Respect for the outdoors
Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre (TOPEC) provides outdoor and environmental sustainability learning experiences for children and young people.
“Over 3,000 students come through our programmes each year. Our vision is to inspire learning, growth and potential. We want to create positive relationships, community and personal change, through experiential learning, adventure and challenge,” said Grover Worsfold, Director.
“The biggest challenge is being able to have and maintain sufficiently qualified staff to be able to deliver our unique programmes.”
Funding of $77k from Toi Foundation enabled TOPEC to provide its programmes to Taranaki students for a year. “This has meant we can offer more programmes and afford to train and qualify instructors to teach and deliver a quality, meaningful experience that will last a lifetime.”
“The types of programmes we offer are dependent on what the students require. We run experiential camps to give real life experiences in the outdoors, while developing interpersonal skills, building self-reliance, confidence and enhancing well-being. Activities such as rafting, staying overnight on the Maunga, rock climbing, high ropes, abseiling and kayaking are used as a medium to produce amazing learning opportunities.”
“Our senior programmes help students achieve credits towards NCEA while caving, climbing or tramping. We also run the Duke of Edinburgh for the whole of Taranaki. Building resilience and opening doors with work readiness and confidence for students has been incredible over the last year.”
“We have also been able to offer more programmes with a sustainability focus, all in line with Project Mounga and Predator Free Taranaki."
"In all our teachings, we embed Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Kaitiakitanga which is essentially respect and responsibility for self, for others and for the environment,” Grover said.