There’s no denying it, today has been all about the rain. We woke up to a down pour and it hasn’t stopped all day. As we’re walking up from breakfast I check the Met Office app on my phone and I can just about make out the Yellow Rain Alert flashing on the screen through the rain drops that are splashing on the screen. It turns out that the local Met Office weather station is actually on the PGL camp so it’s as accurate as it’s going to get and what it says is heavy rain right through to 9pm.
Amazingly it turns out that three of today’s activities are indoors, the first indoor activities we’ve done all week and a fourth activity is a water fight against the other NCS groups.
The crate challenge is probably the best activity we did today, it’s simple but really effective as a way of getting young people to work as a team. The object is to build a tower out of packing crates and to get two people to the top of the tower without it falling over. This may sound easy but very soon the tower is over 10 feet high and if the two ‘climbers’ don’t help each other to balance then the tower starts to sway dramatically and eventually tumble leaving the climbers suspended by their safety harnesses. This is a great team building challenge and one that the whole group takes part in and it is only a shame that we didn’t do this earlier in the week.
All of the activities and challenges have been brilliant this week and every single young person has said that the week was better than they were expecting though if we were to make it better next year a different combination of activity, youth work sessions and social action would be the way to go. Normally we would run all three at the same time and overlap them so that the social action volunteering is part of the youth work, not the result of it. Ultimately spliting the programme into a week of activity, a week of youth work and a week of social action feels an unnatural division and actually puts more pressure of delivery staff. It would have been better to have had proper scheduled youth work sessions this week mixed in with the activities rather than us having to do it ad hoc in between activities and meals and to also have at least one day of social action volunteering this week to give the young people a specific goal and a group achievement of which they can all be proud.
The real positive of today though is the fact that despite the falling outs and the stink bombs and the rain every single one of the young people from our group can’t wait for the second week to start which has to be a great measure of success for any project.
See you all tomorrow.