Walking with; Kew Green School
Snowdonia when the sun shines is one of the greatest places in the British Isles and having the chance to introduce a bunch of 9 and 10 year olds to this wonderful landscape was a real privilege. I spent the week working with The Bushcraft Co at the Outlook Centre in Deiniolen and over the course of their stay the kids were given the opportunity to camp, climb, clamber and spend a night in the mountains.
We started with an afternoon of trangia and tent assembly workshops giving the kids the basics they would need to set up a wild camp and keep themselves fed. The next morning we headed down to the shores of Llyn Padarn and whilst one group busied themselves with a climbing and abseiling session on Lion Rock, I took the rest of the group on a nature walk along the lakeshore. We saw the Padarn Steam railway and a plethora of wild plants including Bilberry, Wild Strawberry, Wood Sorrell and Pink Campion. We found lots of slate and admired the view down the lake towards Snowdon and Moel Eilio.
Wednesday was a beautiful sunny day and we headed off from Llyn Ogwen and started to climb the slopes of Pen Yr Ole Wen following the tumbling waters of Afon Lloer. The children made great progress carrying their kit with them and the views of Tryfan, Y Garn and the Glyders were as good as any I’ve had over the last few years. We eventually reached the beautifully situated mountain lake of Ffynnon Lloer and located a beautiful, flat campsite, tucked away from the main paths and with views across the water. The tent and trangia workshops proved their use and it wasn’t long before we were tucking into our ration packs and not much longer before the first stars came out and we were all settling in for the night.
Thursday morning was grey and the cloud was low and by the time we had finished breakfast the wind had picked up and the rain was sweeping in. The descent was conducted in pretty inclement conditions but the expedition members did a great job and large portions of Rice Krispie goo in the emergency shelter ensured that spirits remained high until the coach arrived to take us all back to base camp.
It was a great week an very rewarding watching the children develop skills and resilience and adjust to life outside their comfort zone. I am very much looking forward to another week of this and just keeping my fingers crossed that the weather is kind to us for a day or two at least!