A week to remember
Achieve more Scotland carried out their largest residential yet, this involved 21 young people being given the opportunity to take part in outward bound activities such as ; abseiling , hill walking , canoeing , team building activities and camping. During the 5 days, we went through many ups and downs, and found more activities challenging than others, but with each other at hand we encouraged all to keep pushing and conker our ‘chimp brain’. On the Thursday night we sat around a camp fire discussing our opinions on how the week has been and the expectations that we had come to the residential with. It had been made clear that we had varied opinions and expectations. Most people went with an open mind and positive attitude which made it a far better experience! The most common expectations that we came across was about how tested and challenged we would be. Most of us thought that we wouldn’t be able to get over our fears and that they would hold us back from participating in certain activities, but as we were doing these things we were motivated by our peers and instructors to at least give it a try. We were ensured that we were safe and that it we really could push past our fears. This helped a lot with confidence and trust issues that a most of us were having. It showed that we could do whatever we put our mind to and that we were there for each other!
Personally I went through at times where I wanted to just give up. I went through a physical struggles, that really put me down and I’m sure all of us did. One of these times was when we were canoeing. This was probably one of the most frustrating times I experienced during the residential because I felt like it was never ending. After we camped out for the night we had to canoe the the other end of the loch so we could go home , but due to the weather , it was a lot Harder as there was no wind. I was in a canoe with Divine, Christivie and eve and even though we were constantly paddling, we weren’t going as fast as the others. it was really tiring and frustrating because everyone else was waiting on us. As we were using all our might to push our canoe through the water we could see everyone else having fun , and all we were wondering why we weren’t doing the same. We finally caught up to everyone else pushed through until the end.
During the camp fire we also discussed the stand out moments that we had during the 5 days and most of us said camping. Camping for me was a standout moment because, its something that ive never really thought I would do. I learned new skills, like putting up a tent, and preparing stoves to make our food. It made me realise how much space and nature we have especially in Scotland, and how we take It for granted. We also used this time to get to know each other properly and share things that we didn’t know about each other. Properly and share things that we didn’t know about each other. Before we went camping we as a group we made a decision to leave our phones back at the manor.. We realised that it would be a good time to relax and take a break from being constantly on social media. This made us realise how much we were on our phones and how we should take a break more often and have some time to ourselves. Overall camping gave us all a reality check and that is the main reason that it was chosen to be our stand out moment.
Personally I feel that the greatest challenge I faced was my fear of heights, it’s my greatest fear I feel that I won’t be able to ever overcome it which is quite sad but I can’t explain the hate I have for heights. The instructors always reminded us about our “chimp brains” which basically was a way of telling us that for many years we have been taught to fear heights because we associate it with death which they reminded us to get rid of that fear little by little.
The physical challenge I faced was climbing the mountains for abseiling because I was physically drained from walking to the 3rd highest waterfall in the UK. I was shattered, my legs were on fire but mentally I was eager to climb it I was so motivated and my mind-set was set on achieving this climb into the mountains. Mentally I felt great because I came to the residential with an open mind to all these new experiences that I was about to take head on.
The environment was really out of place for me especially when it came down to the food they served I wouldn’t say I’m a fussy eater but in reality I actually am really fussy but I don’t know if it’s because my mother didn’t cook it or my taste buds really don’t agree with what’s being put in front of me but overall I decided to be a team player and eat the packaged food at camping which consisted of beans and sausage for breakfast and pasta and meatballs for dinner which wasn’t bad it was edible but not the most amazing thing on earth. It really does make you appreciate your mums cooking to an extent.
Out of my countless challenges faced this one was the hardest. The water was a big issue that I hid but even at that I still fought the constant fear of drowning. I’m not scared of water but at the same time I’m really cautious around it. One thing I liked is that on the first day the instructors wanted us to loosen up by doing the “jog and dip” which was a way to introduce us the residential by jogging to the loch and jumping in. That was really scary for me even though we had buoyance aids on I still continuously felt I was going to drown. So I took a deep breath and thought to myself this is exactly why I’m here I need to do it. I didn’t jump in mainly because I had braids and you already know when you get it wet it takes years to dry. So I slid into the loch and when I tell you and I kid you not I couldn’t speak, the water was beyond freezing and my body had never experienced anything like it. My body was stuck in one position for a split second then I grabbed the stairs to get back up away from the water. Right then and there I said “let the games begin”.
From my perspective I feel that it benefited me massively because I tried new things I wouldn’t normally do in my spare time and it was great, so many memories were made and I will certainly cherish them for a long time. I would really recommend anybody who’s really adventurous and up for new challenges to sign up to go to this residential simply because it’s amazing.