Activity 1 - Hillwalking
We were tasked to hike from the Sailing Club to various checkpoints and reach the shore of Lake Tegid at Llangower.
The group consisted of P.E Teacher trainees and myself. Once we looked at the route and found out where we were to walk we set off.
Some of the group had never been out walking before so learnt a bit about waymarkers, field boundaries and contours. They also learnt about appropriate outdoor gear - 3/4 of them had never owned walking boots.
There was a point when we were to go across open access land, with the wind in our faces, that I considered adjusting the route as the party members (bar 1 and myself) were soaked however, the open land was only a short distance from the shelter of trees and all members of the group said they were comfortable being a 'bit damp'!
The group feedback was that they would have preferred to walk this when sunny but did enjoy themselves. They felt if they'd learned somethings about map reading but still thought ODA people were mad for going out in this type of weather.
Activity 2 - Canoeing across Lake Tegid
Once Llangower was reached we had to 'construct' our boats and paddle across. At this point we were joined by two others so the crossing was quicker in the rain and wind.
Two of the PE group were very comfortable at this point - their first experience and it wasn't exactly pleasant. I was reassuring them and telling them what was to happened.
Activity 3 - Night walk route card planning/Learning Outside the Classroom cards
The groups came back together to look at Learning Outside the Classroom cards. I think these are a great resource for teachers, especially P.E who may have to run outdoor activities.
In our group we now had 2 ODA, 1 PE with ODA experience and 3 PE novices when it came to writing the route cards, so I suggested we go 1:1 and concentrate on the seperate 'legs' of the route. Firstly, to comeplete the route card quicker and secondly, it's easier to teach novices 1:1 and the learning is made more personal to their needs.
The girl I worked with picked up what I was trying to teach her quickly - we focused on directions, grid references, route descriptions and timings. I have a simple calculation for walking at a 3km pace which sped up the production of the route cards.
Teaching about navigation and map work is the one of my favourite things so I was 'in my element' here.
Activity 4 - Drink can stove creation and use.
A stable Scout/DofE favourite, I've done this acitivity several times before however, I had not done it as simplistic as this so was keen to learn. Our previous stoves require two cans and use the bottom of both of them, descarding the top and creating a firmer, more stable stove.
This design required cutting out the top part of the can using a stanley knife. I could see the P.E girl next to me (whom I helped with the route card) was very nervous so I supported her with the construction of her can, which I think she was thankful for.
Then we all took them outside. This is the part which surprised me (but really shouldn't have) - mostly because of people's lack of paitence to get their stoves going that they paid little attention to their safety.
The P.E girl (and her friend) I supported previously were very nervous about this activity. They happened to turn up at a time when one person's stove tipped and burning meths went over the floor. So, I guided them to an area they could use their stoves, explained the set up and guided them through lighting theirs. They needed reassurance to a point where they felt comfortable with the burning meths and were happy to cook their noodles on it.
By this point, ensuring they were comfortable, it was late so I just went and got my gas stove and heated up watr quickly for my food. It would have taken too long at this stage on a meth burner.
I love these types of activity, I feel that people get so much out of constructing a item they can use and the reward for them is (often) the warm food/or item at the end. However, I would have paid more attention to the safety aspects of things, but then again I have seen/heard what damage meths/fires can do.
A great activity I hope I can get the opportuntiy to use within a school placement.
I have been to Coed-y-Brenin before and mountain biking along the Ridgeway and New Forest, however I've not been taught techniques (aside from my school cycle proficency tests when I was young).
So this was the best bit of the day for me. To learn how to correctly ride on a mtb then apply the techniques was fun and I would like to learn more.
I'm pleased with my progress throughout the day. I know what I need to work on, balancing whilst stationary, correct form on up/down rocks and front/back wheel raises.
I felt like I wanted more time on the red route but glad to have switched to the blue - just for the down parts really! Overall, I thought this day was really benefical.
Activity 1 - Canoeing (again!)
Thank fudge, the weather was a lot better on this day. Not that I minded canoeing in the rain and wind but it was nicer to be able to actually see the views fom the canoe!
We changed groups at this point. I'm not sure how we ended up with 3 ODA members and no P.E but we did! We supported the newer members in tieing the canoes together and giving tips to making paddling easier.
I think they thoroughly enjoyed it. It was good to have mixed subject groups and different experiences on board and the paddle over was very pleasant.
Activity 1 - Team building activities
The dreaded team building activities. Not so much dreaded as you can find out how a person works within a team and what type of thinker they are etc. but it's just that I've seen so many and have partaken in so many!
It also seemed today that our team had done the same as all the activities were quickly completed - the bucket hook, unlock the code, the human knot and the 'slowest ball' build.
It was good to see how the centre staff reacted and kept the group involved - building on the challenge of the activities depending on how quickly they were completed.
Had the groups been smaller there might have been more 'bonding' together. I felt that the starting hike was a better way to bond as it put the participants in a challenging shared situation that became a memorable experience away from the influence of an instructor.
Activity 2 - Raft building
Raft building is at the core of Scouting and water activities - there's even a permit and £30 training day to build them now...
When Jeremy mentioned about building the 'dragon boat' I was aware vaguely of what he meant as we've built single dragon boats with barrels etc but not a double one like in the photo.
Construction was quick and easy. A simple figure of eight then half hitches. I showed a couple of the P.E guys and let them get on with it. I had not seen the method Jeremy showed to push the poles down the rope so they fix firmly on the barrels - we've always tied - but it worked and was simplistic enough.
The other group's raft boat was more of the typical design I have been used too; so learning a simplier way opens up a lot more possiblities for inventive creations.