We had 3 awesome residentials this summer, with 12 primary aged lads going to Preston Montford Study Centre in Shrewsbury; 11 teenagers going surfing in North Devon and 34 people, representing 11 families, camping in Tenby, South Wales.
The primary residential boys had so many things to do, see and learn throughout the three days away. Our children learnt the importance of listening, following instructions, respecting the countryside and its animals, how to communicate with each other, work in teams, be responsible for each other and for each other’s space. They also learnt how to trap mammal’s, identify species and how to set them free after. During the pond dipping session, they also identifying the different creature’s living in the water, and when they went into the woods, they learnt how to catch different types of bugs. The highlight of the day for the young people was building a shelter and starting a fire – an excellent adventure for all.
The secondary residential took us to the North Devon coast, to explore, breathe the fresh air, have fun and learn how to ride the waves on a surf board! We stayed at a retreat house on Coombe Martin High Street and after a long journey down we began our stay on the local beach. Some braved the sea whilst others didn’t! Our teenagers quickly made friends with the local young people, who showed us the local sights (a cliff top and the children’s park), which entertained them for an evening. Croyde Beach was the setting for our surf lesson and after a huge amount of coercion for some young people, all 14 of us were wetsuited and booted, heading towards the waves. It was a great lesson, which EVERYONE thoroughly enjoyed and 2 even managed to stand up on their boards.
We ended the day with fish & chips in Woolacombe and a visit to Ilfracombe, and on the final day we enjoyed a walk around Lynmouth and a visit to the ice-cream parlour. A very memorable few days, made possible by our 2 volunteers coming along, Sarah Birch and Luke Street – thank you.
The family residential was 4 days in the stunning Pembroke town of Tenby. The journey down was eventful, with 1 minibus clutch breaking and having to hire a van at Monmouth! When we eventually arrived, first things first, as this was a camping holiday, the challenge was to find a suitable space for 10 tents and 2 marquees! Having settled into our camp during the first day, we had a couple of wonderful days venturing onto Tenby’s famous south beach and then time on Caldey Island. There were 34 of us, from 10 families and everyone worked amazingly well together. On our last night the weather turned for the worst and camping on a cliff top, with no weather protection, meant that the wind and rain came pouring into our field. Within minutes the strong force of the wind had broken the poles on 1 tent, with 2 or 3 others on their way out, and the rain had seeped through into 2 others. At 9pm, in the dark and gale force storm we made the right decision to pack down and travel home. This whole experience really bonded the families as we created some amazing memories that will never be forgotten, and a real desire to go and do it again!