In the spring of 2011, William O Halloran from Will and Away delivered a six day nature awareness and survival skill module to the students of Scoil Phadraig Naofa in Bandon Co. Cork. Here’s what William had to say about his experience with the school.
“I was very impressed at the excellent behaviour of every one of the boys and would like to thank them for being so eager to learn about nature and indeed to have taught me a few things also!
Over the six sessions I got to work with each class in the school on two occasions. The first lesson involved learning all about the wonder of nature in the Irish Landscape. The second lesson involved the boys having to figure out how they would work as a team in order to survive being stranded on a remote Island off the west coast of Ireland. We learned about animal behaviour, finding food and water, making fire, finding shelter, camp craft and how to get rescued by a helicopter!
I was hoping to figure out which class in the school was the best, in terms of behaviour, good team work, knowledge of nature, ability to survive the wilderness and being able to leave no trace. It was something which I just couldn’t figure out, as each class left a great impression with me. I’m sure the nuns also, were very impressed with how the boys all respected their beautiful garden, which they were so kind to let us use.”
Following on from the six week programme in the school, the 3rd and 4th classes came on their school tour with Will and Away to Ballinreeshig Nature Farm in Ballygarvan, Co. Cork. The boys had a great day out at the farm, getting the chance to go well and truly wild! They took part in the “Nature Programme” which is a special package Will and Away has to offer for schools and youth organisations. The Nature Programme lasts 3-4 hours and involves going on an adventurous walk around the beautiful Balllinreeshig Nature Farm while playing fun nature awareness games, immersing the senses in nature in the sensory tent, discovering the “Green Schools Woodland”, taking part in survival team challenges, finding wild animals and becoming aware about leave no trace outdoor ethics
It is a really fun learning experience for students and a great idea for a school tour.
For Gaelscoileanna Will and Away also offer their activities through Irish.
If you would like more information on Will and Away’s Nature Programme follow this link http://www.willandaway.ie/courses-and-programmes/the-nature-programme