Residential Reflections

I have my brain back now following the intense residential of the weekend and have been musing on the mish-mash of stuff that made up a very encouraging weekend away!
JL.small.jpg One of the main activities was getting the ever funky Adventure Plus to come and lead a Canoe trip on the Wye. I was really keen for the participants to experience something new, face a challenge and gain a sense of achievement. Adventure Plus therefore arranged a 6.5 mile trip through stunning scenery with an excellent bunch of instructors. Result!
The young people however started to get quite lippy towards the end of the trip and let their fatigue slip into negaitivity with quite a lot of “This is boring!” comments, they had (I should point out) huge grins on their faces for most of the canoeing up ’til then.
Back on the bus one or two of them really started to talk the group down about the canoeing and their default negative position was having a really detramental effect …… I intervened on this one and they happily focused on how much they hated Shephered Pie instead (the meal for the coming evening!).
A bit later we did some group work and I was getting everyone to say their best bits of the day, everyone had stories, laughs and great moments from the canoeing! Breakthrough moment when I then got them to look at how easily they had slipped into talking the whole thing down BUT how much they’d actually gained from it. It really felt like they recognised someting about the danger of neative moaning and was a great moment!
Some of them still wouldn’t even try the Shepherds pie though, Hey Ho!
Other intersting thing for me is that there language was good all weekend and not marked by the stream of swearing and the like that regularly happens at the club. Fascinatingly then, the bad language is not their default position. It’s either something the club enviroment produces or is an attitude that they conform too.
The bit I was really dreading was cleaning the centre before we left. I was expecting this to be a real battle BUT I was totally wrong. They all worked really hard and threw themselves into cleaning and tidying. I had to sort out an argument between the two teens who BOTH wanted to clean the bathrooms!
A weekend of challenges AND revelations, of battle and encouragments. I love working with young people and once again this has shown how much you can achieve on a residential. Fab!

One Reply to “Residential Reflections”

  1. Two teens fighting over WANTING to clean the bathrooms – what were you feeding these guys Ian? Most notable cleaning story I’ve had was one year at Moving On when the two leaders in one the boys hut were so busy making sure the 20 boys in the hut cleaned up their rooms properly that they failed to notice that rather than taking the black bags out to the bins, they were instead being piled up in the leaders room… By the time the two leaders noticed it was too late…

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