A record number of Red Beach Junior members and their families have settled into the club’s five-day camp at Mangawhai Heads.
Traditionally held in early-January the camp has, over the years, evolved to become the Junior division’s greatest success. Now an iconic experience, the camp’s major attraction is the Survivor Challenge which is the pinnacle of the activities.
A total of 80 families including 110 Junior members are currently booked into the Mangawhai Heads Holiday Park. There are 150 Juniors aged 8-13 years registered for the Survivor Challenge on Thursday 10 January and they will be split into 20 teams to work together to face the challenges of survival.
There’s also a Mini Survivor for Juniors aged 4-7 years. Lining up for this will be 27 youngsters in six teams plus a team of four unbadged U9s.
The Challenge has an 8.30 am start and the quickest team is likely to take around 45 minutes to complete it. All teams will need to crack a code on completing the Challenge and this will determine the winning team. A hearty breakfast for all participants follows the event.
The Mangawhai Camp will culminate with the Northern Region’s Interclub carnival # 2 at Ruakaka Beach on Saturday 12 January.
History of the Mangawhai Camp
The camp had its beginnings in 2001 when Junior division chairman Murray Gosden took a team to Papamoa for a three-night stay to compete in a Junior carnival.
In 2002 & 2003, Junior chairman Steve Golder and his committee made the Ruakaka Sun Smart carnival their stay-away camping event for three days in January.
For three consecutive years, from 2004 - 2006, with Cherie Dillon as Junior chairperson, the club’s athletes were again accommodated at the Ruakaka Camping Ground because of its close proximity to the carnival venue.
The very first 5-day camp in 2005 has long been recognised as Year One of what is now an iconic event. It was at this camp that organisers Tavita Tuilaepa, Grant Davison and Tere Ryan brought in a large marquee with fridges for the benefit of families.
The camp witnessed the inaugural Survivor Challenge and it was also the beginning of the infamous Ice Run which has continued to be one of the camp’s highlights.
Mangawhai became the venue for the camp in 2007 and it’s been held there consecutively except for the years 2013 & 2014 when the Pakiri camping ground was used.