Thursday, 9 August 2012

Low Mill...High Spirits!. OR "Father and son Adventures in Yorkshire"!

Last weekend I attended an outward bound course in Yorkshire. I was accompanied on the adventure by Andy Ward Junior...or "mini me" as I like to call him!.

Why did we go on the course? Well it was organized by the Lincoln ADHD group, or  to be more precise by a lady by the name of Sharon O'dell  who runs this amazing and supportive charity. And we where attending the course because my 9 year old son Andrew, although yet to be formally diagnosed with ADHD or any other Autism Spectrum disorder, has suffered from behavioral problems for many years.

Seems a strange thing to say, but throughout the whole trip I had to keep reminding myself that the other 15 or so children, ranging in age from 6-7 years old to perhaps 17-19, also had issues around their behavior, because to be honest, they could have passed for the main part, as being what you would deem "normal" in every way...just a group of kids having a laugh with each other whilst engaging in a variety of pursuits including canoing,climbing,caving,archery and  Gorge walking......and having a brilliant time of it!.

Speaking to a few of the parents who, like myself, had come along to support their kids, you soon discovered many common threads amongst us relating to subjects concerning the constant battle to get a formal diagnosis for their child, receiving help in caring for them, battling school perceptions of their child's "problems" and, on a more practical note, trying to claim certain benefits which, it appears, is like trying to find a needle in a haystack!

The venue for the course was a converted water mill next to the village of Askrigg in the beautiful countyside of North Yorkshire. A very tidy, modestly equipped base for us to stay in between our many adventures!

Upon arrival at the centre we where directed to our room....ours was the largest which slept approx 14 and was named "The room of dangling doom"!
After making our beds (blankets,duvets ect....not with wood and was not THAT basic!) we all went upstairs to partake in sandwiches,cake and crisps before we moved into the games area at which point we had our arrival brief and an invitation to pop outside for a few activities. The activities consisted of Football, Rounders and Orienteering....we chose the latter!.

An early night saw most retire to their bunks by 10pm and we drifted off to sleep wondering perhaps what the following days would bring.....we would not be disappointed :-)

Saturday morning was our chance to go Canoing! On the picturesque Semer Water which was only a 10 minute minibus ride from the centre.
After getting "geared up" with wellies, waterproof jackets and the obligatory Oar(paddle?) we set off and, after unloading the canoes from the trailer we had a fantastic hours of fun which luckily did not involve me falling in to the lake :-)

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