Thursday, 10 February 2011

It's February already! What happened to January?

January was a fairly quiet month - (which for the DisTIL team must have meant Gaffa tape was involved as we are a noisy bunch!)

We have spent a fair bit of our time doing maintenance on the activity kit and office! - Our thanks goes to one of our volunteers Graham for all his help with the DIY stuff. Without him I can surely say we would have been a little stuck (up a river without a paddle) so thank you Graham we have learnt so much over the last few weeks and we hope this continues with the months to come.

Other than maintenance we of course still have our regular school bookings which have gone up from two schools once a week to four schools once a week! How amazing is that and what an opportunity to build stronger relations with these schools and show God's love to the staff and children. From this increase, and due to our NVQ, each member of the DisTIL team has been allocated a different school booking to look after, giving us the chance to practise the skills we have been learning over the last few months :) It has been great to see how the children have reacted to having continuity with the instructors, improving each week in the activity they are doing and having heaps of fun!


Also in January Sarah and I were passed as wall leaders woop woop! This was a scary experience as we had to manage and work with different scenarios we were given by John-Luke and the team. For example - how to get a child down from a wall when they're convinced they're stuck, how to encourage a climber that they can get higher up the wall etc. We managed to complete each of the scenarios given mostly effectively with a lot of laughter... Rachel, Rob, James.F and Simon making interesting children or scenarios as it were!

BELA - British Expedition Leader Award - an award that allows you to take a group out walking and camp over night.

On the 12th January we started our BELA training :) For the first session we were stuck in the training room going though the paperwork for the course which I'm sure you can understand is painful especially for outdoor instructors to be indoors when there are doing prep for an outdoors qualification. From this we learnt that we had to work in pairs preparing the different units we were going to be completing in the award. This was partly because the award is about leadership and we are assessed on this, a challenge that so far seems to be going well. Following that session we since have been out playing in creation. Learning how to use compasses and maps which for some is harder than others (i.e. me...what are these silly things about?) However Rachel was to the rescue with her red cape and offered to help me like her mum had taught her; using our living room? - definitely a new way to learn how to use a compass and map indoors but I'm sure it will work! We have also been out walking - shocking I know doing an expedition award and all. We went though fields, by roads, up hills, through ice, over and under bridges, through woods! To add to the fun of being outside instead of indoors we were coming up with different games you could play as you walked or stopped for a break somewhere and of course like all big kids playing them too :)

To end January with a BANG! On the 28th January we had TA NEW YEAR party! An evening of fun, games, noise, craziness, food, laughter and God. It was an amazing evening with double the numbers of children who had signed up before arrival plus one, an answer to prayer - it was an awesome evening getting everyone ready for the summer. :) Can't wait bring on the TA holidays.

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