Portlaoise College Transition Year’s First Excursion’ written by Transition Year Student, Shannon Carroll Talbot.

ballacollaOn the 28th of September, the Transition Year students of Portlaoise College went on a bonding trip to Ballacolla, Co. Laois.

The strong group of students and four teachers headed off at 4pm, after doing a few bonding exercises in the school hall. These involved trust exercises. The first one was where the class had to spilt up into pairs and catch one another as we fell backwards. The second exercise involved six people standing on a crash mat, with their arms out, while a person fell off a high beam into their arms. After that, we headed off on an 8km hike in Cadamstown.

A few of us were feeling unwell on the bus, but when we saw the beautiful surroundings, we felt much better! After a few mumblings and grumblings about the cold, we set off. It had rained the entire week, so we knew the walk would be muddy, but we didn’t expect it to be as bad as it was. The first 20 minutes wasn’t too bad, but when we got deeper into the forest, it became slippery. A few students fell over and completely destroyed their trainers and tracksuit bottoms. After a while, we got used to the mud and dirt and began jumping in puddles! Towards the end, one of the students got bitten in the knee by some bug, and had to limp the rest of the walk. Despite this Kayleigh still enjoyed the experience saying ‘it was great craic, and would love to go again next year’.

When we finished the walk, we were tired, and desperate for a shower. After everyone was cleaned up, we began to make dinner. We all brought the ingredients for chicken curry and rice and sweet and sour chicken. We all tried a bit of everything, and helped to clean up afterwards.

After dinner, we did a few more bonding exercises. One game involved picking a number between 1-13, and with each number, there was a question. Three games were similar to that and after we played Charades. While taking part in these games, a lot of sweets were eaten! We stayed up until three or four in the morning, dancing around and playing guitar.

The Transition Year group of Portlaoise College are a much closer group as a result of our team building trip to Ballacolla and are more than ready for the activities over the coming year.