The past twelve months have flown by since we last ran the CTS residential, and what a crazy, quality year it’s been.
CTS is an abbreviation of Christ the Sower, a primary school in Milton Keynes, who have an annual Year 6 residential to Quinta Hall. We meet them there and run an action packed week full of activities, bad weather, amazing and insightful explorations of our Christian faith, fun games, good food and opportunities to make memories for life.
This year’s group had a very diverse mix of young people and were an incredible bunch to work with - certainly making the event easier and more enjoyable.
So, a bit about the week itself: every residential starts with a brief introduction of the team and a bit about the week itself, followed by some team building games which promote communication and working as one to achieve the best result. Tuesday saw the first full day of activities. CTS had booked us to run Climbing at Trevor Rock, Woodland Challenge, Low Ropes, Canoeing, Rafting, Fencing, Orienteering, Bushcraft and Archery – phewee!
I had been assigned to lead the Woodland Challenge and Archery. I’m sure you know what Archery involves so I’ll briefly explain the Challenge. In the woods of Quinta Hall are a series of obstacles including horizontal bars placed between two trees that differ in height, a rope swing with some marked areas to get your team from one side to the other and a big horizontal cross. The horizontal cross is a great activity tool - we ask the group to get them to stand on it in height order, age order, name alphabetical order etc etc… without getting off of the cross. It becomes very difficult/impossible to complete if you don’t work well together. The point is to help each other as a unit to overcome the challenge (which all of the teams excelled at when given the opportunity!!)
A fantastic part of each residential is sharing our Christian faith with the kids through evening ‘thoughts’ after a fun game or before the bonfire. This year, we’ve added interviews with some of the A+ staff which had some quick-fire silly questions before asking about why the individual follows God. I was blessed to be interviewed which enabled me to share a small slice of my story and a bit about what God has done for me. It was super encouraging to see them all listening intently. Hopefully the things we said to them resonated and will lead to them to explore Christianity in general and to investigate Jesus’ claims.
Every Quinta residential comes with the walk into Wales to see the Chirk tunnel and aqueduct, Steve the Hedge (see ‘Over The Hedge’ movie), the entrance to Chirk Castle and the infamous ‘cloud factory.’
For me, residentials are the best part of the work at Adventure Plus and I feel so blessed to have been a part of these young people’s lives if only for just five days. What a great group to work with and some amazing memories.