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Summer’s come again, and our attention has turned to the school holidays. We are pleased to announce we’ll be holding our usual week of bushcraft activities at YHA Danywenallt in Talybont, during the first week of August (Monday 1st-Friday 5th) this year. There will be the usual mix of bushcraft sessions, including shelter building, firelighting, pioneering, tracking and exploring, foraging, and backwoods cooking, plus teambuilding games and generally having fun outdoors.
Sessions will run from 2-5pm each day. Entry is £5/session (discounts for multiple bookings), and the target age 7-11. Everyone welcome! It is essential that you phone 01874 676677 to book your child’s place. We always ask that adults either stay on site, or within easy reach please. The activity will go on in most weathers: participants need to be prepared, and be ready to come home potentially smoky, dirty and a little bit worn out! Every day will include some form of foraging for wild food, team building games, and may involve a camp fire.
- Day 1 will be an exploration of the area around the hostel, with geocaching, foraging, and various challenges as we go.
- Day 2 is practising bushcraft building, using little more than sticks and string. We’ll make bridges, and build useful gadgets for your campsite.
- Day 3 will be a firelighting session, learning to light a fire successfully and safely, without matches. We will then cook something simple.
- Day 4 is a shelter building session, using a combination of found materials and old tent parts.
- Day 5 is party time! We’ll have a campfire going, cooking something a bit special, playing some games and generally having a good time.
Later than planned, here is the news…….(cue morse code/printer noise à la Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning Vietnam):
YHA Danywenallt has quite a full 8 weeks (!) of activities planned for this summer (’cause not everybody’s school holidays are the same…). To start with, we have activity days every Tuesday, starting this week (21st July) and finishing on 1st September. Details of each week’s activity will be posted on Facebook but in general, the sessions will run from 2-4pm, and will involve spending time outdoors, playing games, exploring our surroundings, finding out about the natural world, building and creating things, foraging, cooking and eating, and above all, having a good time. Each session costs £5/child, and will be suitable for 7-11 year olds, or thereabouts. We will carry on in most weathers, and so each child needs to come dressed for the conditions, as well as being prepared for activities which could get them smoky, dirty and maybe even a bit wet. Wellies and waterproofs are par for the course! We also ask that a responsible adult is available for emergency purposes, which means either staying on site, or not going too far please.
We’re also running a full week of bushcraft activities from Monday 3rd August. Sessions during the week will be slightly longer, still for 7-11 year olds, at £5/session (possible discounts for booking 5 or more sessions). The programme looks like this:
Monday 3rd August – a Woodland Wander 1-4pm. Come to find out what lives in our woods and on our hills, learn to navigate and explore the area.
Tuesday 4th August – Shelter Building & Pioneering all day (two sessions: 10am-12.45 & 13.15-16.00, can be booked as single sessions, or come for the full day). Spend the morning building a shelter, then use rope and poles to make camp more comfortable and more interesting in the afternoon.
Wednesday 5th August – Firelighting 1-4pm. Come and learn how to build a safe and useful fire, then cook on it without modern utensils.
Thursday 6th August – Pioneering and Shelter Building all day (two sessions: 10am-12.45 & 13.15-16.00, can be booked as single sessions, or come for the full day). We’ll use the morning to build something to launch an egg, then in the afternoon learn how to make a quick shelter.
Friday 7th August – Party 1-4pm! We’ll cook up some food and drink on the fire and play some of our favourite games from the week.
With all sessions it’s essential please to phone the Hostel on 01874 67677 to book your place. For more details, contact: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org will also work).
To complete our summer, we’ve also got a number of Gold DofE Residentials running, please see the post from May for details.
Just a final push for anyone that’s looking for something to do with their children this coming half term. We’ve got two activity afternoons happening at the hostel, the first a bushcraft day on Tuesday 26th, and the second a family fun day (for want of a better term) building dragons on Friday 29th. The bushcraft day is 2-4 and we will be exploring our local woodlands for signs of life, doing some traditional woodland craft and finishing by the fire. Entry is £5. Follow the link for further details, or ring 01874 676677 (also the booking line).
Build a Dragon Day 2 is all about crafts and games on a dragon theme (dragons that are Welsh, from cartoons, film or book characters and anywhere in the imagination). If there’s a way we can make an activity about a dragon we could well be trying it out, so there will be classic games with dragon-y twists! We’ll also be joined by the Fragon team, who use dragon stories to help children with numeracy and literacy, and developed a number of games to fit in the Fragon Universe. We’ll be there from 1-5pm and entry is £2. There will also be a cafe. Again, please follow the above link for details, and ring 01874 676677 to let us know you’re coming.
We look forward to seeing you!
Now that spring is springing (too early to say sprung I would say!), it’s time to unleash the programme of holiday activities planned for YHA Danywenallt, in the Talybont Valley this year. Those of you in the Beacons who get the CariAds Local Magazine may have seen the recent advert, which is below:
The idea is that we’ll have at least one activity running each week throughout the school holidays in 2015, with Bushcraft Days planned for Tuesdays (watch this space for any changes/extra dates). The first day will be March 31st, and we’ll be starting with a fire-lighting session (always a good place to start), which will include natural tinders and flint & steel. Alongside that there’ll be a few games, a bit of cooking (I’m on the look out for new recipes now) and some foraging around the Hostel. The second will be on April 7th, to include more (simple) cooking and some lightweight shelter-building. If they sound interesting, please visit the Facebook page to join the event you’d like to attend and we’ll take it from there, or alternatively phone 01874 676677. Sessions will generally run from 2-4pm at a cost of £5/per child and we’re aiming this at the 7-11 age group (although we are quite flexible). As with all previous Bushcraft Days, a responsible adult will need to be reachable and close by for emergency purposes (even better if they stay and get involved!), and the children need to come prepared for getting dirty, smoky, potentially a bit wet, and ready for whatever the weather has to throw at them (we’ll only call it off for the worst conditions, but be warned, the programme may change at the last minute).
In the Whitsun holidays we’ll do the same (details of the Bushcraft Day to follow), but we’re also holding How to Build Your Dragon Day -2! This year’s event has changed and will be held on the Friday 29th May, to include activities for all ages, with story telling, craft and games for the little-uns (maybe even a bit of magic (TBC)!), and plenty of dragon-related things to make and do for the older ones. We’ll be making dragons of all shapes and sizes using all sorts of materials, and may end up seeing if they’re any good at flying. Watch the Facebook page for further information.
When the summer holidays come around, there’ll be even more going on, including our Bushcraft Week, which this year is from Monday 3rd August until Friday 7th. As in previous years, there’ll be a bit of everything bushcraft-y, allowing more in-depth exploration of the great outdoors. Times, costs and other details to follow soon! Again, get in touch through this site or the Facebook page to find out more.
NEWSLETTERAn open letter to any old customers of Ty’r Morwydd Environmental Study Centre (known to some as Mulberry House) in Abergavenny, and indeed anyone interested in our work here in the Brecon Beacons, from Stephen Tyrrell:
A little over two and a half years since the closure of Ty’r Morwydd, I thought it would be good to review how things have gone and spread the word about how things are developing in this neck of the woods. I think you would call me a portfolio worker now, working to a number of contracts, as well as working on a self employed basis. One benefit of working with so many organisations is that now I have more than doubled the number of contacts I had before, and I can now find ‘a man who can’ for most situations, and equipment for almost any activity.
Field studies are, and will always be, the most important part of what I do, but now I’m also branching out a bit. I have a growing following in bushcraft activities in the central Beacons and spreading, plus I’m involved in heritage interpretation with the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre. I’m also getting involved in the outdoor activities side of things a little more now, and I’m working towards the Climbing Wall Award, doing at bit of volunteering to get my experience up, as well as getting to use my walking qualifications more. Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award residentials are also becoming a more important part of my job, and we offer a range of ways that participants can complete their requirements with us.
I’ll explain everything in a bit more detail below. With curriculum changes on their way, I figured now was a good time to get in touch, let you know how things have gone, how they’re progressing, and directions for the future.
At YHA Danywenallt National Park Study Centre we’ve got a busy start to the month ahead which will get the summer holidays going in style! We’re running a week of Bushcraft activities for children from 4th-8th August, followed by a weekend of music and fun for all for the Brecon Fringe Festival. More details below; please ring 01874 676677 or email: email@example.com if you want to find out more or make a booking.
Bushcraft Activity Week 4th-8th August
All week we’re putting on a series of outdoor activities that will encourage confidence in the outdoors, develop new skills and forge new friendships. As well as the ‘headline’ activity, there will be teambuilding, problem-solving and creative thinking games. Children can come along to explore, discover and get messy -whatever the weather! All that’s needed are old clothes and an adult.
Open to anyone aged 7 – 11. Cost: £5 per session or £20 for 5 sessions. Booking is essential.
Adults are asked to accompany children but are not required to participate. Please stay close at hand in case of emergencies/difficulties.
Monday 4th –Wayfinding (1-4pm)
An afternoon of wayfinding around the Hostel. We’ll look for geocaches, set trails for others to follow and do some team building. Along the way we’ll look for signs of wildlife and find some food for free.
Tuesday 5th –Shelter Building & Pioneering (all day)
10am-12.45pm: A morning of shelter-building at the Hostel. We’ll build shelters from old camping equipment -you’ve got to decide which bits are going to be most useful and then decide where to put it.
1.15-4pm: An afternoon of pioneering (making stuff from sticks and rope). Having built shelters in the morning, in the afternoon we’ll build a useful gadget or two for camp.
If you’re coming for both sessions, don’t forget your lunch! Bookable as separate sessions.
Wednesday 6th –Fire-lighting (1-4pm)
An afternoon of fire-lighting in the Hostel grounds. We’ll learn to build and light a small fire and how to be safe, then cook some classic camp-fire food.
Thursday 7th –Pioneering & Shelter Building (all day)
10am-12.45pm: A morning of building something to propel an egg through the air, using only rope and sticks -can you get it to land safely?
1.15-4pm: An afternoon of shelter-building with natural materials. Come and build a den in our woods!
If you’re coming for both sessions, don’t forget your lunch! Bookable as separate sessions.
Friday 8th –Backwoods Cooking
An end of the week party, prepare and cook campfire food –you’ll be amazed at what you can do! We’ll also have a few games and celebrate a week well-spent, getting to know the great outdoors.
Brecon Fringe 8th-10th August
Music, food and fun in beautiful surroundings for the Festival Fringe. Free entry to all events, charges apply for food & drink. Contact the Hostel for details: 01874 676677 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 8th from 7pm:
Blind River Scare: Tim Manning, a singer/songwriter playing under the name Blind River Scare and producing original Americana, Alt-Country & Folk tinged bitter-sweet songs
Cefn Junction: a four-piece that play a mixture of Irish tunes and songs plus some Scottish and Welsh tunes that will really get your feet tapping.
Sunday 10th 1-5pm:
How to Build your Dragon: an afternoon of dragon building, along with storytelling, music, face paints, balloons, games and a BBQ.
Sunday 10th from 7pm:
Welsh Tapas & Tales -a celebration of all things Welsh, with music and food throughout the night.
Every Monday from 11th August
We’re also running Activity Days every Monday afternoon from 1-4pm until schools go back on a similar basis to the activities listed above. Those afternoons are a little more unplanned, as it’ll depend of weather and who turns up, but we’ll be doing some of the following: fire-lighting, shelter-building, wayfinding, pioneering, geocaching, foraging, bug hunting, team building and problem solving.
Booking is still required for Monday Activities, call 01874 676677
Check my events page for more going on this summer or follow me on Facebook.
At YHA Danywenallt in Talybont-on-Usk we’re running activity days throughout the school holidays this year, every Thursday from 1-4. There’s one left this Easter, and it’s tomorrow! We’re still taking bookings, so give us a ring if you’re in the area and you’d like you’re child to come along. The number’s 01874 676677. The activities are number- and weather-dependant so no specifics just now, but we’re offering an afternoon of bushcraft, which could mean shelter-building, campfire cooking or tracking with a few teambuilding activities thrown in for good measure. Costs £5 per child, and we ask that accompanying adults stay on site, but they don’t have to be involved (unless they’d like to of course!)…there is a nice warm café at the hostel 🙂
Just remember your child may get a little muddy, and there’s a good chance it’ll rain, so be prepared: old clothes, wellies and waterproofs will be the order of the day!
So the school holidays are coming round again -indeed, I realise that for some the Easter holidays have already started. After the success of last summer’s Bushcraft Week, we thought we’d try to build on our experiences. Throughout all school holidays this year (except the Christmas break, although I could be persuaded is there’s a demand) I’m working with YHA England & Wales to put on weekly Activity Days at YHA Danywenallt (beside Talybont Dam in the Brecon Beacons). I’ll be doing something aimed at children aged 7-11 most Thursdays from 1-4, mainly on a bushcraft/environment theme, with a few team building/problem solving challenges for good measure.
The first are on the 17th and 24th April. As yet the programme is to be finalised (it depends a bit on the weather), but it’s likely to involve some firelighting, a bit of foraging and cooking and a few games. If you’re in the area on the 17th or 24th, and you think your child would be interested, please ring 01874 676677 to book a place.
They’re open to anyone, just ring the number to make a booking, remembering that we need an accompanying adult and that there’s a good chance the children might get a little mucky. (N.B. adults are asked to stay on site, but aren’t expected to get involved if they don’t want to -there’s a nice warm café at the Hostel!)
Watch this space for more to come later this year.