I am now qualified in almost all of the ropes sessions at Winmarleigh, including Abseiling, Zip Wire, and all of the 'Ground Up' sessions (climbing), of which there are many. This means I do fewer ground sessions, in which you generally get to know the group better, but does mean I get to really challenge the kids. The most rewarding moments are when children, who are truly scared, achieve something great by stepping out of their comfort zone. Some only get half way up a ladder, and some come down in tears, but telling them how amazingly they've done to push beyond what they thought they could do seems to increasingly make me start to well up too.
During the past week I have been group leading, working with a group during their stay, but I have also run a few sessions. This morning I instructed a session on 'Wobbly Bars', the final activity for eleven of the kids from my group. Most of them managed fine, but one girl had to be persuaded to climb beyond the 10th step, up to the lowest bar. Eventually she got her feet onto the bar and managed to shuffle far enough away from the ladder to be let down. She was in tears but had gone further than in any other climbing session during the week. Later the whole group (I was co-looking after 80 kids in total) were asked who had achieved something during the week that they didn't think they could have done. Almost all of them put their hands up but I noticed the girl from earlier didn't and she looked disappointed. I managed to catch her eye and told her with a look and a point of my finger that she had. She got the message and raised her hand minutely.
Playing games, singing till my voice is broken and dancing wildly at a disco are all great fun, but it is these wonderful moments that make working for PGL so brilliant.