EASTERN Bay teenagers Sian Bluett and Majean Rogers have returned from an eventful five-day development camp in Hong Kong.
The 16-year-olds were selected to represent Whakatane and Kawerau Blue Light branches respectively as part of the New Zealand team travelling to Hong Kong to attend the Pat Heung Youth Development Camp in July.
They were among 18 Kiwi teenagers selected for the camp, hosted by the Hong Kong Junior Police Call, and joined youth from Hong Kong, Macau and four provinces of China.
The Kiwi contingent was also treated to the sights and sounds of their host city, including a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland.
Blue Light national programmes manager Hannah Ward says Sian was quiet but confident about the trip. “She gave it her all and took hold of all the opportunities that came her way.
I’m sure it will be a trip she will always remember and an experience that will hold her in good stead with her ambitions of joining the police force.
“We knew Majean had already proven himself to be a leader. He sits on the Kawerau Youth Council and that really shone through on the camp. His positivity and enthusiasm meant he made friends easily and was a valued member for everyone to follow. The incredible pianist from Kawerau has qualities that will place him in good stead throughout his life.”
“The trip was an incredible experience and the teenagers showed real grit and determination. Each day was action-packed and it took a lot of perseverance and resilience to deal with the heat, the language barrier and the camp activities.”
Hannah says just dealing with the heat was a challenge. “It was unbelievably hot – 34 degrees with high humidity. Then there was the language barrier. Initially the kids felt like a fish out of water – but the camp encouraged them to become solutions-based problem solvers.
“It took maturity and that was when their true leadership qualities shone through.”
Blue Light mentor Peter Wright says what impressed him most was the impact the students had on the programme itself. “The organisers enjoyed the sense of fun, enthusiasm and good humour our kids brought with them to the camp. I think the Hong Kong youth got as much out of it as our kids did.”
He says the teenagers represented New Zealand well, performing waiata and haka to great applause.
Hannah says the real highlight for the youth was the opportunity to be in Hong Kong, to experience a totally different country and way of life, catch the subway and experience such an intense metropolitan area.
“The youth also made some lifelong friends, both within our team and with Hong Kong people. I’m really impressed with all of them. All the kids excelled and did themselves, their families and their country proud.”
Eastern Bay Life sent Majean Rogers some questions about his trip to Hong Kong.
Majean Rogers –
Tarawera High School
What was the reason for your trip and what was the background for your involvement?
Bluelight is an organisation that empowers young youth to further enhance their skills but also having the ability to have the best time of their lives.
Our trip was for us to develop ourselves and experience a trip of a lifetime, witnessing a different culture and participating in amazing activities that allowed ourselves to get out of our comfort zones.
My involvement of helping the Kawerau Bluelight and supporting young youth allowed me to attend this great opportunity.
What did you find most interesting?
Having such a great passion in learning different cultures allowed me to have the best time ever. The overall trip had a lot in store for us, from meeting new friends we can now call family and finding our abilities to stand up and express who we are as New Zealanders. I found the whole trip interesting from day one.
Tell me about your overall impressions of the training you undertook. Was there a particular skill or set of skills you found most useful?
The overall week was packed with fun activities that were based around what a typical Hong Kong police officer would do, activities involving high ropes, zip lining, CSI workshop, water activities and experiencing a virtual reality shooting range. The week had definitely uplifted some of my skills in self confidence and having a positive mindset on helping others.
You mentioned that your group of new Zealanders were the first to participate in this event, how did that make you feel?
This made me feel honoured that myself and 18 youth from around New Zealand had this opportunity to experience for the first time. I can gladly say that the trip was definitely worth it.
What has this trip given you?
This Bluelight trip had me emotional when we had to leave but that showed me that I had a mean as time. This trip has given me so much hope and determination for my future. I will definitely be inspired by this trip so I can make a difference for our community.
If you could sum up your experiences in one word what would it be?