It all starts at yes.. so I said yes!

So I just finished my GCSEs and with an extended summer holiday, I decided to take part in NCS aka National Citizen Service. I chose the 4 week programme purely because I had loads of time. I'll write a NCS Expereince series which will give you an insight into my experience and what I have been doing with my very very long summer.

The first week there are many opportunities to get to know your group through team building exercises and other activities which will make you more comfortable with one another and make some thrilling memories.

The build-up 
I was excited yet nervous for the first week. Packing and preparing going into a new situation was scary. With the lack of information I had received regarding this week away at Kingswood I was instantly bombarded with a billion 'what if' questions.

Thankfully my nerves vanished when I found out I was in the same group as some of my friends. We were all very eager to meet our group, make new friends and create some fun memories. My group consisted of 6 girls and 6 guys as well as 2 team leaders who are all very friendly.

Ice-breaking can be uncomfortable but persevere 
The first activity all teams have to do is the 'Ice-breaker' but realistically it did not break any 'ice' for my team. It was more uncomfortable than an ice breaker. If I could describe my group with one word it would be awkward. Unknowingly, the whole group sectioned into their smaller comfortable groups which mainly consisted of people they had already known. We realised that we needed to mingle and chat to each other to truly become a team.

We were big kids playing with little kids toys. My group's true ice-breaker was playing laser tag, it required toy guns and shooting other people-what could be more fun? We decided to pair up with people who we haven't worked with and naturally whilst playing laser-tag it required us to talk and break the ice little by little.

Activities and more activities 
Everybody's daily timetable was crammed with different activities- admittedly, some more enjoyable than others. My day started at 7:00AM and finished at 11PM. No, we didn't watch movies and no, we stay up all night talking which I had naively imagined because as soon as we crashed onto our beds we were instantly in dreamland.

Some of the more memorable activities which we did over the week was 3G Swing. Basically, it's a giant swing that holds 2 people and is the creator of massive wedgies. If you decide to go on this, you must go up to the highest point; you may be nervous going up but you will feel so proud afterwards.

Another activity which was surprisingly enjoyable is Raft Building. At first I was skeptical about this activity because let's be honest, how much fun could one have with a couple of barrels and a few pieces of string but I soon learnt that it was a great team work activity.

Reflection Sessions AKA 'Group Therapy Sessions'
Within our group we all had one aim: mingle! After a long day of activities we had a session  to reflect on the day that we just had. Learning what we're proud of and what aims we hope to achieve for the next day. We soon became accustomed to these so-called 'Group Therapy Sessions' but it really isn't as bad as it sound since we all joke about having them.

After these 'Group Therapy Sessions' we would mingle in the dining room, slurping on powdery hot chocolate and try to get more comfortable with one another. It seems we loosen up by having fun so we decided to play truth or dare- a bit cliche but so what. This game allowed us to learn more about individuals as well as having a laugh because inevitably one would choose a dare.

The Soppy part
As we neared the end of the 5 day residential trip at Kingswood, you can truly see we were a changed group. We've learned to communicate, listen and trust each other. This was evident when there were activities that needed teamwork, we did everything efficiently and took in ideas proposed by individuals. After this eventful week, I can say we have each other's back and that we will make a great team for our social action plan of this programme.

If you want to find out more about NCS click here
Have you taken part in NCS or would you like to do it in the future? 

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