Sadr ul Ulama Academy successfully organised and executed another event this past Sunday with twenty young lads in attendance from the north-west. In this blog post we hope to outline the need for such an event and what the participants took part in. The aim and objective of this event was to bond with a group of 10-16 year boys who would be challenged to take part in a series of activities which would challenge their bravery, teamwork, leadership and creativity.
The day started out with a safety briefing and an outline of activities which each child would take part in. They then were split into two groups and started to prepare themselves to take part in either archery or crate stacking.
The group which were first taking on the archery challenge were given a quick informative walkthrough of how to shoot arrows and then in groups of four the kids took turns to shoot arrows at the target board. Each time their scores were tallied in a large inter-group competition. Volunteers took part alongside the kids to increase the stakes in the competition however, some failed miserably to hit the target.
While one group spent ninety minutes shooting arrows the other group worked together to try to build a large tower of crates. Two kids, and sometimes a volunteer, would be strapped to harnesses and would communicate with their team below to build two towers of crates which alternated in height to scale higher in the air. The first group on crate stack achieved a total of 15 crates which was later equalled by the second group. Teams showed fierce competition and often displays of courage and determination were met with rapturous cheers. Shouts of encouragement rang around the clearing.
After ninety minutes the two groups swapped over and sought to beat the previous team. They were handed snacks in between by the volunteers and conversations were struck between the volunteers and kids. Instructors would provide tips and tricks to better each individual score and hope to allow each person to beat their previous attempt.
After another ninety minutes the two groups reconvened in a communal area to sit down and have their lunch. They exchanged stories and gloated of besting one another.
After a thirty minute lunch break they all travelled to the changing rooms to change into their spare clothes and put on wet-suits and life jackets. Excitedly, they all made their way to the bottom of the reservoir where two powerboats ferried the kids and volunteers over to the small beach. There, they split back into two groups and competed to create two rafts which they would then use to ferry themselves back to shore on the opposite side. They started by searching for large stones to prop the wooden poles upon and start tying knots to secure the frame of the raft upon. Once tied they, six of their peers took the barrels out into the water and hold them steady. Four members of the groups would lift the frame into the water and sit it upon the barrels to help it float. Each of them sat upon the raft while the instructors delivered a safety demonstration. They then rushed to grab their paddles and frantically paddled back to the opposite side. Thereafter they decided to jump into the reservoir one by one for a final dip.
The kids then changed and came back to listen to Sayyid Samdani speak to them the importance of the activities they had performed and the skills to be gained. Each kid had an opportunity to say what they liked and disliked and suggest future events to which volunteers paid close attention.