‘Transformers Residential’ – roundup by Drew

September 11th, 2013 by

It was an early Monday morning- the birds were chirping (well cooing) and the alarm woke me at 05.30. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I will not normally wake at such an early time but luckily I had a fabulous trip to look forward to. After ensuring I had all my possessions-I nearly left without my sleeping bag! – I made my way to Brighton.  We all met at the YPC and immediately started moaning about the early start. Meeting at 8am is quite early for teenagers to be fair! After we had a little breakfast we drove to Shoreham.

Shortly after arriving and settling in, what seemed like a thousand crates of food were delivered! I am happy to report that no one went hungry during the trip! After a few more nibbles and a quick refuel of food, we were met by a super friendly instructor who started with a few team building tasks and then took us down to the low ropes.

We were kitted out with stylish helmets and started getting to know each other a little better. We had to carry people through a spider web made of rope ensuring we didn’t wake the spider! We had to leap frog over one another on a thin wooden plank. There was also the option of racing through a series of tunnels for those who felt like scurrying around! It was tiring work but a sure way to break the ice and get stuck in!

We then had a break to eat as much food as possible which was awesome! There was food to cater for many dietary requirements and all tasted amazingly good! After we were all fed and watered and had a relaxing lie down, there was just enough time to collect a few towels and shampoo as we made our way down to start kayaking.

I am not sure there is anything more attractive than being kitted out in a wet suit and buoyancy aid- we all rocked that look. We were treated to our very own kayak and had a relaxing paddle. It wasn’t long before people were splashing one another but it was a very friendly atmosphere.  The competitive tendency of some people was displayed as we played a game of throwing and catching but everyone had a great time! A few people braved standing on their kayak and performing many gymnastic stunts! There was a mixture of those who took to the kayak like…a duck taking to water and then there were those who preferred spinning in a circle as many times as possible (speaking for myself here). But taking part was the aim of the game and everyone involved was filled with joy afterwards (some filled with salt water too!).

After showering, there was a fantastic photography workshop! I will not mention too many details yet but it will be an awesome resource that will be used in schools. I know I was very excited to hear about the project and will look forward to hopefully being part of team to construct it! We were then let loose with cameras to capture images that portray a certain thought/emotion/object. It was great fun and we were then ready for dinner afterwards!

We were treated to a BBQ (meat, veggie, vegan- you name it!) and it was lovely! The weather held out and there was even hummus- the sign of a good BBQ. Thank you for making it epic everyone! We were then free to spend the evening with one another. There was a mixture of table football, giant Jenga and even twerking! Night time soon fell but there was just enough time for late night exercises/stretches! (youth leaders did not want to join in- they clearly missed out). We then dragged our tired bodies into bed, had a few laughs and then fell asleep.

The next morning we were up bright and early and treated to a lovely breakfast. There was enough food to feed everyone 10 times! Once full, dressed and full of enthusiasm, we made our way down to start mountain biking!

After a gentle reminder with how to ride a bike, we started riding through the woods and rocky terrain. We battled through nettles and unruly plants but we all made it! There were a few keen riders and a few who preferred the flats but it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. After reaching the top of a massive hill, we were able to face our fears and plunge down huge drops and some even got air! It was pretty awesome and the return journey- all downhill- proved very popular.

We returned red-faced and wanting food and appreciated the rest. More food was provided and we then had to pack our bags (we were sad about this). But we couldn’t wait to get started with the raft building! The instructor showed us how to master tying different knots and how to make our raft structurally sound. How did we respond? We decided to try a brand new design, ignoring all advice.  I personally felt our design looked awesome and was very unique. After construction, the brave (or is that foolish?) volunteers got changed and took to the raft. Everyone managed to sit on the raft but it was after we started paddling that the raft collapsed. We did not give up though! After a quick patch up, the raft was rebuilt and was actually very strong! The raft paddlers managed to stand on it, dance and even swap places with one another (and the rendition of the YMCA was fabulous!).  Of course it wasn’t long until everyone soon fell in but then other games and swimming races commenced.  It was awesome fun and I was glad I took part in the event.

Once showered, dry and dressed, we had to start packing everything and getting ready to leave. I felt the trip went too quick but we did manage to get a lot done which was super. The venue staff helped make the trip thoroughly enjoyable with their kind words and smiles.  However, it was the Allsorts staff that made the trip a huge success with their enthusiasm, encouragement, hard work and laughter.

I am very thankful I was able to attend the residential and I am confident I speak for everyone when I say it was amazing and a great experience. THANK YOU ALLSORTS! TEAM COOL!!