Apprentices trip 2018 – a leap into the unknown

15. Aug 2018 | Education + Careers

It's Friday morning. The time is 6:30 a.m. That's usually when the alarm clock goes…

…but not today! This time, ten new and eight experienced apprentices and students on cooperative courses, plus three lucky colleagues from the HR department, did not have to make their way into the office for a change. Instead of the highs and lows of their day-to-day work, the group was put to the test amongst the breathtaking heights and depths of the „FunForest“ high-wire forest adventure course in Offenbach. After an intensive but interesting introductory week , it was time for the newbies to show what they're made of.

Quite appropriately for a day of sporting fun, I got on my sky-blue bicycle shortly after nine and made my way to the meeting point at the Kickers fan shop. A quick head-count followed – then a second just to be sure, and then finally a third to eliminate any niggling doubts. Finally, the 21-strong group made its way to the forest adventure course.

Following a quick team talk, it was time for the newbies to show what they could do.

It's all about teamwork

Before we were able to experience the breathtaking heights (and dizzying depths) of the forest course, it was time for an "adventure rally". The aim here was to work together in teams in different games to showcase our skills, ability, luck and team spirit. Challenges like football bowling, crossbow shooting and rubber band flicking games made us work up a sweat (and not even the most determined competitors could match our prowess with the rubber bands). However, the first major challenge turned out to be coming up with the dreaded team name. Despite our best efforts at witty puns and sarcastic names like "Team Clueless" or "The Winners", our suggestions garnered about as much enthusiasm as our woeful performance in game 6: pedalo boating.

When it came to choosing our name, we needed a bit of luck – quite literally! After we managed to throw all 6 doubles in less than a minute in game 9, we knew there could only be one name that could combine this incredible run of luck with a suitably witty German pun: "Pascht schon!" (something akin to "double trouble").     
With our lucky name, it was then only a matter of time until our six brave dice throwers moved ahead of the competition. Nevertheless, we were still amazed when Team Pascht schon!was declared the winner by the slimmest of margins at the joint lunch break.

Working hand in hand, everyone pitched in to reach their common goal.

Calling all apprentices: show us what you've got!

Now that we were refuelled and raring to go again, it was time to put our legs to the test in the climbing course, which had something for all climbing abilities. Following the induction, most of the apprentices opted for the moderately difficult course #8 – a bit of a mistake, as we would ultimately find out! When we were about half way round the course, we came across a mother with her two children. The mother was at one end of the zip line, and the young Timmy and Clara were at the other with panic in their eyes. After a lot of convincing and persuasion, not to mention a gentle nudge, the two kiddies finally made the jump and swung over the precipice after around 20 minutes. After the rest of our group had also mastered the daring jump back onto solid ground, taking us one step closer to the finish line, we treated ourselves to a round of refreshing drinks and a bit of downtime on deckchairs in the shade.

The dizzying heights of the "FunForest" high-wire forest adventure course in Offenbach.

The most adventurous members of our group then searched for their next adrenaline rush on courses #11 to #14. I must admit that when I stood in front of the bungee jump myself, I felt just like six-year-old Timmy who we met an hour before. But that didn't help matters, so it was a case of close your eyes….and go for it!

All in all, the new apprentices and their more experienced colleagues enjoyed a varied, exciting and above all fun day out in the forest – and are already looking forward to passing their hard-earned wisdom on to next year's cohort.