Girvan kids chase cash to fund Nepal adventure

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GIRVAN teens have been gearing up for the trip of a lifetime as they plan the fundraising calendar that will fly them to Nepal.

For the first time a group of Girvan Academy pupils will be taking part in an Adventure Lifesigns school expedition, which enable groups of youngsters to plan and lead their own overseas adventures.

The 18 Girvan students who will travel to the southern Asian republic in 2014 will decide their own itineraries and arrange accommodation for their two teams, participating in humanitarian efforts such as helping construct a school and enjoying activities including sight-seeing and safari along the way.

The classmates will also embark on a gruelling week-long trek across the Annapurna section of the Himalayas, which is home to one of only 18 peaks of more than 8000 metres in height in the world.

Last Wednesday night the youngsters and their parents got together for an inaugural brainstorming session to generate ideas capable of raising the more than £3000 per child required to send them on their southern Asian escapade.

The group plan to have a presence at established community events including the Christmas Street Party and Folk Festival, and will be holding their own sponsored Boxing Day dip in true Girvan tradition. However provisional ideas for additional activities included spiritualist and race nights, a Christmas quiz, a 100 club, a penny and small change collection, and a recycling drive.

“It went really well,” said history and modern studies teacher Lyn Wilson. “I think all the parents are really rallying round. Girvan will have to be on the look out for us!”

The trip’s organiser, maths teacher Alan Drennan, said the expedition will be an unforgettable experience and will teach the participating pupils some valuable life lessons. “The kids will get lots out of it because they decide the whole trip.” he said.

The group’s first event has been scheduled for Saturday December 15, where Girvan’s Lorna Conaghan will lead a family history workshop.

Mrs Conaghan will offer enthusiasts, from those looking to research their family tree to those already in the process of doing so, the chance to exploit her expertise - and membership of online resources such as Ancestry.co.uk and Scotland’s People - to help them progress on their genealogical quest.

Every participant will be entered into a free prize draw to have their family tree researched and produced by Mrs Conaghan herself.

“When I started my own family tree about seven years ago I wasn’t interested,” she said. “But once you get the bug that’s it.

“It’s fantastic to know your family and bring people back to life and tell their story.”

The workshop will begin at 10am at Girvan Academy, where tea, coffee, baking - and computers - will be provided. Entry is via a donation on the door to the Nepal fund.

Individuals and organisations with ideas of how they might help the Girvan team fundraise for the trip should contact Mr Drennan at alan.drennan@south-ayrshire.gov.uk.