On the 18th July I started week 1 of my NCS program, this is the most adventurous week! We were camping in bell tents at a place called Wimbleball Lake on Exmoor. At first I was really nervous and terrified, but I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting! I started NCS with 3 of my friends, so there was 4 of us in total. Here is my account of week 1!
I was picked up from my bus stop at 11:45 am, and began on a 2 hour trip to Wimbleball lake, which is situated in Somerset. On the way we stopped off by a steam train to have our packed lunch, which was enjoyable as it was really sunny! We then arrived at the camp site and dragged our suitcases up to our tents. Unfortunately most of my friends were split up and put in different tents, but luckily I was able to stick with one of my friends. There was the two of us and then two other girls we did not know. They were really friendly, but we decided to move to a different tent. This meant that there were 3 of us in a tent along with one girl who we didn’t know, but soon became friends with. We then had a quick tour of the site and did a few team building activities, which included a blind folded challenge. Then it was chips and salad for dinner, followed by chilling out in our tents and then off to bed on our air mattress. That night I did not sleep until 1 am, mainly because everyone was too excited to sleep.
I woke up at 5:45 in the morning, mainly because the tents were white and the light came in and woke me up! However we didn’t manage to get out of bed until 7:30, when we walked up to the bathrooms to change. We then had breakfast and gathered around to start our 10 mile hike. One of my friends felt ill and decided to stay back at the camp site. We then began our hike, completing challenges along the way. One of which was a spider’s web where we passed people through some rope to reach the other side. We also had to make a fire and make our team a hot chocolate which was delicious. The only problem is that we did it on the hottest day at 30 degrees so we were all sweating beyond belief. I got a few blisters from the hike, but managed to make it around. Once we got back our friend who decided to stay back, decided to go on home as she wasn’t feeling well. We then had spicy noodles for dinner, while we waited for her parents to collect her.
This was the earliest day I woke up at 5:10, before getting up at 6 am for a shower. This was the water sports day, where we did rafting, paddle boarding and kayaking. We got into our wet suits, which were provided and started with raft building. We constructed our own raft an sailed it to a point and back, luckily it did not fall apart in the water! We then did paddle boarding, which I was apprehensive about. However I really enjoyed it and had so much fun! I was even able to stand up on my own! Then it was back to the catering van for lunch where I had the most delicious pasta. Then we went kayaking, we had two people kayaks which were not great seeing that my partner just couldn’t be bothered to paddle. So it was a little bit of a struggle as we drifted off the back a few times, however I did enjoy it! I did fall off the back of a kayak as we played a game where you had to stand up and swap places with some one on another kayak. This caused me to topple off backwards as 3 people entered my kayak! We then had dinner and went to the park to design our own team flag!
For me this was probably my worst day. We did archery first where I struggled to even hit the target! Then we did climbing, I am dreadful with heights! However I managed to pull myself 3/4 of the way up before coming down. Then lunch was awful I was at the back of the line so there was little left! The pasta was hard and there was little sauce available. But it didn’t get better we were then off to do the high ropes. By now my one friend who was left had began to ditch me for others so I felt a little alone! She kept showing off to the others and befriending them and shunting me to the side a little, so I was feeling quite down. To make it worse I have a massive fear of heights so I ended up full on crying! At least this was the only time I cried during the week, but still it was full on tears! My friend didn’t help either, she didn’t even come and ask if I was alright instead just bragged about her achievements! That evening got worse as all I could have for dinner was egg noodles with no sauce! However I ended the day on a high with an amazing campfire, where we toasted marshmallows on sticks which were beyond delicious.
Coming home! I woke up with a mixture of relief, happiness and sadness. I enjoyed my time there, but was happy to see my family and dogs again. We packed all our stuff up, did one last team activity, before jumping on the bus. Once on the bus we were off home! We arrived home an hour before scheduled to!
That was it, my experience with NCS for week 1! Next week I am on to week 2 in university style accommodation. Overall I enjoyed NCS as I was able to do activities I would never normally do, I tried so many new things and made one really close friend. I wouldn’t say it’s changed me as a person, but I have had fun and met new people and experienced a new way of life. I would totally recommend it!