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The most precious gift is time

Or more specifically “The most precious thing, we can give a child, is TIME”

Even as adults we face change, and one of our instructors has recently relocated from her team in the North West to join our Essex team. Every change can be a little nerve-wracking at first, with lots of uncertainties that make us worry, but, as you will see from Sgt Bowen’s experience, our fears can blow things out of proportion and we can find inspiration in our new situation. Read what happened on her first week. 

So, I’ve just completed my first week with the Essex team. I must say, it’s been FANTASTIC.  I was nervous about the move. I would be training every day. I am a very energetic instructor, but I was wondering if I would be quite so enthusiastic come Friday, would I still be as energetic?! With the first week completed, I can say YES!! Each day was exciting for me and the time passed so quickly. As always, I like to take everything in, get to know the students and watch them interact. It was Skills Week (apart from Tuesday’s school, which was on Bushcraft Week). It was a great week (programme wise) to enter the new team.

The stand-out of the whole week was, in fact, Sgt Wood. In my old team, I never got to see Sgt Bussell instruct as I was always instructing my own programmes. This week, Sgt Wood and I worked closely together running the sessions as a team, assisting with each other’s lessons. As I started to get to know the students, it was clear that every day there were different issues and watching how Sgt Wood dealt with them was something special.

One particular boy on our Tuesday group was sitting around the firepit at lunchtime not eating, head to the floor, looking really sad. I asked if he had some lunch, but he said he wasn’t hungry. As the teacher went off to get his lunch, two girls commented on why he was so upset. At this moment, Sgt Wood asked the boy to join him in taking down the shelter. Off the two walked, the boy with sloped shoulders and head down. As the rest of us carried on eating lunch, Sgt Wood and the boy just walked around the area having a heart-to-heart, but it was the way Sgt Wood took control of the situation and patiently listened as the boy let it all out that made it a real ‘lump in the throat’ type of moment.

The following day during CSS we had a difficult student who was quick to throw tantrums and give up on the programme. I watched as Sgt Wood patiently sat with him, not reacting to his tantrum, just waiting patiently beside him until the boy was ready to talk, which he did before joining in with the activities.

Every day there was something, and every day stood before me a compassionate, patient, ready-to-listen instructor who gave his full attention to whichever child needed it! I just wanted to share this with you. Watching him this week got me thinking about how, for some of our students, this might be the only role model they have, the closest thing to a male figure in their life. To watch as he gave them TIME, and how that TIME quickly defused a situation, was incredible.

Working with Sgt Wood gave me many highlights this week, everything I was nervous about just disappeared. I forgot that it was my first week and that this was a new team to me. Moving to Essex was a big move for me, but watching the team was confirmation that I had made the right decision! I LOVE THE JOB WE DO!!

Sgt Bowen is left in photo, Team leader Sgt Major Carroll is centre and Sgt Wood is on the right

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Posted: 18, June, 2016
by Challenger Troop

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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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