What is Discovery?
NFYFC offer all its members the opportunity to take part in Discovery - a unique programme of exciting trips, home stays and working exchanges to destinations around the world.
Past discoverers have tackled white water rapids in Canada, helped out in an ice cream factory in Sweden, shorn sheep in New Zealand and built schools in Uganda.
Travelling with Discovery offers a chance to experience another way of life by living it. See new places, make new friends and soak in another culture. It's an adventure that will pay off for the rest of your life.
Find out more here
by Isobel Mogford AYFC Member
Three years ago I went on one of the National YFC discovery trips to Germany for 2 weeks. Nobody has been from Oxfordshire since and it is something I would really recommend. I got to see and do so much that you would never do on a “real” holiday but had an amazing time. I got to meet loads of really great people in Germany and am still really good friends with Sam who also went on the trip. And it did not even matter I could not speak German. I hope the report of my trip will inspire you all to apply to go on a discovery trip!
On the 5th June 2010 I flew out to Germany, I stayed in 5 different areas of Lower Saxony with Niedersachsische Landjugend (Rural Youth) members. My whistle stop tour started in the village of Thuste that is in the South of Lower Saxony in the mountains; here I stayed with Anina Gotte for a week. On my first night her Landjugend had a party celebrating their 40 year anniversary this instantly threw me into German culture. The week I stayed with Anina was really hot and we made the most of the great weather, picnics by lakes in the mountains, swimming in outdoor pools and looking around numerous farms. We also went to Buckeburg a German town with a large palace which has the School of Baroque Equitation at it, this presents the traditional art of Baroque riding.
In Germany you could see that renewable energy resources were being embraced, most villages had a biogas station and or a small wind farm. Thuste has a biogas station just outside it, it's run off maize and it provides enough power for the whole village and the heat produced is used to dry out trailers full of logs for the villagers.
One of the highlights of my trip was spending a day with a German farrier (Hufschmied), as I am doing a farrier apprenticeship in the UK. It was interesting to see the difference in shoeing techniques from those in the UK. My main role was holding the horses foot for the farrier allowing him to cut of the excess hoof, something that is not done in the UK. The farrier even offered me an apprenticeship with him!!
My next stop was a stay in Hannover for a night where I stayed with Dorothee Heinemann (Doro) here Sam and another member from Devon YFC joined me. Before collecting her from the airport Doro took me to the Herrenhausen Gardens. This is several centuries old and is still a popular attraction with both locals and tourists. They were amazingly well kept with huge open areas and tiny themed garden. I had great fun walking around them and getting to know Doro. That evening Doro and her flat mate cooked us a traditional German dinner which included Sauerkraut (which I did find very nice!) Before heading out for a night at the Hannover University Students Union.
The next morning we got a train to Bad Fallingbostel from Hannover with Doro and the rest of her Landjugend to go the 60 Jahre Niedersachsische Landjugend (60 year Lower Saxony Rural Youth) anniversary weekend. This was a bit like a YFC AGM. After 2 hours crammed into a boiling hot train carriage with no air conditioning we reached Bad Fallingbostel where we had a 3 mile walk to the event (our bags were taken in a car thankfully). On arrival we found where we were staying, in massive tents! Each club had it's own tent Sam and I were provided with air beds and sleeping bags. There was a big hall next to all the tents where we ate and partied. On the first night there was a party with everyone in their club t-shirts so I off course sported my club YFC shirt (people still did not realise I was English!) On the Saturday everyone had activities they had chosen. I got to do a cooking course; this was just the course I had been put on as they felt it would be the easiest to do in a different language. Here we made all the puddings for the ball that evening, it was really fun and I had a great laugh getting to know new people and we made some amazing puddings. The ball that evening was to celebrate the 60 years of the Niedersachsische Landjugend, attending were past and present members as well as prominent figures from German agriculture and the German government - and 2 rather overwhelmed English girls! Dinner was followed by speeches, German dancing and a play showing the 60 years of the club finishing with a disco and music from a local German band.
I left Bad Fallingbostel with Anne-Sophie Gehrmann to stay with her in Knesebeck for a week, here I went to school for 3 days, where I understood very little, luckily they finished school earlier at 3 O'clock so in the afternoon I got to see and do a lot. We went to an otter sanctuary which did not only have otters but many other wild animals native to the local area as well.
I also saw a robotic milker for the first time. The farm only had 60 cows which is very different to the size of farm you would expect to have one of these in the UK. They had found that their milk yield had increased as well as the herd’s health.
I spent my last weekend with Julia de Riese in the town of Filsum which is in the north of lower Saxony and it was really flat and below sea level so very different to where I started my trip. She lived on a dairy farm. They were also building a really large new chicken house as part of a new business venture. When I was there they blessed the chicken house as the structure of it had been built, there was a large party for friends and family and one of Germany's World Cup games was on a large screen. Sadly Germany lost so everyone had to drink their sorrows away! This weekend was an amazing end to a brilliant two weeks and I would recommend that everybody applies to go on a discovery trip.