For my first blog entry, rather than picking an entirely spurious place to start, I thought it might be an idea to bring you all up to speed with where we are at, and what we've been up to in the last couple of years; a flavour of the modern day Plas Gwynant, and an idea of things to come. 
In recent times then, and in no particular order.....: 
We've celebrated our 60th anniversary, we've battled Storm Doris, wrapped up in the Beast from the East, and slapped on the suncream in the heavenly heatwave that followed.  
Structurally, we've: 
built new bedrooms 
extended the dining room and  
expanded the drying room;  
which has opened the doors to larger groups of participants and given us greater capacity to work with more than one school at at time.  
We've taught groups from Nigeria how to navigate round the mountains; got children from Army families chatting to the kids from the Youth Service and showed an increasing number of Y6's the National Trust's "50 things they can do before they are 11¾." And we have taken Growth Mindset Theory and turned it in to a message for all school ages on the nature of resilience and accepting failure as a stepping stone to success. 
It's amazing what you can do with a  
blindfold, a length of rope and a waterfall! 
We've spread the myriad of messages encapsulated in the John Muir Award, and opened young eyes to the need to discover, explore, conserve and protect our natural environment. Trees have been planted with sadness for students past, and courses developed to grow the centres and our impact for generations to come.  
GCSE, BTEC and OCR pupils have learned how to slalom kayak and the skills needed to keep each other safe on the end of a climbing rope. And students from Manchester University have built rafts to rescue cheap bottles of bubbly from the middle of Llyn Gwynant!  
The courses are all different, but the core threads often remain the same; communication, resilience, challenge, empathy and support.  
And all the time, the mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers quietly work their magic; opening eyes and minds to the potential contained therein. 
All the best, 
Dan J 
Dan is Plas Gwynant's Senior Tutor and programme lead. You can contact him at or 01766 890212 
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On 14th August 2019 at 17:50, Richard Oakes wrote:
A great summary of recent successes - well done the staff team! I love the appreciation, too, of the natural world working its perpetual magic as a background to all the experiences and learning. Huge thanks to all those school staff who make this real for the pupils they take to Plas Gwynant.
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