Founded in 1990, Discovery Foundation Inc. is a registered not-for-profit, incorporated society.
Discovery for Teens is a unique programme for all young New Zealanders. Unlike other programmes it does not focus solely on at risk, or high-achievers, but provides benefits to all backgrounds and is in fact successful due to having a cross-spread of the average NZ population on programme.
Discovery is directly derived from Winners Camp Hawaii, which itself is derived from Super Camp in the USA and is also known as Discovery in Australia. Since 2010 Discovery Foundation NZ (Inc.) has full ownership of the local intellectual property and may develop and deliver the programme.
Discovery Staff - in the office
General Manager - Jaidan Mason
Jaidan’s role includes the event co-ordination of Discovery programmes, liaising with client families and referrers from around the country, overseeing accounts and ensuring the smooth running of the office. She also works along side the Board of Trustees with corporate and youth organisation relationships, grant applications and accountability reports.
Jaidan comes from a background in events and administration and has worked in the child/youth, education, commercial and charitable sectors. Jaidan is married with 3 teenagers and has a passion for seeing people reach their full potential.
Programme Administrator - Heather Peach
Heather has volunteered as a team leader on Discovery for Kids since 2015. She has also experienced being a team leader and administrator on the Teen programme. She loves that everyone gets something out of both of these programmes, including the volunteers!
Heathers background is in Finance, Business Analysis and Project Management. Heather is in the office on Tuesday's and Friday's.
Office Administrator - Sarah Jane Giffin
Sarah Jane is the main point of contact for families registering their child or teen onto our programmes. She is responsible for processing enrollments, sending out information packs and ensuring that our programmes have everything they need to run.
Discovery Programme Staff
Programme Facilitator - Meredith Kennett
Meredith was a Discovery For Teens teenager participant in 1991 and set as her life and career goal on programme to become a life-skills educator for youth. Meredith put in place the actions to make this happen and has been one of the main facilitators at Discovery since 2000, she took over the Lead Facilitator role in 2009. Meredith is also a facilitator on our Discovery for Kids.
Meredith is an Educator and Trainer full time, delivering communication skills workshops and also training trainers for many different public and government organisations. Meredith has a diploma in Child Psychology and is also trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Group Dynamics, and
Meredith is currently the Board Chair for two Auckland schools and has two teenagers of her own.
Academics Trainer - Wayne Prince
NLP Trainer certified INLPTA
Wayne has a huge passion for learning and discovering new things and teaches techniques that enable people of all ages to learn in fun and creative ways. Working in schools and with teenagers, teachers and parents all over the world for the past 17 years, Wayne has developed ways of communicating and connecting with people which allows him to pass on these learning techniques in fun, impacting and life changing ways. Wayne also works with his partner to teach empathetic empowerment courses throughout the year.
Wayne is also a facilitator on Discovery for Kids.
Deb Hipperson – Programme Director
Deb came along to Discovery in 1998 as a Team Leader. She returned to Discovery in 2009 after living and working in the UK in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Social work & Further Education and has been involved with Discovery ever since. Deb is a qualified Primary School Teacher. She is the second presenter with the Young Enterprise Business Challenge (working with Teenagers) and is a relieving teacher in local primary schools. Along with her partner, Deb runs Communication & Transformative Mediation Workshops for Adults. With her partner, Deb has four children and is passionate about living a connected life and supporting others to do the same. She believes in supporting young people to believe in themselves and to make life serving choices.
We work to a minimum ratio of one staff member for every four teenagers. In addition to our qualified facilitators, there are a number of other professional staff on each of our programmes, as well as volunteer team leaders. Team leaders have three days training prior to the teens arriving and are supported by our experienced staff throughout Discovery. There are also other volunteers that support specific parts of each Discovery e.g. Ropes Day. All staff and volunteers are police vetted.
Discovery Board of Trustees
More about us and the Discovery programme
Discovery is a non-religious, non-political, non-gender, unbiased programme. Those with physical disabilities are also welcome - please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.
Discovery encourages teenagers to grow mentally and emotionally, with physical elements achieved as a team. We start by asking participants to accept and celebrate who they are to find their strengths going forward.
We aim to:
- Approach everyone with respect, empathy and fun.
- Focus on the present and future.
- Be widely identified as the best programme for New Zealand teens.
- Be not-for-profit and commercially savvy. We’ll grow within our means, be accessible and affordable.
- Be economical and excellent in everything we deliver.
- Be both apolitical and nonreligious.
- Show support and gratitude to our supporters.
The Discovery for Teens course provides insights and implements tools for change:
- Reviewing techniques and language: thoughts into words into actions.
- Goal setting and personal responsibility.
- Self-management, self-motivation, self-awareness and time-out.
- Academic techniques such as speed reading, memorisation & exam prep.
- Communication skills for approaching peers, teachers, parents and authorities.
- Impact of everyday decisions and actions that affect their lives, both short and long-term.
- Healthy choices from food and sleep, to technology addictions or other addictive behaviours.
- Working as a team, particularly on our Ropes day.
Since 2013, Discovery for Teens has been held in Henderson, Auckland. Discovery has provided courses New Zealand-wide, including Rotorua, Marton, Ngaruawahia, Manawatu, Wellington and Christchurch.
Our vision is to hold our programmes in various NZ locations each year, joined by thousands of Kiwi families participating and experiencing the full benefits of Discovery.
The national office is based in Auckland. Click HERE for details.
Risk Management Programme
As we encourage teens to self-explore and face personal challenges, risk management is vital. Discovery for Teens has a Health and Wellbeing Officer, a volunteer-to-teen ratio of 1:4 and fully trained and experienced facilitators.
How we measure results for each Discovery programme:
- Pre, post and six-month follow up surveys with parents and caregivers are evaluated.
- Feedback forms focused on key capabilities are completed by participants, before and after.
- Feedback from guidance parties, such as teachers and counsellors, are gathered.