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Maria Cramp at YSDC 17

Age: 16

Gliding Club: Wellington Gliding Club

Hours: 60

The Omarama Youth Glide New Zealand 2018 camp! For me, this was a different order of flying altogether. Just imagine, seeing the Alps each time you go up, and the fantastic feeling of flying in the wave up to Mount Cook for the first time. The scenery from the air is simply fabulous, and as for the flying, the word ‘exhilarating’ simply doesn’t do it justice.

At Omarama my flying skills and confidence in the air improved hugely under the guidance of skilled instructors. I was able to finish my B certificate and move onto single seat gliding in a Libelle, (now my favourite glider), generously loaned by the Hawkes Bay Gliding Club. And all this with people around my own age who love gliding as much as I do. I had great flying, great fun and met new and valued friends.

And the evenings!! I recall camp fires with karaoke, friendship and laughter among air-minded people, and each night a joyful reunion with our fellow flyers, the local mosquitos. I’m sure we could learn something from them by the way.

Of course, none of it is possible without the hard work and logistical skills of Roger and Kim, the clubs who loaned gliders, and the many others great people who all did a great job of organising everything on the ground; the people who really made this camp so successful. An army marches on its stomach said Napoleon, and so it was at Omarama. So to all the instructors and helpers and admin staff and cooks and bottle washers and tow pilots, and the many friends that I met at that camp; thank you.

If you haven’t been on a Youth Glide camp, try one out. If you’ve never been to Omarama with Youth Glide New Zealand, I can assure you that it will be something you’ll never forget. Get there!


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