This was our third VICTA 18+ youth weekend of 2014 at which we had 14 young people, two staff members and two volunteers attending. This was set to be a fast and furious weekend with a packed itinerary planned for all. There was no time to sit around wondering if you had done the right thing coming to join VICTA for the weekend. Once everyone had arrived and dropped their bags into their rooms it was a quick lunch and then straight into the team challenges. This was a lovely way to get to meet some of the other young people attending the weekend and get out in the fresh air after being stuck in the car or on the train to reach the venue. Our groups then went off to take part in archery and caving.

VICTA group ready for caving

Straight to work! The VICTA group ready for caving

We then returned to the building with a little free time to unpack and make our beds prior to dinner. Following dinner, we went out and enjoyed a campfire which was great fun and a fantastic way for everyone to get to know each other. We were so lucky with the weather, it stayed dry for us all be it a little cold if you moved away from the fire for too long.

Fun round the camp fire

Fun round the campfire

On the Saturday we had a relaxing breakfast in preparation for the day ahead. Over the course of the day the young people and volunteers had a go at the climbing wall, powerfan, tree trekking, zip wire, caving and archery.

Tree trekking

Tree trekking high up in the trees

The powerfan and tree trekking were new activities for VICTA and apart from leaving your heart completely in your mouth, the young people, volunteers and staff alike really enjoyed the adrenalin rush.

Rock climbing and power fan

Rock climbing and the power fan

We then had dinner and some free time before enjoying a very enjoyable and what turned out to be competitive quiz evening. Day three was another great day packed with activities, canoeing, big swing, biking and tree trekking. In spite of it being early November there were still a number of us silly enough to jump in the water and an unfortunate couple that capsized!! Biking was another new experience for VICTA and the young people loved it, particularly when they got an opportunity to cycle by themselves. A number of the young people said this was something they would like to continue once back at home.

Cycling at the Youth Weekend

Cycling through the forest

After dinner we finished the evening with another campfire, hot chocolate and marshmallows. What a fantastic way of sharing the scary, silly and fun experiences of the day and weekend. Monday morning and although it wasn’t on the menu, Tracie Tappenden, Chief Executive of VICTA, made everyone sausage rolls to start our last day – something that went down very well with the young people and other staff and volunteers. We then went off and did our activities for the morning – big swing and zip wire.

Zip wire through the trees

Zip wire through the trees

We are sure all would agree it was a fantastic weekend and a great venue. It is really difficult to put into words how brilliant the whole weekend was. The group of young people all seemed to find their niche, whether it was just something they thought was really small by providing someone else with a little encouragement, or being a source of entertainment to the rest of the group. Thank you to all of the young people, volunteers and staff of Thorpe Woodland Adventure Centre it was a pleasure to meet you and spend time with you.

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