CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) - The IB Class of 2019 Report 2
Climbing Mount Snowdon
I planned to climb Mount Snowdon. My plan was to walk to the peak along the Llanberis Path, which is a steep path, but very scenic as well, so it has become a very popular path. In this activity, we would climb right to the peak of the mountain, and then walk back down as well. There was an option to take a steam train back down, but if we walked down as well, it was estimated to take up to five hours to complete the whole walk.
Through this activity, I hoped to improve my determination, as well as resilience and commitment. I believed I would achieve this through the long and challenging walk, where I would most likely meet many new challenges along the way, due to unpredictable weather and steep terrain.
Climbing Snowdonia took us approximately two and a half hours to climb to the peak of the mountain, along the Llanberis Path, which is the most common route because it offers a combination of great scenery as well as being a challenging walk.
The climb up the mountain was challenging, but enjoyable at the same time. The last 45 minutes of the walk up was by far the hardest part because as we approached the summit, the temperature dropped and there was a lot of hail, which just got heavier the further we went up. When we finally reached the summit, we had to climb some steps to reach a small monument that signified the peak, I was happy that I managed to get a photo of this, despite the treacherous conditions. We then took shelter in the cafe at the top of the mountain, where we were able to dry off and have something to eat and drink to prepare ourselves for the journey back down.
We had the option to take the steam train back down, but we were up for the challenge of walking down as well. The walk down was a lot nicer for us, since the weather cleared up, allowing us to see the scenery much clearer and allowing us to take photos. We walked back down the mountain in about two hours, meaning that we completed the whole challenge in under the five hours that I originally planned.
I really enjoyed the activity and believe that through this, I was able to improve my determination, resilience and commitment to get to the peak of the mountain through the difficult conditions. The activity also gave me the confidence to know that I would enjoy doing similar challenges in the future.
Volunteering at Demelza House
At the beginning of the year, I wanted to start volunteering so I looked online for places where I could volunteer and also asked my friends and family. Eventually, I found a place at Demelza, Children's Hospice, which provides hospice care for children all over the country. I hoped to help the other workers and volunteers, but also the children and their families, to make their lives easier, a little happier, and to make a difference. I was excited to gain a new perspective and become part of the community. As I was working mainly in the kitchens, I was also keen to learn more about preparing and serving food as this is an essential life skill.
I hoped to help the other workers and volunteers at the hospice, but also the children and their families, to make a difference. I had not volunteered on a long term basis outside of school before, so at first it was difficult for me to find time whilst also committing to my school responsibilities and duties too. However, I made sure to go during times when I knew I would not be busy so that I would not feel stressed when volunteering, but to rather feel calmer and relaxed. I felt very good when I was volunteering and happy that I could help out other people in such a simple and easy way. As a result, I feel that I have achieved so much. I have contributed by volunteering my services, by supporting and listening to the children, but also by cooking for them and the staff. I feel that I have grown as an individual and matured. This was made easier with the support of the staff who all ensure that the team works efficiently and also stays organised.
I got to meet some of the children and spoke to them briefly to make them feel at ease with me. I am particularly good at working with children as I have many younger siblings and help out at school with the younger students; however, I have not worked with children with SEN so it was a new experience for me.
One of the weeks was incredibly emotional, there were butterfly pictures all over the Hospice with a butterfly being projected in the main entrance. This was because during that week two of the children had passed away and at Demelza butterflies are used to signify that the butterfly suite was in use.
The butterfly suite was used by the families who devastatingly, have had a child pass away. This allows the staff and volunteers to be aware and so we could pay our respects to the family.
I am very happy that I gained a new perspective and became part of the community; this was important because we should always try to be part of the community and help others where we can. I was also keen to learn more about preparing and serving food as this is an essential life skill that will take time to build and improve.
As I am working towards a career in Dentistry, volunteering has really prepared me for the future and has taught me how to tailor the way I speak to different people to ensure they understand me and also to help them feel comfortable and at ease.