The outdoors is a powerful tool for supporting and developing people’s physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities as individuals and members of society.
It helps people overcome fears, builds self-confidence, and broadens minds. It teaches people how to effectively work with others, encourage others, and independently look after themselves. Stronger, more cohesive friendships and relationships are formed, understanding is gained, and people become more resilient, bolder, and happier. It provides opportunities to try new things and push beyond personal limits. It provides a rest from struggles at home, reduced feelings of isolation, support for the future and more understanding of hardships they face. Those who have taken part have gone on to have a more successful education and a brighter future.
These benefits will of course be of value to any human being, but those who have difficulties in life causing them to struggle will especially benefit from the opportunity to be strengthened, built up and encouraged.
The residential nature of our work is what enables our impact to be so significant. Getting away from the distractions of everyday life, being in a different environment, creating the time and space to focus on things and spend time reflecting on the experiences of the day in the evenings are all so essential to increasing the positive impact. A few days away in a supportive, healthy environment that encourages confidence, resilience, understanding and determination can be a life changing turning point for someone.
We have experienced time and time again these life changing moments! Moments where people feel hope and strength, which cause their soul to soar! We call these ‘mountain top experiences’ and they can happen anywhere. They might be literally on a mountain top, or metaphorically on a mountain top. Either way, on a mountain top, our perspective is altered, and we can see a little further, realising what we are capable of. This brings hope! Many young people struggle to see a positive future, or worse have decided at a young age that there is no positive future. If your terms of reference only include the area you grew up in and life is less than uplifting and positive, then it is completely understandable to hope is eroded and lost.
Phrases such as “I didn’t think I could do that”, “I wish my mum could see me do this”, “I’ve never seen the sea”, “I’m not scared anymore”, “That was the best day ever!”, are testament to the impact of simply going somewhere or achieving something new. Other evidence, so ephemeral it is almost missed is perhaps more significant – the silence of a group, as the suns disc sets below the horizon on a summer’s night, the quiet gaze of a teacher watching a heavily burdened child come alive in the outdoors, a young carer relieved of their responsibilities, even for a week, the confidence gained, the levelling of a group as they realise each other’s strengths. All of these enriching opportunities are condensed into a residential visit to the magnificent Snowdonia National Park where we are so fortunate to be based.
As an independent outdoor education centre, we are ideally placed to tailor courses and activities to the individual needs of our groups. We are proud of the work that goes into each programme to tailor what we deliver, so that we are doing our best to meet their individual needs.
As a Christian organisation we believe that everyone should be treated with gentleness and respect. All our staff are committed Christians, but there is no pressure on any of our guests to engage in any aspect of the Christian faith and we welcome people to the centre of any faith or none. We are passionate about introducing people of all ages to the stunning beauty of the world we live in and offer opportunities for them to achieve more than they ever thought possible. At a time when our planet is under so much pressure, it is ever more important that we inculcate a sense of curiosity and a deeply rooted concern for the world we live in.