On 8th October, we were delighted to take almost 100 Rising Futures students on our first Into the Wild residential in almost two years!
Held at PGL Liddington, the weekend was packed with different activities that brought the students to face their fears, challenge themselves, develop new skills, and earn lots of stars! The weekend was also a brilliant opportunity for students to demonstrate our four Yes Futures Talents: Confidence, Resilience, Communication, and Self-Awareness.
We were joined by students from Baylis Court School, Chertsey High School, Ditton Park Academy, Eastbrook School, Hoe Valley School, The King Edmund School, The Langley Academy and Marylebone Boys’ School. Due to the restrictions of the pandemic, the students had completed much of their Rising Futures programme online, so we were thrilled to be able to see them, and so many of our fantastic volunteers, in person! For many of the students, this was also their first school trip since starting secondary school, and we were delighted to see so many excited faces when we arrived at the PGL centre.
After arriving at the PGL centre, we kicked off the weekend with our Welcome Challenge. Students got to know one another by finding other students with certain characteristics, and explored the beautiful grounds of the PGL site together. It was great to see the students smiling, laughing, and getting to know not only each other, but themselves as well.
It was then time for the students to get into their activity groups. Students were put in groups with students from different schools and different year groups, to boost their teamwork and communication skills. We were delighted to see all students settling into their groups quickly and making friends.
Throughout the weekend, students conquered their fears and demonstrated their resilience by in a range of thrilling activities. We saw students fly through the air on the giant swing and the zip wire, and work together as a team to reach the top of Jacob’s Ladder. Back on the ground, it was fantastic to see students encouraging one another and boosting each other’s confidence in archery.
Our Rising Futures students further demonstrated their communication and teamwork skills during their Survivor activity, in which they worked together to build shelters, start fires and learn how to survive in the wild. This trend continued in the Problem Solving Challenge, where the groups worked together to figure out riddles and other games, like Crossing the River!
We rounded off the weekend with our Showcase Challenge, allowing the students to express themselves as a group and reflect on the importance of the weekend. The Showcase required students to use not only the four Yes Futures Talents, but also the skill of leadership, as they presented their experiences of the weekend to an audience of students, staff and volunteers.
Finally, all students had the chance to reflect on what they’d learned from the Rising Futures programme, before receiving their graduation certificates! The students seemed to leave the weekend with a sense of pride having gone Into the Wild and completed their Rising Futures programme.