The NCS Summer Fun Project Movie and photos from Wookey Hole celebration event are now available on our website. Check it out.
After at least 5 change of plans the team leaders at Princes Trust finally decided on the days activity. So although we were no longer going sufing today the whole team was excited to get started.
Breakfast was energetic. Last night we had an awards ceremony and this morning each team member got a standing ovation at least once.
First thing we did after our full English was orienteering around the Lily Ponds, man-made lakes that were built hundreds of years ago. The weather was against us, so it was waterproofs all round. The instructors explained what we were meant to do: follow the map, using the compass, to find certain points around the landmark. We had photos of these places with us as well. We were put into groups off 3 or 4. I was with Dani (17) and Zoe (16). We decided to do the track backwards which worked out really well. We did manage to miss a couple of sites, but by the process of elimination, we managed to figure a solution out. All teams made it make to base by mid day, just in time to drive back for lunch.
After lunch we met up with the instructors to prepare for our afternoon of coasteering - an activty involving swimming and climbing the rocks in the ocean just off the coast. Struggling our way into wetsuits was the first challenge - a fairly unpleasant experience but definitely worth it in the end. Kitted out, we arrived at the seaside ready to go. Majestic bellyflops took us from the beach into the water then we were off through the waves, over the rocks and into caves in the cliffside. The whole afternoon was great fun with fantastic views and, very surprisingly, equally fantastic weather. Some of the best moments included diving (or bombing) from high rocks into the waves below and swimming through white water. The white water was really exciting. The waves were powerful and they pushed us all around - it was a bit like wild, natural rapids.
The thing about swimming is that it makes you very hungry. So once we’d travelled back to the centre we were all very definitely ready for dinner. The other thing about swimming is that it also makes you very tired! So after we’d eaten we spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the common room; chatting, reading and playing board games. We’re all really looking forward tomorrow when we finally get to try out surfing!! Provided the weather holds… fingers crossed! Written by Emily (17) and kate (17)
100 new NCS photos from week 2 now available on the Volunteer Network website at www.volunteernetwork.org.uk as well as on Picasa Web in the gallery belonging to firstname.lastname@example.org and on The Volunteer Network Facebook page.
Check them out and see what fun we’ve been having then sign up for Wave 2.
When driving through Cheddar: “Why would they name a place after a cheese?”
On seeing the climbing wall/caving network/abseiling/high ropes/ etc: “Oh my actual God, I am not doing that.”
10 minutes later: “On my life, I cannot believe I did that!”
Randomly: “Where do fish come from?”
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.