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Growing Together

This year, #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek is all about 'Growing Together' and aims to encourage children (and adults) to consider how they have grown and how they can help others to grow.

Here at Go Ape, we believe (and see daily) that outdoor learning is a great way to help children grow. Be it their natural curiosity, improving their physical and mental health and building their confidence, Go Ape activities are great at proving you can do anything with some support and guidance.

Quite often, when a group of children arrive on a school trip, you have a mix of excitement levels. You have those who can't wait to get into the trees whilst others don't feel confident enough to go up. This is why we love what we do! We get to see leaders form within the class groups as the children begin to support and encourage each other, and quite often, no one is left behind.

Girl at Go Ape

The support is overwhelming. It's not just children who can feel this, we see it regularly with adults too, and in the same way, friends, family and colleagues all come together to support an individual who doesn't feel like they can. Some quotes from children who have visited our courses as part of a school trip.

"At first I was really nervous… When I got used to it, I had lots of fun."

"At the start, I felt like something was going to break.... But at the end, I got confident, and I just got over it."

"I felt quite scared at first but managed to overcome my fears and do it."

"My favourite part was also the zipline because it felt like I was flying."

Boy on zip wire

Here are some inspirational stories from our site teams who witness children' growing together' whilst on an adventure.

"Every day is different at Go Ape because every person reacts to Go Ape courses differently. There are the raucous groups that are unphased by any obstacles, the easy-going people willing to give most things a try and then the people who step more cautiously at first but then smile even wider at the end!

Last weekend, a girl on Treetop Adventure was fairly confident going around the crossings and loops but chose not to take on the zip lines. Near the end of her time on the course, her dad and I convinced her to try just standing on the platform and, after a little coaxing, she chose to give the zip a go. She had a huge grin on her face as she raced back up to the gate to do another loop and leapt straight down the zipline next time."

Ilona Cabral, Go Ape Moors Valley Site Instructor

 

"It's rewarding for us staff members to encourage customers to take on obstacles, but even more so, to see groups encourage themselves. I recently had a group of 10-12 years old boys on Treetop Challenge who came to Go Ape for a birthday party. They were all joking around and hyping each other up on the ground, but then reality seemed to hit for some when they got up in the trees.

Some of them were still incredibly confident, but others looked pretty nervous. I was ready on the ground to help, but the group were great at encouraging each other, and I could see that each person grew more confident as another friend successfully completed an obstacle. The entire group completed the course and went home with huge smiles on their faces."

Zoe Thomas, Go Ape Margam Site Instructor

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