On Friday the 26th of January, our Year 9 Yes Futures cohort arrived with their suitcases ready to embark on the ‘Into The Wild’ residential trip, the final step in their program. The students arrived at the Marchants Hill PGL camp in Hindhead where they met their coaches and mentors to be briefed for the action-packed weekend. With barely any time to unpack the students were put into their groups mixed with three other schools, and whisked off for their first day of activities. Throughout the day the student’s were doing all sorts of adventurous tasks including climbing, abseiling and high ropes courses which gave them a chance to get to conquer some of their fears whilst supporting and encouraging new friends in their groups. Hoe Valley Students got off to a flying start with taking risks, helping others and displaying our all-important Circle Values. After a busy first day, the group went back to their dorms to recover and recharge before another fun-filled day at PGL.
The second day saw the students woken up at 6.30am where they hit the Marchants Hill lake for their raft building challenge. The freezing cold water very much motivated the groups to ensure their rafts were safe and sturdy for their voyages before all groups successfully crossed without getting too soaked! The afternoon consisted of the eagerly awaiting Jacob’s ladder which saw the students really tested and put out of their comfort zone. The petrifying 40ft high ladder had some student’s facing their fears of a lifetime where they were tasks with climbing as high as possible.
The final day of the trip arrived and the group of shattered students were woken up extra early to pack their things before a final briefing for the day. Their task for the morning was the Giant Swing which flung the students at what seemed like 100mph through the forest! Many needed encouragement and support from their fellow team member and the skills that Yes Futures have been working became very clear – confidence, resilience, and self-awareness. The students finally took part in Aeroball before their closing ceremony which revealed the all-important star counts for each team and individual. Stars were given out in a similar way to house points at the school and were awarded to students each time they showed any of the key values. I was very pleased to see that many of the students from HVS were among the winning groups that collected the most stars throughout the weekend and Sam, Finley and Nick, in particular, were mentioned as outstanding within their groups. I was also incredibly proud to see Taia win the individual prize for the most stars collected over the course of the weekend with her encouragement/support of other groups mentioned specifically.
After the celebrations, it was time to depart the Into the Wild trip and schools began boarding the coaches to return to school. It was at this point that I realized the positive impact of the trip and the bonds that were formed between all the students during the adventures of the weekend.
After seeing the impact of the entire process, we’re now very much excited to the see the next cohort through the Yes Futures process.”