Summer 2016 will be one to remember for our young people as they had an absolutely unforgettable adventure in France. After months of planning, 37 of our young people made their journey to the lakeside Opel Coast Adventure Camp in Ardres, France. It was a fun-packed week full of activities, laughter and friendship making.
Planning for the Big Week started back in 2015 and our young people were more than happy to get fully involved with it. With support from TACT’s Children’s Resource Workers, a group of our young people took responsibility to share ideas and tell TACT staff what they would like to see from this year’s Big Week and what an amazing input they had – from helping to decide the location to the activities that took place.
Ranging in age from 13 to 18, the young people had come together for the Big Week from across TACT’s nine regional offices in England, Scotland and Wales. With the common experience of being in care, plus sharing new, exciting and sometimes challenging activities, it was a great way for them to develop their teamwork and communication skills, plus building confidence and self-esteem.
From stand up paddle boarding to high ropes, archery to campfire nights, there was a lot to pack into the week and it didn’t take long for the young people to bond together and build long-lasting friendships with one another.
16 year old Connor said: “We are all like a lot of pictures that have come together to make a masterpiece.”
Friendships of a more international nature developed among TACT’s young people and French young people who were also staying at Opel Coast Adventure Camp. They managed to overcome the language barrier by singing pop songs together, taking it in turns to sing verses.
For many of the young people, the French adventure was their first trip abroad, and it was a great to way to have their horizons broadened, experiencing a different culture, language and food.
When not making new friends the young people were kept busy with a wide variety of on-site water- sports and dry land activities such as raft building and climbing.
TACT Children’s Resource Worker, Chris Bacon said: “It was wonderful to see all the mutual support and encouragement the young people gave each other especially with the high ropes – leap of faith. Some of them felt they just couldn’t do it but after lots of urging from the others they managed it and felt really pleased they had done so afterwards.”
On the fourth day of the week the young people went to the local market which sold all manner of things such as cheeses, trinkets and delicious hot chicken. It was a great opportunity for everyone to buy souvenirs and practise speaking French.
When the time came to head home back over the Channel, it was agreed by all the young people that they had had a fantastic time, they didn’t want to go home, and couldn’t wait for next TACT big adventure.