Volunteer Youth Ranger Programme 2018 - Days 9 & 10
Update published on: July 27, 2018
Day 9 – Surprise Adventure Activity: Bouldering
I woke up this morning feeling really excited; it was the second last day of our camp. Today we were going bouldering. We met up as usual in Slieve Gullion Forest Park and made our way down to Castlewellan where we donned our wetsuits, helmets and buoyancy aids. Then we continued our journey to Bloody Bridge, Newcastle where our adventure began.
We made our way over the rocks and into the freezing cold water, it was very refreshing at first, just what we needed to get our blood pumping. Soon we were warmed up and enjoying the whole experience. There were a lot of small pools that you could swim in but I was really excited for the big jumps at the very top. We also took the litter pickers and cleaned up any litter as we went along the river, surprisingly there was lots of rubbish.
The little water falls were challenging to get up, there was lots of slipping and sliding but that just made the whole experience so much funnier. When we finally reached the bigger jumps we met lots of other people with their families having picnics. After the first 2 people jumped it was my turn, as I stood on the edge of the 3-metre drop the adrenaline was running through me, it was so scary, our leader John said, “Just sidestep off the edge”… Splash! I plunged into the water; I swam to the edge of the pool and scrambled up the rocks, buzzing and ready to go again. Everyone was totally absorbed, using all their best efforts to jump, swim and climb. I was thinking to myself, that was so much fun, a real adventure, an experience that I can’t wait to repeat and hopefully our crew can do it all again.
On our way home in the bus we were all tired but felt liked we had achieved something, recounting all our jumps and our struggles. There was a real sense of friendship between us all, friendships that have grown over this past two weeks and that I hope will continue.
ONE DAY TO GO !!!
Day 10 – Tree nursery, party and certificate presentation
The final day of the Youth Ranger programme started off normally, as did the previous nine days. We arrived at the car park excited, yet a little sad; we knew that we were finishing our course. We got into the minibus and travelled to Tí Chulainn with John. There we made our wooden spoons with the help and guidance from John. Afterwards we cleaned the tree nursery and got rid of the weeds in the flower and tree beds.
Lunch time arrived we ate our lunch and had a party with all the buns, cakes and strawberry laces that everyone brought with them. Anna even decorated a cake to mark the end of our great time on the Ring of Gullion Youth Ranger course. After our party we had archery, which became very competitive between the two teams. Everyone enjoyed it. Afterwards we had our presentation, where we received individual certificates. A participation certificate and the John Muir Explorer-level award, for our volunteering over the past two weeks.
It has been a highly enjoyable two weeks and was definitely worthwhile. This course will be remembered and cherished. I am so proud to have been a part of it. I am delighted to receive an Explorer-level John Muir award and a 50-hour Millennium Volunteers award as well as a first aid certificate. Thank you to all that attended and special thanks to John and Alison for a truly enjoyable two weeks. I hope for the future that this course continues and would highly recommend this to all.