Serious Incidents and Merging Scouts

This week has felt incredibly long. The week began with the announcement that my Scout troupe will be forced to merge with another in my village due to low numbers. One week, only 8 kids came. I had to cancel a camping trip with them because only 7 signed up. On paper I have 26 scouts. In reality, an average of 10 regularly turn up. Both troupes in my village look large, however the numbers that turn up are very low. Unfortunately, this has forced me to step down. The decision of what to drop has been made for me and rather than having to weigh up the pros and cons to leaving each thing, it’s been made for me. I’m pleased in a way. I knew I wasn’t giving them my all because I was so tired and with the Friday group having more leaders I can step down without worrying.

On a more serious note, I was involved in a serious incident. I obviously deserved it. I told a student he couldn’t play in a concrete box full of  sand and probably cat urine, which other teachers have let him do. I dread to think what creatures have used it for a litter box and, considering I’ve asked for it to be removed repeatedly, it should not have been at our school site. Anyway, this particular student and I have a really positive relationship. As soon as he sees me he runs over to say hello, he instigates interaction and he generally follows my directions. Today, he must have just been filled with blind rage because he head-butted me a couple of times and pulled my hair. In case you’ve never been head-butted or had your hair pulled, it really hurts. If you looked at his face, you could tell that he didn’t really want to hurt me but he was so incredibly frustrated that I couldn’t understand him and annoyed that I wasn’t guessing what he wanted that he had to hurt me.

In all honesty, I wasn’t physically hurt that badly. My head hurt most of that evening but it’d gone by the next day. What really hurt was the fact that it was this particular student. I know we have a good relationship and I know that he picks me out of a crowd time and time again. It’s difficult when you throw yourself into each positive relationship. I don’t regret being full on in creating our relationship because he needs it, hell most of our students do. It just hurts all the more when they go for you.

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North for a Wedding

So I’ve been in the northern lands for a wedding this past fortnight. I’m a family friend on the groom’s side and I hadn’t seen many of the other guests since the entire family moved north. It was strange to see so many old faces when I know that we’d all been in pretty bad states when we met. The ceremony was beautiful but I felt as though there was the underlying need to drink heavily; something which I haven’t done in years. The entire week was very family orientated with myself and my friend visiting several family members. It’s funny seeing these family members in different situations. I only ever saw her father in passing, a quick “hello” and “goodbye” before we went out, so spending time with him at the wedding and at his home was a little unusual.

I spent a lot of down time during this trip away reading ready for the new school term. When I looked in my diary I realised how much I have planned for the coming weeks. With Cubs, extra shifts through my part time work and my contracted summer scheme hours as well as the course and relaxing, I’ve managed to make my holiday pretty busy. I’m not necessarily sure that it’s a good thing or not but at least I won’t have a culture shock in September when I return to school!

Moving On

I imagine it’s becoming fairly obvious that this has become something of a dead blog. There are a couple of reasons for this and it’s mostly because I’m not claiming that a gap year lasts more than a year. I’ve got a full time, salaried job and feel very adulty indeed. If you’d like to read some of the things I get up to I’ve become the Gangster Akela (seriously). This is one of the ways I relax so there’ll be some humour in there along with some more emotional stuff. I suppose it’ll depend on how I’m feeling.

Anyway, thank you for following my last adventure and here’s to hoping my next journey ends in such a positive way.

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Home Again, Home Again

I’ve been home for more than a month now and I suddenly realised that the plan I’d made for myself before I left the country has completely been ignored. Not entirely ignored but not exactly carried out.

The first issue on my return was my realisation that I’m no longer in a gap year. I haven’t settled into an apprenticeship, an internship or more education, let alone a career. I haven’t even entirely decided what I want to do over the coming years. Unfortunately, this is the time when my friends have started to make decisions for the rest of their lives and I feel pretty much left behind.

My second issue involves my lack of career choice. I wanted to find a job quickly, almost regardless of what it actually involved. I’m still young so it’s not as though I can’t experiment with career paths so I’m not overly concerned with what field I work in. Working with young people is obviously preferable and, for a good couple of weeks, I felt like this had put a set of blinkers on me. Although I’ve since applied to plenty (and have a few interviews already), when I first started applying, if I didn’t think I could do one or two of the job aspects I wouldn’t apply. This has meant that I must have missed out on several opportunities. It took a long talk with my parents about it being alright to not be certain right now to encourage my confidence.
I suppose that’s what a lot of job applications are about. If you haven’t got the confidence to apply to something you want to do then you’re not going to get it. Faking confidence is something that I’ve been doing since I was sixteen and it helps if nothing else. This fake confidence lead to me applying for positions I’d never have dreamed about even looking into a year ago. Self belief is a great thing and even pretending that you have it can make a difference.

My third issue is money. Not really having a job means that I haven’t got any income. The tiny amount of cash flow I have was actually generated by my birthday. You need money for the obvious reasons but I want to finally move out of my parent’s house, I want to buy a new car, I want to get a new computer, I want to travel more… it’s pretty selfish. I also want to get rid of that student debt though. Although it’s not a major issue and I know it’ll be paid off when I’m earning a reasonable amount, it’s something that I’m accutely aware of. That’s probably because of my family’s debts though; I know that they’re better paid off sooner rather than later.

The forth and final issue pretty much encompasses all the problems. As I looked into youth work, it became apparent that although I have a Bachelers Degree, I haven’t got the right qualifications for working in certain sectors with young people. This could mean that I’ll have to either take another NVQ, which feels like taking a step back on the education ladder, or going back to university. Neither of these options make me feel especially enthused. I’ve spent a year out of learning and I don’t particularly want to end up back in a classroom. I’ve also spent more than year building on my work experience voluntarily and, although I know otherwise, it almost feels wasted.

It’s been an awkward month, filled primarily with unknowing. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more positive things as they come to light.

Visiting Day

At the 5 week mark, a lot of the kids start to go home. On the end of the fifth week, parents and families are invited to come to camp to visit the campers. Visiting day hasn’t actually happened yet and is been the basis of a lot of excitement around camp. The kids all get to show off their new learnt skills to their families in the activity of their choice before they get to go out into the real world for the afternoon. With just one full day left till visiting day, it feels like a mad rush of getting the kids ready and looking presentable-ish!
I’ve been able to get climbing again which seemed a lot easier the second time round! I actually remembered to bring my mobile so I could take a picture from the top.

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I’m starting to dread the end of  the summer. The last thing I want to do is go home and stop working here. It doesn’t feel like work ’cause it’s all so much fun.