Kids, don’t want them, yet. Don’t want the responsibly for them, yet. I simply haven’t got the time, yet, if ever! But you have to admit; they make all sorts look awfully fun! That’s pretty much what JCA is all about, making education fun for kids. Making what we would, as adults, perceive as crap, into functional educational activities that engage a child’s mentality whilst simultaneously teaching them unconsciously (see picture below). My first placement down here in Port Solent is centered on JCA’s first fixed residential activity centre for children ranging between 10 and 16. Before I dive into my project like a like a sugar fuelled kid entering one of JCA’s ‘blind trail’ activities I’ll start with my first week.
My first week focused on understanding JCA and how the business operates. For the first few days, it was like being back at school, learning, questioning and trying to understand how and why the business operates the way that it does. An invaluable grounding. In-between my ‘lessons’ I was of course, richly rewarded for being the best pupil around! My prize; none other than a trip to the farm! Now, I am a city boy. City born, city made. To me, a farm is a place where my steak is made, where my leather sofa is cultivated, where my milk is created and a farmer, is a mythical oddity who almost speaks my English, but you know, not quite. To us city people, there’s a reason country life is quiet and uneventful, it’s full of weirdos who have nothing better to do then to try and off each other in the most elaborate ways. I am, of course, basing this judgment on the town of Midsomer, naturally.
The farm, unsurprisingly, was also one of the sites JCA uses for their activity programs. The site was idyllic, no barriers, razor wire or battery style cages. Just a field, small wooden fences no higher than waist height, kids running free and animal noises ranging from the odd to the disturbing. I was assured though, the noises were of pure animal ecstasy and I wouldn’t question them. A giant, fat bellied piece of Christmas gammon (or a pig to those who have emotional sentiment) was running around in a pen a gangsta rapper on MTV Cribs would be proud of, back yard pool blood? Bore off, this pig had acreage!
This wasn’t uncommon either, there was a Baphomet (apparently there called goats?) who had climbing structures with little minions running around, there was also sheep, smaller sheep (lambs?), tiny sheep (baby lambs?) and rabbits too, all living in larger accommodation than myself. Quite simply, the site was the perfect place for an activity week. A place where the kids can get away from the limitations a city upbringing, similar to that of mine brings i.e. learning animals by their names, not by their by-products.
Having seen the product, I was converted. Not into some farm loving, hippy, occultist, but into a believer that the products JCA produce are fundamental to a child’s development. All of which, brings me nicely onto my first project as a TUI Graduate.
Condover Hall is an ambitious move from JCA, who are intent on challenging their rivals with the intention to cement their place within the market. I have been tasked with project managing the installation of the IT & Communication systems within the Condover facility. Initially, I was skeptical at how much responsibility I would be given on such an important and high profile project. I thought I would, quite naturally, be the lackey, the go-getter, the platitude tea boy. How wrong I was. In the past few days I am beginning to become more and more active as quite suddenly, my name, brilliantly imitating the craft of a stealth bomber, stealthily explodes itself via the ‘Cc’ attacking maneuver into emails dating back months. Swamped in multifarious conversations, I’m forced to find my feet quickly as the next few weeks will be pivotal in the sites redevelopment.
Bringing you guys up to date I’ve got an important meeting tomorrow where we will begin to move on the direction in which we’ll take this project, all very, very exciting.
Letter from Lydia, who, could teach me a thing or two about neat handwriting