Young people on paddleboards in canal

12 October 2022

Recently, Banwell Youth Club took twelve of their youth members on an exciting two-day residential trip to Bridgwater. The fantastic trip was made possible thanks to extra funding provided to youth club.

The trip:

On the morning of the residential, the group arrived at Banwell Youth Club where they boarded the minibus to Bridgwater. During the journey, there was a mixture of emotions, as this was a new experience for lots the group members. Some children were hesitant for their first ever stay away from home and others were anticipating what the activities would involve.

The journey was a good chance for the team to reassure the group that this was going to be nothing but two days of fun and that they were in safe hands. 

Day one:

Once the group had arrived in Bridgwater, they were ready to settle in and begin their first activity.  They started their adventurous trip with paddle boarding, which quickly became very popular. Once a safety briefing was given, the group wasted no time and set out upon the water, down the Bridgwater canal. Along the route they stopped to play a series of water games and dedicated time for confidence to be built amongst the group. The group worked together brilliantly and all helped each other. The finale of the activity was jumping off the boards once they had returned the jetty! 

After a very busy morning and a shower, everyone was due some relaxation time. The group all enjoyed a well-deserved picnic lunch on the green, next to the canal. Once re-energised, it was time for some fun on the Segways. Each young person went through a series of tasks, manoeuvres through cones and races against one another, which brought out competitive side to them all! 

The final activity before jumping back on the bus, was going to the amazing skate park which is situated behind the George Williams Centre, the YMCA Bridgwater building. Some of the young people had even brought their own helmets and scooters with them and were excited to have a go. The skate park created some hesitation amongst the group, especially when coming across the larger jumps, however, with a little encouragement they overcame those fears!  

It was then time to head back to Banwell, where the group set up camp for the night. Once the tents were secured and beds were made, it was time for dinner. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed a hearty meal of bolognese pasta and cheese sauce, followed by chocolate cake and custard. For the evening’s entertainment it was popcorn, pyjamas and a film followed by a campfire and s’mores. Around the campfire, they all discussed the day’s activities and shared their thoughts and funny moments. 

Day two:

After a well-deserved sleep, the group woke up ready and excited for the final activity, tie dyeing. Once everyone had eaten breakfast and cleared away their tents, they began creatively designing their own personal tie-dye t-shirts.  They added colours of their choice and prepped them ready for washing at home.

Once that activity was over, the group reminisced back over the two days. Those who were initially anxious, felt that they had a completely different outlook on similar future adventures, which was really rewarding for all of the team. They had done so much and overcome so many personal boundaries.

Everyone really enjoyed the weekend, and it was fantastic to see the young people pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and helping each other to achieve. 

What did the young people from Banwell Youth Club think of their trip? 

  • “I am so glad I did this weekend. I was really scared and anxious before but talking with the youth workers about my feelings and what worried me helped me to relax a little.  When I woke up, I felt refreshed but a bit cold. I would do it again. Thank you.”
  • “I was worried everyone would laugh at me as I had never paddle boarded, but the instructor was really kind, and everyone was supportive, even helped me. I even enjoyed doing it”
  • “I had never put a tent up, but the youth workers helped and showed us each step.  I loved sleeping in a tent with my friends. I can’t wait to do it again.” 

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