Organise the school adventure holiday of a lifetime at locations across mainland Europe


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Although a lot of emphasis is quite correctly put on the educational side of being at school (i.e. the actual things and subjects you learn while you’re in the classroom), it’s important to remember that it’s outside lesson time where children learn to act and behave in everyday life, shaping them into the adults they will grow up to be.

It’s a fact of life that in order to succeed at work we need to be able to do a lot more than name the capital of Peru or be able to do long division by hand rather than using a calculator. We also need to be able to work as part of a team, to show initiative and leadership when it’s called for, to support other people if necessary and to display social skills and manners at all times. While those things often develop completely naturally, there’s nothing wrong with giving things a bit of a helping hand and having some fun at the same time.

Educational trips are all the rage at schools around the UK at the moment, but there are fewer institutions which offer school adventure trips as well. These trips, as the name suggests, are less about learning and more about experiencing new things, pushing yourself and forging new relationships in the face of adversity. Although parents might be more reluctant to shell out for their children to go on a trip that doesn’t have any obvious cultural value, it should be stressed to them that these trips are equally valuable, perhaps more so, as the skills formed and developed here will go on to benefit the child throughout their entire lives rather than just at exam time.

There are companies which specialise in the planning and execution of these adventure trips for schools, with their own complexes situated in various locations, from mountains to lakes, around mainland Europe. This ensures that there is a wide range of challenging and fun activities to take part in over a week or ten days or so, from waterskiing and go-karting to rock climbing and hiking, though obviously certain activities can only be done in certain places. Centre staff are all fully trained and qualified to handle groups of schoolchildren, with rigorous safety measures taken to ensure that no-one gets hurt.

The main thing that needs to be organised before you leave is the accommodation – where are you going to be able to comfortably house a largeish group of kids and adults for a week? Fortunately, many of the companies that manage and maintain these adventure centres have their own fully staffed accommodation onsite, with meals using locally-sourced ingredients included. They may also have connections with airlines and coach transport companies, offering the possibility of a discount – all you have to do is tell them when you want to arrive and leave (which you’d be doing anyway). That takes care of pretty much everything as far as organisation is concerned, meaning that you can just turn up on the appointed day and enjoy the week as it comes.

These trips can be invaluable for confident and more withdrawn students alike, so they’re certainly worth considering if you’re a parent or teacher – search online for quotes from relevant companies today.

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Bus Riding as an Adventure

Hubby rides the bus going to and from the office. Unfortunately, only ordinary buses ply the San Mateo area (Marikina Auto Line Transport Corporation). They have aircon buses before but since they are only reconditioned, maintenance costs led to their eventual demise. Anyway, he never runs out of stories and observations about his bus rides and in fact, he even took pictures of the morning scenarios he and other passengers experience during their everyday ride. He even gave it a title: “Gone in 300 Seconds”.

As you can see, it’s every man for himself during rush hour. You have to be agile, strong-armed, strong-willed and brave.

This is how the bus looks like before 300 seconds.

After 100 seconds…

After 200 seconds…

300 seconds.

Also, hubby gave the following tips/advice to bus riders (based on his experience) to make your trip a happy and exciting one:

1. To avoid becoming a victim of pickpockets, make sure that your bags/other belongings are tightly pressed in your body (like hugging them). If possible, use bags with zippers. Open bags tend to attract pickpockets’ attention and believe me, they are really good.

2. Be alert with people inside the bus, criminals usually operate in groups. They usually make weird sounds or gestures as if signaling their other accomplices.

3. To passengers who witness a crime being committed, I suggest that you keep it to yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being a coward. It’s just that you really don’t know who among the passengers is the accomplice and you might get home with a knife stuck in your side.

4. Listen attentively to the bus conductors. Once they shout a certain landmark and you are a few meters anyway, alight. Trust me, few meters will become kilometers if you don’t. Drivers really don’t use the designated bus stops so you have to “go with the flow”. Also, bus drivers have this “it’s not ok to disembark but it’s ok to pick-up passengers in non-designated bus stops” mentality.

5. Don’t stress yourself by arguing with the conductor regarding a 1 or 2 peso difference in bus fare. I once witnessed a fistfight between a conductor and a passenger because of this and it was ugly.

6. Lady passengers, do not “ask for seats” when the bus is full. Some usually make loud comments like “no one’s a boy scout/gentleman here anymore?”, you’ll just be humiliated. Wait until someone offers it to you. Personally, I offer my seats only to old men/women, pregnant women and mothers with babies.

7. Passengers, make your voice loud enough to be heard by the conductor/driver when you’re getting off so you’ll not miss your stop. Some speaks like a murmur so how will they hear you.

8. Passengers who are senior citizens, don’t get mad if the conductor asks for your senior citizen ID. In fact, you must be grateful that they are doing their job.

Still, hubby thinks that the bus is the best way to travel. You just got to observe proper time management so that you’ll not be hassled by different factors such as traffic conditions, demonstrations, road accidents.

And before I forget, hubby mentioned that apart from being agile, strong-armed and strong-willed, some passengers took the word “brave” a bit too extreme.

Yes, this brave man is hanging outside the bus. Extreme indeed!

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