OICAN Outdoor Event
The OICAN event was organised by the BBS, and when I first saw this post, my curiosity overflowed out of control and I rushed to the BBS and the Calvert Trust websites to do all the research I could. I was blown away by all the amazing and exciting things wheelchair users and other people with disabilities could do. These included cycling, swimming, abseiling, rock climbing, archery and many more.
The staff were amazing and very accommodating. They were able to keep a delicious evening meal for us as we had arrived late. After we ate, staff member Rory gave an introduction and a tour around the building and gave us an update on what we would be doing the next day.
When I first arrived at the centre, I was extremely anxious thinking I wouldn’t be able to access the building or wouldn’t be able to move around on my own. Little did I know that my doubts and worries would dissipate as I entered inside and was shown to our room. I was happy to see a comfortable electric bed, a sink and automatic doors everywhere which made me feel free to explore this place which would build my confidence as an individual.
Later that evening everyone headed upstairs to the hall and sat around together playing pool, getting drinks from the bar and catching up till past midnight. To be able to socialise in this was really amazing.
The Adventure begins!
On Saturday everyone had an early rise and when entering the cafeteria, the smell of breakfast was very welcoming.
We split into 2 groups with a guide and all headed off to do our activities, one group did archery and the others did the zipwire and abseiling. Our group did archery and we went outside to a little field and everyone was able to participate effortlessly because of a special bow that was designed to support the participants comfortably. This was a first for me and the feeling that it created was one of amazement.
After lunch our groups switched to the abseiling wall and the zipwire. For the abseiling wall they had a harness that can also be used in a special wheelchair that buckles you in and lets you sail down the side of the wall, which was really high!
Also, for the zipwire you use the same harness, unfortunately this time the harness was uncomfortable for me to use, but I do not regret trying it and hopefully next time I will be able to go all the way.
On Sunday morning our first activity was cycling. We all walked down towards the lake and boat house, some of us took a little golf cart. We were given specially adapted bikes, which I was able to transfer onto. We had such an amazing time riding around the lake. Later that day we took part in a challenge course which was something we could all join in together. All the mini games we played required us to work together and use our communication skills to reach our goals. After the challenge course we made our way to a little area in the woods for bushcraft. The guide taught us how to make a fire and how to also make popcorn! Later that night we had dinner and returned to the hall for karaoke night and drinks.
This weekend was something beyond my wildest dreams, I can’t wait to have the chance to return and in the end we all agreed that #OICAN!
You can see the full OICAN Outdoor Event Image Gallery here.