for that I am super grateful for. The generosity and kindness of providing and allowing these students to really experience this country that we live in, in its full glory is such a blessing. I loved seeing how each person, from different backgrounds and seeing how people who may have never gone camping before, had that opportunity to learn the basics of camping such as putting up a tent (i.e what a fly to a tent was and where to put pegs) and also how to cook your own meal (and use gas cookers).

These camps taught me how to work with people, enjoy nature and it made me more conscious of the environment and to appreciate it; and that if we want to keep it, we’ve got to look after it. These things we learnt through simple activities like realising how much rubbish can be left around, and picking it up, and that whatever we bring to the bush we must take with us when we leave. We did loads of fun activities that required team effort and learned to carry on even when some of the outdoor fun required a lot of physical endurance and bravery at times.

I had so much fun, would definitely do it again, even now if I had the chance. I think anyone who has been on these camps would agree. I’m glad that it helped me to realise what I wanted to study, and am now pursuing. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I had to learn leadership skills and working with other people, which will definitely help me in my future career.

Thank you POET!


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