What better place to make new friends, explore new places and discover valuable opportunities than by staying at the Y. As a place for all, the Y offers a safe, hospitable and fun environment for everyone, of all ages and cultures, from many locations.

Recently at the Y we had the awesome students from Trident High School in Whakatane staying. School accommodation at the Y provides kids with a safe and interactive environment to learn, grow, and socialise. We’re a proud for-purpose organisation stepping up for young people and The Y values the role of camps as a stepping-stone for positive change. Culturally enriching trips are worth the effort and deliver a host of positive social and academic outcomes.

Learning outside the classroom contributes significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development. The Y accommodation helps enable this hugely valuable experience to happen, even in a world of narrowing curriculums, budgets and health awareness.

The Y is the only accommodation provider in New Zealand that has a safeguarding policy for children and are ACF certified. Safeguarding is a fundamental part of our culture and a culture we are proud to share with all our staff, customers and members. This provides “peace of mind for educators and parents that everyone who stays with us can feel protected and cared for,” Krishna, part of The Y team, says. That safeguarding assurance, and the fact that the YMCA accommodation team are so generous and friendly, translates to many schools returning year after year.

Trident High School began visiting The Y in 2018 and haven’t missed a year! Kate Elliot, an English teacher from Trident, "feels very safe at The Y", and greets Krishna and Monica at reception with a hug. Krishna and Monica have observed that the reason why schools stay with us is about the intangibles, like connection and empathy- and they personally feel deeply engaged with our school visitors.

Kate is a huge cheerleader for The Y with her fellow teachers and says, "we are always looking for opportunities to come up and stay." For Kate and her students, "The Y is a great place to meet new people and experience new things, especially as in the shared spaces our kids can hang out and interact with tourists from around the world!". One of the biggest benefits of The Y for Kate is that the team here make it "easy for us". Fulfilling the requirements for Health and Safety paperwork is streamlined, as The Y's safeguarding and security meet every requirement.

School camps are a formative experience in a young person’s life, providing opportunities for independence and growth away from the classroom and home, uniquely exposing students to different cultures, environments, ideas and prospects.

For the Trident High School students this trip enables them to thrive through city experiences while developing their confidence, knowledge and capabilities. For some of our recent visitors, this camp was their first opportunity to be in charge of themselves, and gain independence to make decisions by themselves. Exploring the local cuisine presented much excitement, with one of the students trying Brazilian food for dinner for the first time. They were able to be adventurous through exposure to unique cultures and activities outside their normal scope. The Y can be a gateway for students to go out of their comfort zone - to access a whole raft of new and educational experiences, to learn about diversity and difference, and to see what the city has to offer.

Teacher Kate looks for opportunities to get her students out of the classroom, loving trips which push kids into unfamiliar territory. Nudging kids out of their comfort zones, “teaches them about others as well as themselves.” It helps them see the expansiveness of our world and perhaps inspires them to think about what might be available to them out there. Trident’s English Department’s programme is dynamic both in and out of class and this trip helped expose their students to the world of literature beyond the classroom and beyond their small town. Made up of a group of booklovers and author hopefuls, the students attended the Reader-Writer Festival in Auckland where they experienced seminars and workshops with some of the world’s literary best, designed to inspire young writers and readers.

The Y creates a home base for these students to explore the city and to spend time with their friends, peers and teachers, creating unique, memorable, shared experiences. The hum of excitement and youthful energy radiated from the Trident School rangatahi as they took advantage of the Y North’s central location to explore Auckland. Our Trident High School guests got to explore the city streets, its museums and galleries, the zoo, the restaurants, and to take part in the Auckland Writers Festival. Trident students loved “how close it was to all the shops and restaurants, and Kate loved that she "didn't have to cater, with all the amazing food joints so close". We were able to walk for about 10 minutes to reach them”, and the “easy access to queen Street.”

Even the chill out times at The Y were experiences to cherish; rowdy games of pool, friendly competition at table tennis, gentle time to strum a few tunes on the guitar, or time to just flop into the comfy beanbags to catch the latest sports or news, with students reporting what they loved most being “beating everyone at pool”, “the ping pong table because it was a good way to cure boredom and use up energy”, and even “being able to go up and down the elevator as much as I wanted (because no way was I taking those stairs)…”

The support of The Y staff and the safe environment offered in the space made this trip much easier! All the students who travelled to Auckland and stepped out of their comfort zone are thankful for the opportunity that The Y helped them to take advantage of. Returning home, Kate says the effect on the students is always obvious; "relationships are deeper, focus is stronger, and their worlds seem bigger".

Make your own trip memorable and meaningful with The Y.

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