Svea is one of our trainee instructors, currently on our Firm Foundations gap year training course. She travelled all the way from Germany and wanted to tell you a bit about her experience working at Pioneer.
When I stepped out of the car at Düsseldorf airport I was not sure what was coming next. I think nothing can prepare you for this, although not in a bad way! Sometimes you have to take the leap of faith, and this decision really changed my life.
I was so tired when I came here, not just physically (because my journey was so long!) but more in a mental way. I was sick of school, I wanted to start working for myself, try something new, be part of a community and see how life is in other countries.
When I first came here it was not as I expected it, at all! We started with a week full of activities that I never heard of or done before. In a few hours I became so close to people that I only just met – but that is exactly what makes it so special.
After the first week “school” started again – I was a bit sad and I wanted to jump straight in with being a cool instructor, but obviously we had no clue what working would be like, so we needed a bit of training first. A few weeks of training and our rope exam later we were able to be part of sessions. That is when I started to realise that working was different to how I expected it – it is way better!
Working with children of this age (mostly 8-12 year olds) is like being a super star to them – especially when you can do things that seem so dangerous and you appear to be so fearless with it. A lot of children are really afraid, but when you talk them through it and they actually do it, it gives you a feeling that can’t be described in words.
Enough about working, as there is so much more to this community. Living on site with almost 30 people, sharing a kitchen, a lodge with shared showers and so on makes you really close, in a way it kind of forces you to interact, but it also means whenever you need someone, you’re not alone, there is always someone there for you.
We also don’t just spend our time with each other in work – out of work we go on climbing trips, and to Birmingham, and we went on a trip to the Lake District for a few days for sightseeing and team building.
This place already really changed me in 6 months, and I can’t wait how it will change me over the next 6. There is a chance to apply for another year as well as a full instructor – I don’t know where the wind will blow me, but I do know that this year helped me a lot to take responsibility for my own decisions.