As always, the school holiday break is (and probably is for most people) a juggling act. A mixture of spending time with the kids (see image of yesterday spent at a Medieval Festival :)) but also working. Over the last few weeks I had a number of days away for work but 2 days that really stuck with me were my days training groups of children and teenagers.
It never ceases to amaze me the dedication and types of occupations the people whom don our doors have. Some, like me, feel they have a cause rather than a job and there is no better example than the women and men that are the Veteran Mentors.
This incredible group of people help children that are struggling with the world by teaching them the confidence and the strategies to stand on their own two feet, take responsibility for themselves and install a value system that creates long lasting change.
Recently I was privileged to be invited to their training headquarters and teach the children some simple self defence strategies to help them navigate the realities of this wonderfull but sometimes tragic world.
Talk about flash backs….these dedicated women and men, mostly retired service men and woman with military and policing backgrounds, create a military experience similar to what you might expect when you step off the bus at Kapooka on your first day of basic training.
Absolutely the hardest point in anyones military career as the instructors create the tenets that you are expected to conform to. Turning civilians into military personnel, or in this case asking rebellious kids to take simple instructions without question. Very hard for anyone with an anti authority perspective I’m sure. I did giggle to myself because unlike these young warriors I volunteered for that experience.
Can I just say that I have taught in many schools and I can honestly say that these young people were respectful, hard working and giving it their all. Something that not many schools manage so a huge well done to the Veteran Mentor team who in just 3 days bought out the best in this group of lost teens.
What a valuable experience for someone who feels like they are the odd one out, an opportunity to socialise with other people feeling similar thoughts, each bought to that point through totally different circumstances yet all sharing that similar internal voice of doubt. I’m sure once they jump out of a plane during the Veteran Mentor program their internal dialogue will be changed forever from I can’t and I won’t to I can and I will!!!!!
Another amazing group of people I had the pleasure of working with recently is the Gilston PCYC Holiday program. Wow what an incredible group of little people ranging from Prep to Year 5 and the lungs on them holy moly, deafening lol.
Our training started with organised chaos with kids running and shouting but then coming together as a team to help each other complete small safety related tasks, never leaving a person behind.
Thank goodness for kick shields because the power in the kids kicks to our shins when they were faced with a hard wrist grab would have had me begging for mercy.
Laced with games like stuck in the mud and dodgeball, these young ones identified who they could trust in their time of need, how to use their voice to bring attention to their situation and even removing someones hands from around their throat.
Ultimately a fantastic couple of hours with a lot of smiles and no tears so a win all round!!
See you at training.