Hope 2 Oban

Friday, 21 November 2014

Let's not get in a tangle at GFG!

Easy to say, but not so easy to do. GFG were recently confronted by the string challenge and what a tangle there was. But that was not the end of the intertwining stuff. Some of the questions discussed by the S1 and S2 pupils recently have also created some good debate. 'Why did God create sinners?', How could Adam and Eve populate the world of 7 billion plus?' and what about those dinosaurs?
Chats have also considered how we are prone to 'judge a book by its covers' when in fact, taking time to get to know a 'book' can give us insights very different to our first impressions. All in all, a great space for young folk to consider what they do and don't believe, but crucially, to respect others' beliefs which may not be quite the same as their own.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A time of Remembrance alongside OHS Assembly Time of Remembering

2014 - A poignant and significant year for a very special Remembrance season. Surrounding the 11th November, Oban High School has taken time during Clan 'Chaplaincy Assembly week' to consider the word 'remember', The focus has been particularly on the personal battles that people have, whether in the horror of war 100 years ago, considering those throughout the Bible or students' own situations. 

From WW1, many stories of the personal battles of soldiers were shared within the gatherings including, Lt. Col. John McCrae, writer of the famous war poem 'In Flanders Fields', Valentine Joe Strudwick, the youngest soldier in WW1 at 14 and Henry Webber, the oldest soldier in WW1 at 68. 
Having spent time reflecting on the personal battles many of us face including the day-to-day 'little' things and some of the bigger battles we might face, these were considered alongside Biblical characters such as Noah, Joseph, Ruth, Samson and David, with an explanation that these folks also faced their own personal battles that many of us might relate to.Jesus's battle-filled journey, from Gethsemane, to the cross to the grave to resurrection was shared by the Chaplains, explaining the Christian belief in the love and hope God has for each of us due to Jesus's decision to undertake such battles.

Further to the week of assemblies, the setting was in place for the OHS Time of Remembrance.
S4 pupils were led through the occasion by students from the June 2014 Battlefields Trip. In advance of the 2 minutes of silence at 11am, consideration was given to 'Why we remember', How we remember', 'The Battlefields experience' and 'Remembering relatives'. The citation read by the one of the school captains, the bugles played, the Flowers of the Forest rang out through the school and fitting tribute was made to the sacrifice of the fallen.

A big thank you must go to many for bringing the week's events together. OHS History department and pupils, cadets who attended, buglers, pipers and the Chaplaincy team.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Chinwag 2014 - A place and a space for folks who work alongside young people.

Kilbowie Outdoor Centre in Oban was the location of the 2014 Chinwag event.
Chinwag, part of the Rural Argyll Youthwork (RAY) initiative, seeks to bring together folks from many aspects of young people's work to network and to be further equipped for the valuable work in which they are involved.
This year's event was attended by people from Argyll including Oban, Tarbert and Lochgilphead and through Rank Foundation connections from further afield, including Girvan, Glasgow, Berwickshire and Mallaig.
Plenary sessions included an inspirational scene-setting address by Rory MacLeod, Director of the CLD Standards Council of Scotland and Inspector Julie McLeish of Police Scotland who shared an overview of the work of Police Scotland with a particular focus on youth and community work.
In and amongst ample spaces to chinwag, the Chinwaggers selected up to four workshops over the two days from a bank of of fourteen choices. Workshops, hosted by a gathering of talented, widely experienced practitioners, included 'Starting in Youth Work', 'Reflective Practice', Developing Youth Work Skills', 'Using Art to Make a Start' and 'Perspectives on Christian Youth Work'. Workshop content included practical, hands-on tools as well as space to consider models and theories for use in the many different settings represented.

After an intensive Saturday, the evening involved a hearty meal together followed by a lighter mood, when Chinwaggers were encouraged to share resources, youth work experiences and training.
As can be seen from the images, much fun was had by all and the session on evaluation towards the end of the event certainly indicated that the folks gathered had gained much from their Chinwag experience.

A very big thank you must go to all who helped to put this year's Chinwag event together including the RAY team, Kilbowie Outdoor Centre, Argyll & Bute Youth Services for their funding support, The Rank Foundation and George Williams College.
Plans are already underway for future developments and it is intended to continue to provide training and networking opportunities throughout the year.