Right through their time at school, students at Raphael House participate in a graduated and rich curriculum of outdoor education. These camps start locally and extend eventually to a wide variety of environments in New Zealand. They will include a “Greek Olympics” camp, geology and environmental studies, skiing, river rafting, farming, biking, work experience, surveying, rites of passage camps and challenging multi-day tramps.

At Raphael House we regard camps and outdoor activities as an essential aspect of a healthy and balanced education, encouraging physical fitness, self-reliance and teamwork, where Nature requires engagement, and so becomes the teacher. Past students often refer to the camps as a highlight of their many memories of the school.

Summary of Outdoor Education and Camps

Class 3Farm Camp Term 1
Key Themes: Links to farming Main lesson, Moving towards independence
Key Skills: Gas stove cooking, Tenting, Basic plant and animal care
Key Experiences: Harvesting/planting, animal and land care, team building
Class 4Castlepoint Exploration Camp Term 1
Key Themes: Local history, local stories, Self management
Key Skills: Walking long distances, Gear preparation, Meal preparation
Key Experiences: Te Wheke cave, Local stories, Rock Pools, Lighthouse
Class 5Greek Olympics Camp with some other New Zealand Waldorf schools Term 4
Key Themes: Autonomy, Responsibility, Independence, Overcoming difficulties
Key Skills: Athletic skills-javelin, discuss, jumping, running, Gear care
Key Experiences: Greek main lesson, Greater indepedence & responsibiity 
Class 6Pinnacles Geology camp in the Wairarapa Term 4
Key Themes: Geology, Self Responsibility
Key Skills: Appropriate gear, long walks, cooking, first aid, boundary pushing
Key Experiences: Pinnacles walk through Ruakokoputuna Gorge
Class 7Sailing Camp in Whanganui Term 1
Key Themes: Age of Exploration, Nutrition, Greater Independence 
Key Skills: Sailing, cooking, tenting, First Aid
Key Experiences: Sailing, Cooking, tenting
Class 8Tomokanga camp in the Tararua or Remutaka Mountain Range Term 3 or 4
Key Questions: What is my role right now? What do I offer the group?
Key Themes: Autonomy, Responsibility, Independence, Overcoming difficulties
Key Skills: Tramping, fire lighting, fire cooking, tenting
Key Experiences: Tramping, Childhood token, Letter writing, fireside conversation
Class 9Tongariro Crossing Camp Term 1
Key Questions: What is the right thing to do? What can I do right now?
Key Themes: Group Responsibility, Observation, Overcoming difficulties
Key Skills: Alpine Tramping, camping, group cooking, tenting,  nutrition
Key Experiences: Tongariro Crossing, Lakes-Springs Walks
Two weeks Farming Placement Term 3
In the middle of the year Class 9 students participate in a two-week Farm Experience if possible on a sustainable or organic farm.
Class 10New Zealand History Wanganui River Term 1
Key Questions: What are my potentials? What is possible?
Key Themes: Sense of place, pepeha, waiata, nga pakiwaitara, NZ history
Key Skills: Paddling, swimming, tenting, cooking
Key Experiences: Paddling, Team work, Te Ao Maori
Survey Camp Term 4
In Term 4 Class 10 undertake a surveying project in the Hawkes Bay.
Two weeks Community Service Placement Term 4
Towards the end of the year each Class 10 student contributes socially to a therapeutic or educational organisation during a two-week Community Service placement.
Class 11Abel Tasman Camp Term 1
Key Questions: Where am I going? What is the right question?
Key Themes: Leadership, Independence
Key Skills: Tramping, camping, cooking, map work, route plotting
Key Experiences: Team work, tramping
Work Experience Placement Term 4
In tClass 11 students find a work experience placement.
Class 11 are also tasked with organising the Talent show and the School Ball.
Class 12Rite of Passage Camp Term 4
Key Questions: What has been the meaning of my life? What will my future be?
Key Themes: Kawa, tikanga, solo experience, 
Key Skills: Travelling, food gathering, hangi, solo experience
Key Experiences: Kaimoana gathering, hangi, solo exp, tramps,reflections evening, 

At the end of class 12 there are several different opportunities for students to reflect on the journey of their schooling. At this time it is evident each and every year that the camps have played an important and formative aspect to Raphael Houses bespoke education.