Well…first blog of the new website…and we wanted to write a quick roundup of what’s happened at the Centre since the New Year. Not the Coronavirus, more on that in due course.
Firstly, a whole lot of work on the centre and grounds: the boys’ dormitories have been painted, new front door, new door to the dining room, some of the ceilings have been redone, gates at the entrances and a new low ropes course. We’ve got some pics of the work in progress, but haven’t yet got around to taking photos of how it looks now. That’ll just have to wait until we get back in. We’ve also started work on clearing our classroom, which should be knocked down and replaced this summer. That does mean we’ve had to move the Tuck Shop, back to where it used to live many moons ago in what has been the waterproof store (waterproofs now in the Canoe Store).
More importantly we’ve had the slow build that is the start to the season. Actually, it wasn’t that slow: Roding was our second group, and they brought 60-something! So…we’ve had Roding Primary, two groups from Jo Richardson Community School (Geography and PE GCSE groups), Eastbury Community Secondary back for the first time in many years, James Cambell and Thomas Arnold staying with us at the centre. We’ve had snowy mountain days, extremely wet gorge walking days, really varied caving days, as well as some very serious fieldwork and climbing days for GCSE courses. We’ve also taken the opportunity to visit our friendly farmer Glasnant and his family to see how lambing has been going this year. There has been great resilience on show, either battling the weather, which has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at us, or keeping going in troubling times – well done everyone.
On a more official note, we also had a long-expected visit from the Environmental Health Officer on our routine check, and we passed with flying colours: 5 stars again! Thanks Ben and Jen for doing such a great job in the kitchen.
The teaching staff have also been working hard to keep their skills up to date with some CPD. Jenny did her Local Cave and Mine Leader Award training for level 1 just before Christmas, so there have been a few caving trips in some of the venues we can’t really use with groups, including one of the biggest systems in the country, Ogof Draennen. They’ve also done White Water Safety and Rescue training in the freezing wintry white water of the River Teifi at Llandsysul and the River Usk between Aberbran and Brecon –the things they do to keep everyone safe!