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Frankie Selby reflects on her first half term as an intern at the Frank Chapman Centre. It's not quite what we, she, or anybody else for that matter expected! But there's plenty of positive news... 
With Covid-19 causing disruption in every workplace, my first half term as an intern here at the Frank Chapman Centre maybe wasn’t quite what I was expecting earlier on this year. But I can certainly still make the most of my experience working at an outdoor education centre, albeit without any school groups paying us a visit. 
 
 
 
"Visiting new places offsite has been beneficial not only in terms of new knowledge obtained, but also for our own mental wellbeing in an otherwise rather peculiar time." 

 

 
An empty centre and many pairs of hands means the focus has been on using this time wisely to give the centre lots of TLC for when groups do return. We've been trimming hedges and trees to maintain accessibility to paths, revamping our low ropes area, painting our classrooms, dining room tables and chairs and everything in between. It’s also been great getting to know virtually what the other centres are up to and how we are all working together to transform our learning environments. 
 
Bushcraft, Geocaching, & Climbing for all abilities 
Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to see how the centre operates under normal circumstances but that hasn’t stopped us from simulating a few example sessions which allow me to gain insight on the teaching side of things. So far we have looked at how bushcraft, climbing and geocaching sessions may be run for various age groups and abilities. 

 

Navigating in the beautiful Clee Hills, around 40 minutes from the Centre  

 

 
 
We have also taken the opportunity to work on personal development skills that will aid us in our roles as outdoor instructors. My navigation skills have been improved by orienteering around our own woodland as well as venturing further afield in the great outdoors with maps and compasses in hand. Knowledge has also been gained with outdoor climbing setups – a concept originally unfamiliar to me but one which will strengthen my understanding of climbing both at the centre and on a personal level. Visiting new places offsite has been beneficial not only in terms of new knowledge obtained but also for our own mental wellbeing in an otherwise rather peculiar time. 
Overall, my time at the centre so far has been thoroughly enjoyable and I have met some absolutely lovely people. I look forward to being a part of the educational service the centre can provide and, in the meantime, working hard to improve that service while appreciating our wonderful outdoor environment. 
 
Frankie. 
Frankie is studying Zoology at University of Sheffield. 
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