Despite the tragic events of the Christchurch shootings happening the same day, the 2019 second year Law Camp went smoothly, said students.
Camp leaders were informed of the Christchurch shootings when the second years arrived at Starters Bar to be transported to the Wairoa Scout Camp, putting a damper on the usually rowdy bus ride.
However, like many people in New Zealand, they didn’t realise the full extent of the tragedy until later. That evening the group leaders notified their groups about what had happened, and offered support and transport home if people wanted it. A SOULS representative stated that “the wellbeing and safety of all students on the camp was paramount for the SOULS executive and the Group Leaders.”
Law Camp activities went ahead on Saturday, including a morning of community work and an afternoon of sports. Josh Smythe came along to hold a yoga and Tai Chi session for all of the students, which was greatly appreciated despite the sweltering heat. In the evening, students were tasked with creating skits in a comedy competition.
Some students had been wary of attending the camp, having heard of its past controversies, but said they were pleased with the activities that SOULS planned for them. Students also felt that SOULS had dealt incredibly well with the tragic circumstances.
Many students noted that the camp was a great way to get to know each other. One student said “I’ve been bumping into people from camp all over the place,” and noted that the increase in camaraderie was crucial for a course that is so self-contained.
SOULS said it felt “delighted to see friendships form in what was a very safe environment”.