I guess the time had to come, for the last full day had come around. I awoke at about 6, quickly had a shower and finished my previous blog. The morning was oddly quiet, partially due to the number of people that chose to participate in some form of morning activities. I took the quiet time to both reflect on the week gone by, and have a cheeky little nap.
That special time of the day came back around too, breakfast! For the second-to-last breakfast on offer, it was vaguely disappointing. I got given two sausages and an egg. Admittedly, they were pretty decent in terms of quality, but damn, ‘a man gotta eat’. Of course, I was yet again reunited with my absolute beauty if a drink, the pinnacle of all beverages, and the crème de la crème of liquid perfection. My orange juice. I’ve become attached to the beautiful little thing, for it’s given me happiness no man has given before. As always, I also took a little yogurt. For some reason, though, it tasted like crap. You can’t win em’ all.
In a rush, we were whisked off to complete our social action part of the week. This felt more of a flash mob than anything, as we turned up, did our thing, then left before lunch had struck. Our actual task was to clear an orienteering pathway that is used by underprivileged inner-city young people in order to give them a true experience of the country side. It was a wonderful charity that created a clear impact on many thousands of young people. The owners of the charity were hospitable hosts as well, making it all the more better. They treated us to butter and jam scones, tea and roasted marshmallows. Pure perfection on such a rainy and otherwise gloomy day.
Upon arrival back at the prestigious and equally beautiful Sevenoaks school, we were rushed to lunch (emphasis on the rushed, there.) Here we were treated to some sort of vinegar-y quiche, salad and chocolate cake with custard. The quiche was absolutely terrible; literally, it was tear-inducing. I’ve never tasted something that actually hurt me emotionally, but that quiche holds that position. The cake was pretty decent, I guess, other than the fact I don’t like cake. It was my combination of sweetcorn and coleslaw that won the meal for me – something so simple yet so enjoyable. I was also treated to a little chat with Michael Lynas, mainly about the food and I think we talked about why my hand is cut (I forgot to explain yesterday – as I was walking to our rooms late at night, I fell down some stone stairs and cut up my hand pretty badly.)
In fitting with the rest of the day, we were then literally whisked away to meet our national youth board, a collective of 21 of the very best of NCS graduates 2014. Here we had a chance to hear their stories, and ask any questions or concerns we have. It was a humble little thing to hold, but slightly awkward. I did enjoy, however, meeting up with our regional youth board teams. My regional leader, Jack, is someone I can’t fault. He takes laughter to a new level when laughing, takes speaking to a serious level when speaking and listens at a level that is un-paralleled. I cannot wait to work with him for the next year, as well as the wonderful leaders who also share my regional youth board, each having a clear vision and passion for their own project.
We were then split into our smaller groups for a final time to prepare for the upcoming talent show. With my poem in hand, we set about creating a drama act to accompany it. This went pretty well, finishing with an end product that closely matched the words I would be reciprocating. Kudos to Becky and Abie for that one! We also finished off our team banner, which I have to say, looked absolutely f***ing incredible. Seriously, the work Liam put into it was unprecedentedly outstanding.
After a short break, everyone headed into the main assembly hall to receive a presentation from a representative of JustGiving. As we’d already luckily been there, it was more of a repetition to us. Despite this, I still listened intently as the work JustGiving does, especially the individuals behind the scenes, in truly inspirational and great. The wonderful representative also shared to us her funniest story, which was receiving a campaign to raise £1000 to hire a hit man to “kill Katie Hopkins,”. There was, of course, a massive cheer heard following that.
Dinner shot around extremely fast, too fast. On offer this time was…PIZZA! Words cannot justify the look of happiness etched across all 100 teenagers at the sight of pizza and chips. Of course, this is what I ordered, the only down side being the eight curly fries given to me. Eight. It would be laugh-worthy, minus the fact I’m serious when it comes to my pizza and chips. I sat next to Will, everyone’s favourite gay dude, and with Georgina, who was feeling extremely nostalgic. I couldn’t blame her, to be honest, because so was I. I have a stupid thing where I hide it until I return home, so well done to her for that. She’s an incredible girl who puts her heart before her head. Me and Will also tried to cheer her up and take her mind somewhere else by creating a beautiful food tower out of my yogurt, pizza crust, melon, pineapple, water, tissues, pasta and many more things. It was a glorious sight to behold; I’m not going to lie. We then indulged ourselves on someone else’s birthday cake, so sorry to whomever that belonged to. It went to ‘good’ use.
After our interesting dinner and creationism, we made our way to the talent show.
This would be, without a doubt, the highlight of my day. We were treated to a wide variety of individual acts, from a reciting of Shakespeare with a dinosaur twist to a weird shoulder trick to some incredible singing (shout-out to Victoria Tugwell) and THE most touching, emotional self-written poem I’ve ever heard spoken by Kofi Addei. We also performed and watched our group talents, which ranged from group dances to group singing. Our group, group two, chose our poem and act. The main body played through well, but I thought it was about time I sprung my surprise on the people of my team. Behind their backs, I had written a poem about all of them as individuals. They did not know it was coming, so it was both nice to see their reactions and to give them the recognition they so rightly deserved. Sadly, our team didn’t win, but that didn’t matter, for we we’re all winners in spirit, no matter how typical and boring that sounds.
The evening began our wind down, or wind up, with our final party. This was the typical stuff; cheap-ass soft drinks, dance circled, ear-ringing loud music and countless, “well done’s,” to all the amazing individuals present. Most of the evening, I sat outside with a few of my newfound friends talking about irrelevant stuff, much like a real party, huh? Just minus the drunken rambles and embarrassing acts.
The evening came to a close following a short ‘after-party’ of sorts in our boarding house; namely chugging 2 litres of water as fast as possible, semi-loud music and a lot of low toned cheers. I also began writing the day’s summary at this time, but was largely distracted by the many wonderful sights, such as Callum and Joshua’s impromptu half-strip show.
I have to do it, guys, as it’s the last full day. I have to be cringy. So here it is; thank you to each and every one of you who have had a direct impact on me. From Ash and Lawrence to Callum and Rae, from Kayleigh and Amy to Mark and Michael…you’ve all been absolutely incredible, heart-warming individuals who will leave a stain upon my heart. You’ve all touched me in one way or another, be it with funny stories or truly inspirational poems, words of gratitude or a simple “hello”. Each and every one of you will be a part of my journey in my life, and that’s something that cannot be valued on a scale. You’re all truly irreplaceable and I’ll love you all forever.
NCS Leaders 2015…you are all perfect. Don’t change, and strive for your own happiness. I know my happiness has been fulfilled because of you guys.
– Benjamin John Wareing