Been There, Slayed That: Alice
Written by Alice (she/they), who did a Live It’ away from home experience in Reading.
3 min read
Five days. Four nights. Six little questions. Been There, Slayed That is a weekly series where people give the lowdown on their NCS away from home experience. This week we’re hearing from Alice! #MyNCS23
1. Why did you decide to go on an away from home experience?
I found out about NCS in 2019 through Instagram and was absolutely convinced I wanted to go but was devastated that I was too young. I counted down the days till I was 16 and could go. I almost didn't, as I was nervous going by myself but I pushed through and had the greatest time.
2. What did you most enjoy?
All of the evening activities! Our camp leader led the campfire where we would all chat and make s'mores. It was so peaceful and relaxing to sit under the stars. As well as this, we had a disco every night which was so fun but also exhausting so it definitely helped you sleep. Among other things, we also did jewellery making, a quiz night, and even a scavenger hunt. Being under the stars was definitely my favourite though.
3. What did you find challenging?
Making friends on the first day. As someone who went by myself, it's very scary to talk to people you've never met before. But once you start, it gets easier every time. You start off nervous but all it takes is for someone to drop their suitcase, or for someone to compliment your clothes, and all of a sudden you feel closer to them than friends you've known for years. Just be confident and don't be afraid to say hello.
4. If you could do it all again, what's one thing you'd do differently?
Bring a pillow and blanket or teddy!!!! A pillow would have helped so much with aches and pains at the end of the night. I'd recommend taking a blanket or teddy so you feel more at home. Both these things will also help you keep warm on top of your sleeping bag as it was incredibly cold at night.
5. What memory from NCS will stay with you for life?
Two memories stick out for me. The first one is a funny situation that me and my team leader had to overcome during water sports. I was struggling to get into my wetsuit and asked for a hand. My leader was so helpful and spent 20 minutes trying to squeeze me into a wetsuit. We were jumping around, tugging and pulling. Finally, we got it up and realised...it was the wrong size and wouldn't zip up. We both had a good laugh and it was a nice bonding moment for the both of us.
The second memory is sitting outside on a blanket with my new group of friends and discussing all our interests. Our group had a long time till dinner, so we decided we would all chill and hang out. We sat in the sun and spoke about everything from school to favourite bands. It was so nice to bond with these people I only met less than three days ago.
6. If you had to sum up your NCS experience in three words, what would they be?
Memorable, challenging, encouraging.
Any final thoughts?
Don't be afraid! You can do any challenge you put your mind to — from small things like making new friends, all the way up to getting to the top section on rock climbing. You can do it.