By: Rich Nielsen

4 of us escaped to the woods for a night away from the kids (13 between us)The clouds built as we left, threatening to ruin our fun. Destined for the unknown we paddled our canoes towards the far side of Lake Rotoma, the hunting grounds of our ancestors, in the hope of finding a decent campsite on the steep lake edge.

We were distracted from our mission by an enticing rock that needed to be jumped off (Without kids our youth emerged)

After an hour of paddling and no suitable campsites we came across a perfect bay with a spring-water creek. after a quick karakia (prayer) to the patupaiere (forest pixies) we set up camp.

As the sun fell, and the stars rose, the fire warmed, and the waiata (songs) entertained.

4 men, 4 dads, 4 explorers, 4 kaitiaki.

Caretakers of our land.