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Snails will be a must on camp with a difference

Aug 5th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

PARIS BOUND: Wellington High School students (from left) Em Wafer, Sophie Magee, Ian Montgomery, Samantha Wilson, Blake Walden and Alana Cooper.

EATING snails, touring Parisian fashion houses, meeting family for the first time, staying in King’s College Hall in London – it’s hardly your average school camp.

Food and fashion students from Wellington High School depart next week on an 18-day tour of Europe, the result of months of fundraising, stress and hard work.

Running every two years, the tour of 10 students from each subject – ranging across years 11, 12 and 13 – is accompanied by four staff and will spend a week each in London and Paris.

Trying escargot is mandatory for the food students and the itinerary includes fashion houses and famous eateries, with a little free time to visit traditional tourist spots, as well as meet up with family.

In previous years the tour group has eaten in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at the chefs table and cooked for the New Zealand High Commissioner.

Fundraising for the trip started in January, and the classes have raised just under $20,000 to go towards extra activities and sightseeing, in addition to the $6500 each for flights and accommodation.

Students were able to apply skills learned in class to their fundraising efforts, producing a cookbook, with recipes from famous New Zealand fashion chefs and designers, including fashion icon Trelise Cooper.

The fashion class also made tights, which combined with more traditional fundraising efforts such as quiz nights and movie sessions, helped them push up the funds thermometer.

Fashion student Alana Cooper, 17 (left) is most looking forward to meeting fashion icons.

“We’re going to meet Mahlia Kent…who has designed for Coco Chanel, really high end designers use fabric from them,” she says.

Alana wants a fashion career and is a veteran of the school’s Europe trip, having been on the last one in 2009, the first time year 11 students were included.

For food students Ian Montgomery, Blake Walden and Samantha Wilson, this is their first time out of the country.

“It’s exciting just getting out of the country and having a purpose – not just bumming around,” says Samantha.

The group will operate a buddy system in the busy streets of London and Paris to make sure no one gets lost.

“Someone missed our stop last time because they were reading the newspaper” says Alana.  “But they just waited at the next stop and a teacher went and got them.”

For their stay in London, the group has individual rooms at Kings College Hall, and hostel accommodation in Paris.

The students will also get time to see family, some of whom they have never met.

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is A Journalism Student at Whitireia in Wellington, New Zealand. His specialty areas are digital culture, politics and cyber-crime.
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