School Camps at Finlay Park

We love having school camps at Finlay Park.











Welcome teachers

At Finlay Park we understand organising a school camp is a tough job, but so incredibly worth it! The reason you are on our web page is because you belief school camping has incredible valve. And we are here to help and make it happen. Below are a number of resources and information you can use to make the task easier. Anything missing or anything you would like to see in there? Contact us and let us know.

So as you carry on the process of planning and creating an awesome camp week consider the words of NZ own Neuroscience educator and child development expert, Nathan Wallis;

“As attention has moved more and more towards literacy and numeracy assessment in our curriculum and less about the total human experience, children have been put under undue pressure and their mental health is suffering at record breaking levels as a consequence. School camp offered a one week window to address what should be an intregal part of our nation’s schools’ curriculums across the entire year……………………………School camp offers the opportunity for students to develop the dispositions and skills the literature associates with resilient children. Over- coming obstacles and personal limits to realise you are more than you know; having the chance to demonstrate leadership skills other than class based and excel; the ability to connect with nature and understand the healing and balancing nature of this to your own brain and mind; not to mention the ability to actually APPLY all the things TALKED ABOUT in the classroom.”  – Nathan Wallis.

Enquire now for some rare dates/ weeks still available in 2020:

  • April 6th – 9th (week 11 term 1)

  • May 11th – 15th (week 3 term 2)

  • June 1st –  5th (week 6 term 2)

  • June 8th – 12th (week7 term 2)

Use the contact form at the bottom of this page.


We are an adventure camp and the safety of campers is paramount. We understand the responsibilities,  pressures and stress that school principals, BOT’s, and teachers feel under the new Health and Safety at Work act 2015.

We are here to take some of that stress and pressure of you and simplify the process and provide all the information that you and your management team require to be confident about being safe at Finlay Park. It’s all about transparency and disclosure, and we have some excellent documentation, support and resources to help you in the process.

If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed here please let us know and we will work with you to address your concerns. If you have any questions of concerns while you are at camp please ask one of the staff and they will be happy to assist you.

See a list below with a short description;

Parent helpers

School camps and any camp for that matter are great times where teachers see the best come out in their students and where the class room becomes the world around us. The parents of your students can be a great part of this and in our experience it is those parent helpers that can make, or sometimes break a camp.

We advise schools to select their parent helpers for school camp carefully, in order to get the most out of camp, for the students as well as for the adults.

Below are two links; The first one will take you to our Activity Action Plan page. This page contains each activity in an easy downloadable format, ideal for camp parent booklets. You can also find it by going to the “Camps” tab and clicking on booking info and then Health and Safety downloads.

The other form can help you select the parent helpers you need for camp. We encourage schools to “hand pick “parents instead of a “first in first serve” attitude. Not all parents are created equally.

Google forms and Excel survey in Office 365 are very useful tools in building a form that parents can fill out on line and submit. It will also allow you to collect the submitted data automatically in an excel sheet and compare the statistics. Those days where you had to rely on a student to get the parent sign up form to his/her mum or dad or well with this technology. If you are not sure how to create a form simply go to U tube and use one of the bold headings above.

Students care

Like we mentioned in the Safety tab, disclosing what the school has got planned for their students to their parents/ caregivers is crucial. This is a vital element in your Health and Safety planning of a EOTC event. Mum and dad want to know if Johnny is going to swim, as that gives them the opportunity to inform you that he sinks like a brick. Our safety tab before should have covered that. But part of that process is collecting the right information from the parents, like ” can johnny swim ‘yes’ or ‘ no’?

We would like to give you some pointers as to what type of information to collect from students. The easiest way to do this is through google forms if your school works with Google, and excel surveys if your school works with Office 365. The processes are essentially the same in that you can create an online form easily, send it out via e mail, and collect the data automatically in the cloud once parents submit the form. It will create a simple excel sheet with names and all the other needed data stacked up nicely in a row.

You’re not a computer nerd? Simply go to U tube and there are hundreds of video’s of people who will walk you through it step by step.

Essential student info you should collect:

Emergency contact info; two options are always better than one.

Medical requirements: You need to know if your student as any medical condition that will put his life or that of others at risk. For example a days kayaking trip with someone who is prone to severe asthma when cold is something you should know about. But also simple stuff like sleep walking is essential to know as you would want to sleep that child in a bottom bunk bed.

Allergies and Anaphylaxic reactions:

Students physical and emotional state: Is very important to know for a Finlay Park instructor if a child has a irrational fear of deep water as it could take up quite a bit of time in a group setting to deal with that. Also the basics like can your child swim, is essential to know.

Consent: You need consent from the parent or caregiver to administer panadol, seek emergency first aid,  and of course permission to have the student join the event.

Sleeping arrangements: 

Finlay Park mostly provides bunk bed options. We require all groups to arrange rooms in such a way so that people with sleeping disorders (sleep walking, rest less sleeping, etc), and children under the age of 9 years, sleep on a bottom bunk bed.

We also recommend sleeping boys in the Lake cabins (bomb proof cabins, with lino floor and timber walls), Girls in the upstairs apartments (carpeted which girls can handle), parents in the river cabins (en suites, so no need to share with students) and teachers in the lagoon suites (slightly more peaceful!). See the map below

Map of Finlay



We have a few options for you to chose from. See the price lists below.

Catered camp option

Self catered option

Village self catered option

There is huge value in camping which makes the cost worth it. Below is a PDF with some general fundraising ideas which can make all the difference.

Fund raising ideas

Catered or Non-catered

One of the times for campers and adults to get together is around meal times and these provide an excellent time to catch up and see how camp is going. Finlay Park provides either catered or self catered options for groups.

So what does that mean? When our expert staff cater your meals, we provide all your food from dinner the first day until lunch on your last. Finlay Park Staff are happy to work with your group to provide meals for campers with specific dietary requirements such as Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy free or vegetarian. All other requirements are outside the scope of Finlay Park catered camps. Contact us with any queries.

If you cater for your own group you have use of our commercial kitchen which includes use of 3 combi ovens, and all the other necessary items you need to provide for your group. We can help you with meal ideas and tried and tested recipes and, by request, you can make use of our food providers and be more cost effective.

Below we have our kitchen induction folder and our kitchen policies for self catered groups;

Let us know where we can help you.

Evening Program

Apart from The Glow Worm trip we do not provide any activities or instructors after 5:00pm. However there are option available as we have plenty of games and activities that can be organised and run by your own group. Some of these are: The Adventure Trail, Reflector trail, and a Movie night ( projector available). If you are after some more ideas check ot the night games document below or check out the link for some great ideas.

Youth group games

Night or evening games

On Arrival

A brief safety talk is given when your group arrives at the camp. It’s a simply do’s and don’t type list. After this talk your host will take the adults in your group for a quick tour/ training session for the adult supervised activities. It will complement the training module on line.

How many sessions?

This all depends on the numbers in your group and the size of your activity groups. Most schools will run with 3 sessions per day, which gives you a bit of spare time in either the afternoon or morning. In that spare time activities like the Slide, Pool and Blob can be used if it’s not already part of your activity sessions.

Group numbers for activities should be between 18 and 28 children per activity. Obviously smaller groups are easier to manage, children get more “turns” (for example Indoor Climbing, or Go karts). However bigger groups can help reduce the overall costs. We can manage more children per group but it’s not always advisable (for example Rafting or Kayaking). Also take into account that if a group is very small it would be better to combine two activities. To keep cost down you can always combine with a free activity like the Flying fox or the Slide.

When you book we will work with you to prepare a program for your camp that is unique to your groups specific requirements.



Large Groups

Animal Survival, Out Camp, Maungatautari Eco walk, Sling Shot Paint ball, and the Bush Bash can take larger numbers than most other activities, and in most programs we can combine activity groups to make up the numbers. We are happy to work out the program details for you.

Top team

Top Team An activity designed for the whole school group not just individual groups within the school group. With Top Team you can have a maximum of six teams; however we can cater for your bigger group if you let us know in advance.

What happens if it rains?

So nobody really want to think about a camp in the rain but we have plenty of covered spaces including a 40m x 25m covered gym. The Finlay Park staff can work with you through the camp to adjust the program if the weather is going to be an issue. But really, what kid’s don’t want to swim in the rain and then warm up in the spa pool. Adults can skip the pool and go straight to the spa.


Home time

On your last day there might be time to squeeze in one more session, a combined activity like Top Team, or just free time. Clean up can take up to two hours, Please make sure you allow enough time for this. We have a Final Clean Up Duties List to assist you in the final clean up. If the Adults and kids all get together for the cleanup we have found that this can be a fitting end to the campin experience. We are happy to provide an earlier lunch (for groups who need to travel further) on the departure date or even a packed lunch if needed (let us know in advance).