Wednesday, 15 June 2016

School Trips UK '16

Last week, James and the DisTIL team as well as JP, Rachel and Ben Biscoe headed to Ashburnham for ‘School Trips UK’ - an event with pupils aged 10-12, from an international school who were visiting England for the week.  We were there for 2 days to provide a range of activities and have loads of fun! After lunch and Ben Biscoe’s birthday celebrations on Monday, a van left Windmill Farm filled with kit, the scooter and five keen instructors and set off on the journey to Ashburnham followed a few hours later by a car containing the rest of us.

After dinner (priorities) we went about setting up the activities for the following morning. Once everything was done there was time to relax and prepare for the busy days ahead. For Ben Biscoe this meant a birthday swim while some of us settled for a hot chocolate (which pretty much comes out of a tap!!) and bed.

Life started early on Tuesday morning with a brief from James followed by breakfast with the group, who needed a bit of convincing about English food. Once filled and fuelled we headed to our activities.  For Ben and I this meant Tricky Trail (biking) while Rachel and Marc were heading up Archery. Ben Biscoe, Emily and Claire were on the lake and JP was leading Fencing whilst James ran Low Ropes.
Fun on the water!
We ran 1½hr sessions with a short break in between while the groups rotated around the activities. From what I heard, everyone’s sessions went well throughout the day and even though it was super busy, everyone had fun. It was great to work with a few different groups throughout the day all of which were really diverse. It was a new challenge to instruct through a language barrier but also came as a massive confidence boost.  I really enjoyed running Tricky Trail, which for those of you who don’t know, is a bike obstacle course; it’s always rewarding to see people progress each time they ride around the trail.
Low Ropes.
After a well-deserved dinner, the team headed down to the Low Ropes course. James wanted to show us all how it worked so while he did this we all had a go.  Then with the rest of the evening to spare, some of us decided to go for a swim in the lake. It had been really hot all day so this was a great chance to cool off.
Archery.
Wednesday morning came around and it was all go again. There was no Kayaking or Fencing so Ben  helped James on Low Ropes and JP was free to scoot around (literally) and take photos. The rest of us returned to the activities which we had run the day before. The weather was hot and sunny again and everyone was in high spirits. Ben and I ran alternating sessions of Tricky Trail and, with every group that we led we felt a bit more confident instructing and learnt to be more flexible with the children and adapting the session to suit them.
Patiently waiting to take on the tricky trail course!

In the final sessions of the day, we used the remainders of our energy. Ben blitzed around the Tricky Trail course on foot, followed by JP on the scooter (he stacked it meters from the end,) I was chased by some children who had a lot more energy than I did and then we said our goodbyes and the sessions were over.

The car headed home first while the rest of us packed down our activities then we too hit the road!

Au Revoir, Adios, Ciao, Auf Weidersehen, Goodbye. 

Thanks for reading,

Beth. 

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