06 Dec, 2021
Thirty-two teenagers came together for a weekend camp at Waipu Surf Club in November.
The first of its kind training camp for would-be or rookie lifeguards brought together young people from four different local area clubs - Mangawhai, Waipu, Ruakaka and Whangarei Heads.
In addition to honing the traditional skills of surf rescues and first aid, the rookies were introduced to the beach as a habitat for birds, plants and other native species.
Volunteers from Waipu About Terns led activities to identify and observe fairy terns, dotterels, oyster catchers and their nesting habits, to understand the importance of sharing the beach, predator trapping and no dog zones.
A highlight for many of the rookies was the demonstration by Waipu Kiwis volunteers of how predator traps work and to get up close to a possum, stoat and weasel.
For a final touch there was a scavenger hunt for key pest plants in the dunes and the opportunity to replant gaps in the dunes with restoring plants such as pingao and spinifex.
As a pilot for beach-based learning programmes for young people the resources used for the rookie surf camp could be adapted for school days out at the beach and for overnight camps. To learn more contact Ann 027 432 1833, Waipu Kiwis.
Up close to traps and possum, Rookie Surf Camp with Kathryn Clark and Graeme Tanner, Waipu Kiwi volunteers. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Rookie surf camp attendees removing pest plants from the top of the sand dunes, Waipu Cove. PHOTO/SUPPLIED