Training Weekend 2

25th – 27th September 2009: photos by Jack

Training Weekend 1

21st – 23rd August 2009

Friday (by Peter)

The first over night training weekend started one Friday evening as all leaders and venturers met in the small hut like hall in Cappercleuch, St. Mary's Loch. Once all 24 venturers had checked in (as one was currently unavailable) we sat down for a quick talk on the rules etc of the weekend. Afterwards, with no time to waste the group of 24 got straight into the ice breakers playing game that involved everyone. Coming from different areas of the Borders, some people were still unfamiliar with others. However already you could tell that by the end of the weekend it will seem as if everyone was from the same area. So moving on with the rest of the day, we were then split into three groups where each group would visit three stations. One station involved measuring walking distance, another focused on map reading skills and a final station where we were shown what sort of kit, from clothes to cutlery, is ideal to take to Chile. The night was rounded off by squeezing our sleeping mats/bags into any space we could find on the floor, so we could wake up to another day where nobody quite knew what to expect.

Saturday (by Sean)

Saturday morning was a bit unusual for me because i had been picked along side Alistar Mackay to cook breakfast for 30 odd people at 6.30 am that was so hard to get up that early. After everyone had eaten and done there dishes it was time to make a start to the day. we all went into our allocated groups and started on the tasks in hand. Which were 1. The medical by pat. 2. We had a fitness test and the final thing we done before lunch was learn how to use a portable cooker. The idea after lunch was to head off to our destination where we planed to sleep and make a bivvy to sleep in .We seemed to be doing just great when we were walking then realised we were going in the wrong directions so we had to turn around and walk alongside the loch (which was good) it took us around about 2 hours roughly to get to the final destination. the first task we had to do was each group had to find the best location to build a pivvy in the countryside. once everyone had built there team pivvy Ron and the other leaders came to inspect them and decide which was the best pivvy and Scotts team won. After this we started to cook tea and the menu was Pasta, chopped tomatos, pepers, onion, custard, apple pies and mushrooms. so we chopped the peppers and mushrooms and added them to the chopped tomatos for the sauce and then half cooked the pasta.While the pasta was cooling we cooked the sauce.It was delicious after that we got told we couldn't sleep in our bivvys which everyone was disappointed and we had to walk the high way which seemed like it was never going to end but then we got to the final obstical and that was going down a steep hill in the dark, while it was wet it was great fun but hard work. Then we got to the cabin and everyone was so tired that we all went to bet after a quick super.

It was great week-end.

Saturday (by Jack)

Sunday (by Alex and Hannah)

After a soggy night's sleep, an almighty snore, and the occasional spoon, the team welcomed the new day by rolling around in a tangle of sleeping bags until breakfast was ready. Before we knew it the porridge was hot and we whapped out our sporks.

The day's activities involved a variety of team-building exercises, such as the 'rope race', the 'write on someone's back task', and the 'animal game' - in which the question still stands,
“What noise does a fish really make?” However, we did learn a valuable lesson; we can't all talk at once!

Leading on from this, we learnt some Spanish in the style of 'duck,duck,goose' which turned out to be a potentially life threatening game as team quatro shook the floor and crashed into the middle. We had a big chat and shared ideas about important information, such as fund-raising, flights, what the trip might include, and so on.

By the end of the day our spirits were still high as we discussed what we didn't enjoy so much and what we really liked. The answer for both questions for most people was pretty much “bog”.

Over the first weekend, the team grew surprisingly close, “and it was the start of something new - it feels so right to be here with you..oh..oh.” Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and can't wait for what the next one has in store! :o

See you soon guys :D

Training Day 1

14th June 2009

Selkirk Rugby Club

It was a nice morning to start our first training day, although the same cannot be said for the first task which was cleaning up the Selkirk Cricket Pitch after their Common Riding celebrations.

When we arrived at the rugby club we all gathered in the car park where we left all our rucksacks and headed to the cricket ground fully equipped with our gloves and recyclable colour coded bags. It took us about 2 hours to clear up the piles of bottles, papers and plastic rubbish that was strewn all over the ground. To finish the clear up we did one final sweep, up then down the pitch.

Afterwards, we headed back to the club rooms for much needed refreshments before heading outside to enjoy the sun and some rather confusing ice-breakers... like spelling our names in reverse then lining up in alphabetical order whilst trying to pronounce them!

Back at the club rooms, we sat through a presentation about fundraising, then sub-divided into small groups to discuss possible fund raising ideas, before presenting them back to the main group.

Once we had lunch, the heavens decided to open, and along with it came the thunder ? We split into groups of about 8-12 people and went round stations doing activities like name games, "stop the nuclear explosion" (courtesy of Teri's acting skills), various blindfold games, and running while screaming – they obviously hadn't planned for the bad weather!!!

To finish off the day, we played an extremelyyyyyy long game of "I'm Ron and I like Rhubarb..." to give us the chance to learn everyone's name. Complicated, but yeah...

Looking good ;)

Caitlin and Mark (Niltiac and Kram)

Chile 2010 Venturer Selection Day Photos

Borders Exploration Group Announce Chile 2010

10 March 2009

Borders Exploration Group (BEG) has announced plans to travel to Chile in 2010 for its 9th international expedition.

BEG is now looking for volunteer leaders to take part in the expedition which will leave in July 2010 for around three weeks.

The adventure will see a group of 16 to 25-year-olds, known as venturers, travel with around 10 leaders to Chile where activities may include working with a community, hiking in the Andes Mountains, biking along the Carretera Austral and white water rafting in the Futaleufu River.

BEG, set up as a charity in 1991, is best known for its bi-annual international expeditions, which introduce young people to remote parts of the world.

Past expeditions include Ecuador, Kenya, Vietnam and most recently Zambia. BEG has been involved in a number of charity projects including building a school in Kenya, helping renovate an orphanage in Romania, building roads in Vietnam and in Zambia funding and then helping with the construction of medical buildings.

Chile was chosen as 2010's expedition due to its hugely varied climate which ranges from the world's driest desert, the Atacama in the north, to the snow-capped Alpine climate in the south complete with glaciers, fjords and lakes.

The potential for working with the local community was also an important factor in deciding the destination. Community projects may include working in an orphanage, building houses in rural areas or repairing health clinics.

BEG is currently looking for leaders to take part in the trip and will be holding a selection weekend starting on April 18.

Leaders are self financing volunteers and are selected on their ability to integrate with young people, work as a team, handle difficult situations and show initiative.

Selection takes place over a weekend where potential leaders are put through paces in a number of challenging tasks.

Joint organiser of Chile 2010 Jim McPherson said: "We are excited to announce Chile as the destination for our 9th expedition. There has been a three year break since our last expedition and we know there will be a lot of interest in this particular adventure from both potential leaders and venturers.

"The selection weekend is demanding but it can also be fun. It gives potential leaders an opportunity to discover more about Borders Exploration Group as well as helping us to pull together the best possible team for this expedition.

"We would encourage anyone interested in helping make Chile 2010 a success to get in touch for an application form."

Venturer selection will take place in the Spring. Those interested in becoming a venturer should monitor the local press and for further details.