June 5th, 2010

The Residential – June 2010

So the blog this week is a day late, this is because this week we were on a residential trip. We went for 3 days and 2 nights to Calshot an activities centre on the south coast with a bunch of boys aged 13 – 19. It was a challenging and tiring time, we did lots of activities including sailing, kayaking, snowboarding, climbing and velodrome cycling to name but a few!

It was a tiring experience I think I managed 10 hours sleep over the course of the residential, and I got more than more than the young people! It was great to see all the young people doing the activities, they all got a recorded outcome – this is youth work terminology for measuring a change in a young person, this can be as wide ranging as gaining a new skill to growing in confidence. Each young person also got an AQA an accredited outcome.

For me these are not as important, in fact I’d say (perhaps controversially) not even really youth work. Some of the other elements of the residential, the conversations that I had with the young people in between activities or in the evenings were the real nuggets. These moments for me are youth work. These are the points when the building relationship with young people enables us to challenge, support and help them think about themselves and the environment in which they find themselves. This isn’t measured or recorded as such, but is the reason I do the work I do.