The Waitaki Boys’ High School social centre resembled a refugee camp last weekend.
A team of senior pupils and teachers organised a 20-hour sleepover in the building, to raise money for World Vision.
“This is our version of the 40-Hour Famine,” head boy Blake Martin (17) said.
“The challenge is to live out of a backpack for the whole night.
“All you can use, you have to bring in your backpack.”
The organisers had visited local businesses to get cardboard boxes to turn into shelters, which were then recycled, he said.
Some pupils turned their boxes into makeshift tents, while others had opted for cardboard mattresses.
Blake planned to pass the time, from 5pm on Friday to 1pm on Saturday, doing his homework, although he expected some “shenanigans” would probably distract him.
Organisers had hoped to raise $1200, but by Friday the 30 boys involved had already raised more than $2500, by way of a mufti day and online donations.
The money would go to families in Malawi, Blake said.
“We are very privileged to live where we do.
“It’s also a good bonding activity.
“It is good for us to have some younger boys [involved] and build those relationships.”