Wetskills Netherlands 2020-
by Charlie Casey-Haden, Program Supervisor, Wetskills
It’s Sunday, it’s 10:30 in the morning and I’m in the McDonalds carpark in Hoorn awaiting my chauffeur for the trip to Leeuwarden. This time last year I had just returned from Wetskills South Korea as a participant, and it was a brilliant, memorable experience. So much so that I wanted to be part of Wetskills again, only this time I am a program supervisor. This is my first Wetskills event as a supervisor and I am excited for the adventure ahead. Oh, and I should add that my chauffeur is the one and only, Johan Oost, manager of Wetskills! I’d like to be able say that I enjoyed the views on route to Friesland, however, this journey was anything but a sit back and relax affair! From the get go Johan and I were in organising mode, coming up with fun and Corona proof tasks for Crazy 88, the first assignment for the participants that would also act as an ice breaker. The last leg of the journey involved discussing protocol and policy in relation to the current Corona situation.
Upon arrival at Alibi Hostel, a former prison, we very quickly found a place to set up the laptops, and await the arrival of the participants. From 13:00 the participants started to arrive and therefore Wetskills Leeuwarden 2020 had well and truly begun!
Our opening talk got straight down to business and involved everyone signing a declaration of health and conduct, about special measures during this Corona time, and receiving a string of 1.5m in length. Once the official business was out of the way, the fun could begin! Introduction time. Last year when I was a participant this was done with choosing a physical photograph that best described me. This time was a little different, Corona proof and wind proof (we were outside), so everyone chose a photo on their phone and sent it to the group Whatsapp. Everyone apart from me that is, me and technology did not want to get along today. So I describied my picture, which of course had to be a pint of cider for a Cornish country girl like me. With the introductions done it was Crazy 88 time, and off they went around the city of Leeuwarden. We supervisors had many laughs over the creative, funny videos and photo’s.
Of course us supervisors didn’t have the luxury of kicking back and watching just the videos during this time, as this was the perfect opportunity to complete additional admin tasks including a final read through and editing of the Wetskills cases.
As a supervisor, my experience of Wetskills is of course different, working more in the background ensuring that wheels keep turning. Plus this time the dreaded C word is involved which brings it’s own challenges and means we need to be even more flexible and adapt quickly to unforseeen circumstances and changes, for example, allowing for the maximum number of people allowed in a meeting room. At the moment the weather is on our side so we have the luxury of working outside where we can. Fingers crossed the weather god’s continue to smile down on us. I am looking forward to the rest of the program and am really excited for the out-of-the box solutions that the groups will bring to the table.