Growing in the Love of God

The Upper Wylye Valley Team - Wylye Valley Youth Group


This year 30 youngsters from the Wylye Valley Youth Group visited the Cardiff White Water Centre which was purpose built for full international and Olympic competition use. The first event of the International Canoe Federation's 2012 World Cup was used by several nations to finalize their selection of athletes for the 2012 London Olympics. Our Youth Group undertook white water rafting, indoor surfing (brilliant) and high wire work. The weather was perfect and we had a wonderfully active and testing day. A report written by 16 year old Emilie Clifford is shown below.Sadly we were defeated by the weather on 24 August for our hot air ballooning, but that will be rescheduled for the first week in April 2016.


On the 17th August 2015 a group of us aged between 12 and 17 were taken on a trip to Cardiff for a fun packed day of activities. To start the day off we had the journey to Cardiff which was hilarious which was good because it passed the time. Some of us were playing cards or just having a good chat and in some cases making new friends. Every year I have been on these trips I have realised that everyone just gets along whether it is your first year or you have been doing this for five years like me, because you can’t resist the adrenaline rush and of course the amazing people you meet on the trip.

When we arrived at CIWW (Cardiff International White Water) we were split up into our groups. I was one of two girls in my group along with eight very competitive boys. Our group got on very well from the start and we all made sure no one felt left out. Our group’s first activity of the day was white water rafting and I had no idea what to expect.

Once we had met the leaders we all got kitted up with wetsuits, helmets and life jackets. We then walked down to the rafts and split into groups of five. Once we were in the rafts we had to learn the commands such as ‘get down’ when you had to hold your paddle in the air to prevent hitting anyone even if the temptation may have been high whilst sitting on the bottom of the raft. You also had ‘lean’ in when you had to put your elbow on the cushioned part of the raft whilst slightly lifting your paddle out of the water. There was ‘over left’ and ‘over right’ where everyone had to go to one side of the raft depending on which was called in case the raft was going to topple over. Once we had learnt the commands we were ready to get on the course. It started off with having to go up a conveyer belt then paddling for a bit to rehearse all the commands came for our safety. There was no chance of not getting soaked especially when the leader told us to paddle towards the ramps and wait while all this water poured into the raft.

At some points after doing the course we were allowed to push each other in or tip the raft or in some cases do somersaults off the raft. We were constantly switching round so everyone got a chance in the front. I don’t know why we would want to do this because it meant we got soaked even more.

Our next activity of the day was indoor surfing we all got wetsuits again if we needed them just to give us protection from the boards. We then had to watch a small clip about what to expect and how to do some of the tricks safely and were then ready to have a go ourselves. We were all helped to start with to make sure we understood everything such as how to push off the wall and how to go backwards and forwards. Then we were set free! This was when everyone showed their competitive side especially when it came to standing which isn’t as easy as you think and you definitely knew it the next day when you were covered in bruises, but it was definitely worth it. Many of us were able to master the majority of the tricks such as letting go of the board and then trying to grab hold of it again, doing a roll whilst still holding the board or even getting onto your knees.

Once we had all dried off we had our last activity which was high ropes. I enjoyed the high ropes because we were able to go at our own speed whether you were confident or not. Each part of the course had a card with three different difficulties so for example you could use both hands, one hand or no hands at all. The course had many different challenges to overcome from zip wires to tunnels. At the very end of the course there was a bridge which went over the water. This resulted in the boys setting themselves a challenge of touching the water. Some of them even sat there and waited for a raft to come along just so they could get a soaking - and of course they did.

When we finished all our activities for the day we all got on the bus ready to leave. Not long after the other two groups joined us and we were on the road again. Let’s just put it this was it was a very quiet journey back as many people had fallen asleep due to the fun filled day - and the early start probably didn’t help either.

I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who was involved in making this trip happen. It meant a lot to all of us. For example The Big Lottery Fund and the Wiltshire Community Foundation Fund who gave money towards this trip for which we are all very grateful and of course to Crichton who has done this for many years and has never failed to keep us out of trouble, I mean entertained.

August 2015