Summertime in Oberstown can be a particularly difficult time for young people. School is out and young people want to be out and about. That’s where the Oberstown activities team comes in. Their job is to keep up to 50 teenagers occupied and happy during those long hot summer days.
This year, the team ran 56 classes a day for on average 46 young people present on campus at any one time. That’s a mammoth 270 classes a week to coordinate between the hours of 2pm and 7pm. Activities ranged from yoga and fitness classes to football, cooking, textiles, alongside a deciders programme and a drug awareness programme.
“Every young person will have something different that they are good at,” activity coordinator Tony Hatton said.
“You might get a lad who couldn’t make toast and by the end of summer school they are cooking a really tasty curry. They really get into it…others are great at art work, or making things like blankets, clothing even. It’s great to see their progression over the summer months.”
After 8 great weeks of the programme, on August 22 and 23 summer awards ceremonies took place to celebrate the end of another successful summer school. A BBQ was held, and young people were handed awards and certs for their achievements.
John Smith, activity coordinator, said for activities to be successful, they must have common values, beliefs and effective techniques for engaging young people.
“Young peoples’ interest and willing participation in intervention programmes and activities, develops personal motivation and commitment. All activities elicit trust, communication, collaboration skills and relationship building,” he said.
“This year’s summer school success can be attributed to the support from all sectors on the campus in particular the support from the residential care workers. Thank you to all involved for their support and commitment,” John added.