A group of Tauranga schoolchildren have learned water safety messages the fun way.
Sliding off a waterslide into the Wairoa river, standing up in kayaks ... and falling out, wrestling on the gladiator pole - the Year 5 and 6 students from Maungatapu School did it all yesterday.
They embraced every challenge and they didn't say "I can't".
"Can't" is a forbidden word at Waimarino Adventure Park, so are the words "freezing" and "cold".
Teacher Matu Pene said the water was not warm (he's not allowed to say the other words) but the three classes from Maungatapu had jumped in and enjoyed every activity.
The kids had taken risks in a controlled environment and overcome their fears, he said.
Organised by New Zealand Post, TVNZ and Water Safety New Zealand, yesterday's outing at Waimarino was one of a series of "Our Way of Life" days being run around the country.
Bay of Plenty water safety adviser Denise Jones said Maungatapu School had been chosen and sponsored to attend the day.
"We've worked with schools to include kids who might otherwise miss out on water safety education, including children with special needs, at-risk youth and others who aren't accessing swimming programmes through their schools."
"They're great kids but missing out on those water safety skills could make them very vulnerable if they end up running into difficulty near water."
Ms Jones said avoiding the water was not an option because New Zealand has so many recreational swimming locations.
"Let's not forget that half of the drownings in New Zealand each year involve people who weren't intending to be in the water at the time."
The "Our Way of Life" days are designed to combine fun activities with water safety messages.
New Zealand Post's head of sponsorship said spending time at the beach over summer were some of the best times of a child's life.
"It's an iconic childhood experience. We want to help the next generation make the most of their summer, and to come out at the end of it safely and with skills that will serve them well for the future."
"As a sweetener we're also giving away drawstring bags, T-shirts, wrist bands with the water safety messages and drink bottles."
Earlier in the year children from Arataki School attended an "Our Way of Life" day at Baywave swimming pool.