Sunday, 16 August 2015

NCS

Hello everyone! Sorry for a lack of posts recently, but it seems as though almost as soon as I got back from my holiday in Disneyworld, I was flung into the world of NCS residentials.

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If you don't know what NCS is, it stands for National Citizen Service. It is a summer course run for 16-17 year olds, and involves two week-long residentials and two weeks of charity work. The first week is at an outdoor activity centre, where you meet your teammates and are almost forced to become friends as there are a lot of crazy trust exercises thrown in there from the word "GO"! The second week, you and your team live in flats to get a taste of uni life, and do various educational courses about issues young people must face.

To begin with, I was pretty nervous. When I signed up, I knew that I would be in a team of strangers and may end up doing something that terrified me on the first residential. I am NOT an outdoorsy gal (unless sewing with the window open counts).

However, one of my best friends and I realised that not only were we going on the same weeks, but we were also in the same team AND were put into the same dormitory, along with another girl we very quickly befriended. Everyone on our team was friendly, funny and easy to get along with. Both of these weeks have seemed to be the happiest I have ever been, and I suspect it's from being around such great people all the time. As the whole thing cost only £40, it enabled me to meet people I normally wouldn't, due to class differences setting up boundaries and such in daily life. However, I am so glad I did get to meet them, as all of them are bloody fantastic people!

This is the team just after building
a raft for a race out on Lake Windermere
- which we won!

During that first residential, I tried things I have never done before. I slept in a bivvy, I abseiled down an actual rock instead of a climbing wall, and I even went kayaking! Side note: I'm terrible at kayaking, but it was still good fun.

The second week was a lot more relaxed, and we had much more free time to just chill and hang out. The courses were pretty interesting as well, and I enjoyed volunteering on the last day we were there, as the work was actually quite good fun. We also did a boxing course led by the most intense coach I've ever encountered - it was fun but a lot of hard work and my body is still aching four days later!

Next week I'm looking forward to getting straight in there with the charity work to do some good in our community. Hopefully my team and I can do a great job - and have a good laugh along the way!

With just some tarps and some rope, we managed
to build a shelter that kept (most of) us warm and
dry throughout the night!

If you are given the opportunity to do NCS next year, please grasp it with both hands. Despite my worries, I had a truly amazing experience and really have had the best summer.

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