Our Residential at Swattenden

A group of lucky DYC members had the opportunity to go to The Swattenden Centre, which is a specialist residential where we got to experience fun and worthwhile challenges.

We got to the Civic Centre and travelled by coach. When we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly instructor called Gary. He introduced himself and took us to our accommodation to unpack our bags. Our first activity was the Bivouac building in which we had to build our own makeshift shelter in the woods, only using fallen down branches and trees. We were separated into two groups and eventually Gary would rate which shelter was the best. Unfortunately, we got a tie but we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience; it sure did make us very muddy!

Balancing on the Swattenden Triangle

The next activity we experienced was the Swattenden Triangle. As this never featured at any other residential trips, this was new to us and unique. It was a team-building activity where we had to cross various bridges with small obstacles. It wasn’t an activity that you could do all by yourself. You needed to rely on your team mates. The feedback from this activity was great and many thought it was the best one!

After the famed Swattenden Triangle, we did problem solving activities including tangrams and a maze. They were very challenging, but quite entertaining! The other group got to build a makeshift buggy which composed of some rope, some metal poles and some plastic barrels. It was funny to see when the buggy kept crashing! This was a nice activity and needed mental skill as well as physical skill.

Night, night! We got to feast on a delicious evening meal and then we spent time in our social room. It had a kitchenette, a television, a sofa, Connect 4 and the good, old Fussball! Many people enjoyed playing Fussball together as it gave an opportunity to compete with their fellow DYC members! As a nice evening activity, we watched Toy Story 3 (in which many people cried towards the end). We went back to our rooms and slept tight, getting ready for the next day.

We woke up to a hearty breakfast only and tackled the climbing wall next. This required a sense of trust for your teammates. This activity was great and everyone got to take part! This was an enjoyable process, some people even got to the top. Bravo!

To finish off, we went on the zip wire, bringing our Swattenden residential trip to an end. This Swattenden residential will always be a great memory for DYC!

Matthew D’Costa, a member of DYC, said “It was a really fun experience and really helped to improve our teamwork and communication skills.”

A blog from Dartford Youth Councillor Ricky Taing

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