Thursday, April 08, 2010

King Swing

Above : Kingswing shortly after completion.

It's been fairly quiet at the centre for the past few months in terms of groups and activities, but there's been lots happening in other areas, some more obvious than others.

The biggest change is that a huge medieval-like contraption has sprouted from the ground behind the Scottish Headquarters / Henderson building. We're not sure exactly where it came from, but maybe the wet weather and fertile soil had something to do with it?

On closer inspection it's actually a fully-working 'King Swing', which will add another roped activity to the centre once the staff have been trained up and assessed to run sessions. The idea is that one brave person is attached to a pair of huge metal cables which are suspended from the top beam, and the rest of the group hoist them up until they are almost at the top of the single pole at the back of the swing. The lucky test-pilot then pulls a release cord and hurtle down towards the ground, which they clear by a small margin before zooming skywards again.

From initial tests by some of the staff, the swing is amazing fun so looks likely to be a popular activity once it's up and running. One of the main reasons for building the swing is that it will be fully accessible and useable by disabled users, unlike a few of the other roped activities at present.

Above : Giant wedgie machine

The centre has also purchased a 'Bell Boat', and is in the process of purchasing another - these are 8-person boats approximately 30 feet long which are very stable and easy to use. They will hopefully be based locally and the idea is to train up lots of the staff and local leaders to provide a new water-based activity. These will also provide another activity which is suited towards individuals or groups with disabilities. No photos so far, but we'll have some from the first training sessions in a few weeks' time.

Above : Everything ready for Giant Jenga championships

Above : Scene after first round.

Other than than, a few less obvious changes have been made. The main store has undergone a complete transformation from the Aladdin's cave of before. A new racking system was installed recently and a forklift has been purchased for the centre. The main reason for this is to tidy up the main store area where most of the equipment and marquees are stored, and make them easier to access.

Over the past few months, the Fordell staff and Scottish Fellowship (who run the marquee service and organise other camps/events) have been in helping with the transformation. Everything's looking much tidier now and 4 people have been put through forklift training recently, 2 from Fordell and 2 from Scottish Fellowship.

Above : New racking system just after installation.

Above : Store looking way more tidy than before.

The busy season's nearly here again; from the end of April until July every weekend's busy with groups and activities. Before then there's some training organised for the Bell Boats, and also the Fellowship AGM in a few weeks time, so more photos and updates soon.