Monday, 20 May 2019

Camping with Uni | Part 1 - The Journey to Islay

The second last week of uni was certainly a great way to see the end of the year out. We planned a camping trip to the Isle of Islay. Three days on an island, and it all counted towards our education.

"What kind of degree gives you the opportunity to go out and camp for three days?" you ask?!

Let me explain.  for those of you know don't know, I study outdoor education and learning at Perth. The degree is about becoming an outdoor educator, facilitator, teacher, coach/ all of the above. One of the modules we took this year was "Residential Outdoor Education." This module consisted of exploring what a residential educational experience is, why we do it and talking to different people who are part of the industry in Scotland and the rest of the world. All of this learning amounted to us planning and carrying out our own residential experience for ourselves.

We were told from the beginning that it is our residential, we have to plan it. We were given a blank slate and told to make it count. I think all of our eyes lit up when we realised we have the whole world at our feet, possibilities where endless. We spent weeks trying to think of a way to plan a meaningful residential to places like Iceland, although, we didn't plan for that quick enough.
The first place that was suggested, (before we realised the world was our oyster,) was Islay, and that is where we came back to. We figured that Islay is far enough away we get the awe of a brand new place, but close enough we could make it cost effective.

We discussed what kind of outcomes we would like to personally gain from the trip, most of us focusing on the whole "character building" "teamwork" outcomes, however a few of us put things like "organisational skills" and "trying new things" too.

Ten weeks of planning later, and we're off. Heading to the ferry at Kennacraig. The last time I had been on a ferry was when I was really little, and we went to France for a really short time. I got a toy that was like a ball with loads of wee suckers on it. You could throw it at anything and it would stick to it, walls, ceilings, doors, windows.. it was amazing!

Anyway back on track, when we got to Kennacraig, we found out the Ferry had been cancelled and we were put on the later one. So we headed to Tarbert for three hours. This included a walk to the Castle, (or what's left of it.) We then took a walk to the community woodland, where we all went around a boardwalk labyrinth which purpose was to allow us to find ourselves... when we got the middle there was a box we had to open and look down in order to found our true selves, all we found was a broken mirror... Not sure what that's meant to mean, but I'm pretty sure every student has felt that way at least once.

Anyway, after a wee wander we headed to the pub's beer garden while we waited, and before long it was our time to get on the Ferry.

From what I can gather we where pretty lucky on the Ferry. There was hardly any wind so we all stood on the outdoors deck, (which seems appropriate being outdoor students.) The was only one casualty... which was a pair of sunglasses. (R.I.P) 

Once we finally got to our camp site, it was getting dark. It was getting windy, and we just wanted tents up and food in our belly's. Putting up a tent with wild winds is hard, but even harder when it's a five man tent. 

We had a very quick BBQ for our tea that night, crouched in the roofless remains of an old building that looked like a church, (A very tiny one) we were all pretty knackered and went to bed sharp. 
The night was rough, the wind kept me up a lot, but by the morning it had settled down. I woke up at 5 am, just before sunrise and went for a wander around the beach. We didn't get to see the beauty of the beach the night before, but in the morning watching the sun rise was amazing.

It was lovely to have the sun rise as a moment of peace, a few of us where up and about, but we all individually found a spot and watched the sunrise, before the fun and madness of the next few days followed. 

I'll write another blog post talking about the next couple of days, which really ended up helping us all bond and become stronger as a team.

And if you want to find out more about my course, feel free to give me a message. 

Until next time guys,

Jade- Your Introvert Adventurer