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Taking aim – focusing in. A truly inspirational week!

Week 6: Adventure Training

We are at the halfway point of the 12-week core programme with Palace Fields Primary School and as a reward for the mini troopers’ commitment and enthusiasm so far, we had planned a different type of training day. This day was to be filled with adventure but would have a focus on building confidence, focus, responsibility and managing distractions as well having a a clear emphasis on listening, understanding and following instructions. Today the mini troopers were going to have an archery session and an air rifle session along with other activities.

The sun was shining and the air was crisp. The mini troopers concentrated as Sgt Bussell went through the safety brief for the archery session. Feelings of excitement were growing, the mini troopers clearly could not wait to have a go. Working in pairs and taking it in turns, each mini trooper had 3 arrows to attempt to hit the ‘centre of the gold’. JA eager as always, just went in without taking the time to focus – he missed the target completely. Already on to his 3rd arrow, his partner/opponent was yet to take a shot – who was taking her time to place her feet in the right position, lining up her aim correctly and when she raised her arm and drew back the string in perfect posture, she released the arrow and hit the target!  Her face filled with pride and with a lovely moment of encouragement from the team, she went on to fire her second and third shot, each time a face of pure concentration and determination to get the ‘centre of the gold’. The rest of the mini troopers took their stance and attempted to hit the bullseye.

CF said “I didn’t have much strength to get the arrow to the target but I had fun trying.”

Taking aim

The teacher accompanying the mini troopers said, “They were so patient in waiting for their turn. Everyone has done really well”.

After the archery session, we moved to the air rifle session. Again the mini troopers sat and listened as Sgt Ellison took them through the safety briefing. Once we were satisfied they had all understood what we had been teaching, the first two mini troopers took up their position. Laying 10 meters away from the target, they fired the weapon with the intention to get a small grouping on the target. With high levels of concentration everywhere, all the mini troopers competed amongst themselves, trying to get the best score. For some, holding the weapon was a challenge, as this was a completely new experience. We had some real good shooting practice with good outcomes.

HB said, “I managed to hit the 10 points on the target.”

My best shot

We ended the morning with a game of Tug of War, splitting the mini troopers into two even groups we headed into battle. Faces bright red, heels dug deep into the ground and the sound of the mini troopers cheering for their team to win, they went head to head. After three rounds, we announced the winners.

Now tired and needing refreshment, we headed up to the Challenger Troop sports hall and had lunch. Whilst the mini troopers were tucking into their sandwiches I explained that they will need to take this time to re-energise as we had the Challenge Course to look forward to. You may remember the mini troopers took part in The Challenge Course during week one. This time they will be faced with additional challenges, such as carrying a mock casualty manikin over the course and completing it as team rather than as individuals.

JA said “I beat my challenge time by 9 seconds and I’m now the fastest”.

The mini troopers loved the day and asked if they will get to do the activities again. Over the past six weeks, we have seen their confidence growing and a stronger sense of self-discipline take over. At the beginning, some of them struggled to follow simple rules of no hands in pockets. Now they are standing before me so sharp, ready for the next challenge. We are hearing the voices of the quietest mini troopers, who are using it well. This was a well-deserved reward week.

My Wednesday with Palace Fields has come to another end and like always. I walk away from the mini troopers feeling a sense of pride with all that they have accomplished. In my opinion, SN was outstanding, particularly on the challenge course, for someone who suffers from core stability problems she NEVER gives up, always giving it 100% and tackling through, each week she literally amazes us, she is an inspiration to us.

Teacher said “I have been so impressed with SN she has not given up, she just keeps going and doesn’t let her conditions stop her, and I could never imagine JT to speak up with so much confidence, to see him volunteer to help the instructors really surprised me.”

Next week we will be back out in the woods, teaching voice procedure using the radios and map reading as part of Navigation week. Thanks again for following. We would love to hear how your mini trooper is adapting with their new skills in the home environment, please add comments on the Facebook post click Here

“A reminder that the activities mentioned in this ‘blog’ should always be carried out under the supervision of a current, competent and qualified Instructor. Anyone under the age of 14 can use an air rifle under supervision on private premises with permission from the occupier – normally the owner or tenant. The person who supervises you must be at least 21 years old.”

If you would like to read previous week’s blogs, please click HERE

If you would like more information on how our programmes support young people, please call us now 0845 548 5070 or click HERE


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Posted: 12, February, 2016
by Sgt Bowen

Sgt Bowen is a Team Instructor in our North West Team. Formerly a Corporal in the Army Recruitment Team, after she had served for over ten years in the British Army Royal Corps of Transport where she was deployed to Germany, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and the Falkland Islands. She is passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of the young people she works with.

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"Outdoor learning is giving them back their childhood wonder and curiosity at new things, allowing them to experience the marvel of discovery and the learning that comes from taking risks"

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