Aiming to attend camp in United States

Wakatipu High School pupil Baxter Thomas (right) has been chosen attend a youth summer camp in...
Wakatipu High School pupil Baxter Thomas (right) has been chosen attend a youth summer camp in North Carolina, a positive experience vouched by Wakatipu Youth Trust worker Rhys Smith who returns as a camp counsellor this year. Photo by James Beech.

A Queenstown youth is aiming to raise $4500 to attend a summer camp in the United States.

Wakatipu High School pupil Baxter Thomas (13) has been selected by the Wakatipu Youth Trust to receive a $6000 scholarship to attend Camp Carolina.

Baxter will participate in activities at the adventure and sports camp in Brevard, North Carolina for four weeks from the end of June.

Boys are taught to appreciate the simplicity of life, human relations, nature, self reliance, respect, and the thrill of high adventure.

''A special effort is made to send every boy back home stronger in body, keener in mind, more appreciative of nature, nobler in character and more confident in themselves,'' the camp philosophy states.

Baxter, who has been on family holidays to Colorado and Utah previously, said on Friday: ''I'm looking forward to making new friends and sharing things about New Zealanders.''

''I'm interested in learning some good life skills, like better leadership.

''It feels pretty good to be the first of something and it's massive for New Zealand.

''It would be lovely to see it continue.''

Wakatipu Youth Trust worker Rhys Smith had first-hand experience at Camp Carolina, having there worked as a camp counsellor for 10 weeks in 2013.

He will work at the camp again when Baxter attends this year.

To help meet the shortfall in expenses, including flights and insurance, the trust has organised a one-day fundraising sale of clothes for both genders and all ages in the Youth Booth on April 5 from noon to 2pm.

Patrons buy a plastic bag for $5 and can fill it with as many clothes as they like. More bags can be bought for $5 each.

Training facility Fight Science Queenstown has pledged $300 towards the Camp Carolina initiative.

A barbecue at the Youth Booth is being considered for late April and trustees plan to auction winter-oriented packages of accommodation and activities.

Mr Smith said trustees ''are hoping to gain a sponsor in the community to help us in providing this opportunity for a male and female youth, as Camp Carolina has a sister camp which the trust are hoping to connect with and get on board for the future''.

''We are looking to develop a scholarship application process where youth are able to apply and it will incorporate some of our other programmes we run, such as leadership,'' Mr Smith said.

• Anyone interested in supporting the Wakatipu Youth Trust can contact Mr Smith

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