Top Outdoor Spot competition back in 2016

It's time for Kiwi students to think about the photos, drawings and descriptions of their favourite outdoor places they'd like to enter into the 2016 Top Outdoor Spot competition.

The competition is being run on the New Zealand Walking Access Commission's Both Sides of the Fence ( education website from 1 February to 8 May 2016.

Both Sides of the Fence is an educational resource designed to help teachers and students think about how to use the outdoors responsibly. It includes animated cartoon videos, educational resources and activities for primary and intermediate school children that help raise awareness of responsible behaviour in the outdoors in a fun and interactive way.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission chief executive Mark Neeson said the Top Outdoor Spot competition was a great way to build critical thinking about responsible outdoor behaviour, and what it means to be a New Zealander.

“Many youngsters know what it means to be outdoors and have fun with their family and friends, whether it's tramping and camping in the bush, having a day at the beach or going on a skiing holiday. What this competition does is make them reflect on something that they might otherwise take for granted, that is a big part of the New Zealand way of life.”

The students who send in the "Best Photo", “Best Drawing” and "Best Description" will each win prizes including a kids' prize pack from Hunting & Fishing, a Kahuna backpack from Macpac, Skellerup Red Band gumboots, and socks from the Kiwi Sock Company. Their schools will win 1L pump bottles of sunscreen from the New Zealand Cancer society, and second and third place winners in each category will also receive prizes.

Mr Neeson said the past two years have seen a steady increase in the number of photos, drawings and descriptions submitted from across the country.

“We received more than 180 entries last year. This is a fun competition for kids and we're expecting that even more will take part this year,” Mr Neeson said.

While the Top Outdoor Spot competition tends to target children at years 4-8, any student enrolled in a New Zealand school is eligible to win.

The competition will coincide with new animated scenarios and teacher resources on the Both Sides of the Fence site. Two new scenarios will look at the Queen's Chain and responsible behaviour in the outdoors when on a field trip. A third, available in both Te Reo Māori and English, will focus on healthy families and the benefits of enjoying the outdoors.