Last week, 20 girls from the GRIT&ROCK programme at the East London Central Foundation School spent 3 days in the Brecon Beacons. They were at the Plas Pencelli center putting skills learnt indoors into practice: climbing outdoors for the first time. Here is their account of the weekend:
When we first arrived at Plas Pencelli, we were warmly greeted by the staff who then gave us a briefing about our trip. We had a night activity called a ‘dingle descent’ in order to develop group trust, communication and teamwork. The group had to follow a route mapped out by a rope, but we were tied to each other. So, throughout the descent, we had to rely and support each other. Even the leader required help, but we were there for her too! Even though the activity ended with many boots being filled with water, everyone as a whole enjoyed it.
Today we went on a great adventure. We experienced hardship, teamwork and determination as we walked up and down steep hills and valleys. Even though some of us fell and were bruised and grazed we still had a magnificent time. When we got to the cliffs we started climbing. Most of us found it challenging as there were difficulties in finding comfortable holds. Then we went back to the centre to do problem solving games. We split up into two teams and had to compete in completing a variety of different but challenging team work activities.
Today we climbed the Brecon Beacons, a mountain range that consists of six main peaks, including Pan Y fan which is the highest mountain in southern Britain. The journey was long and exhausting, but we survived through sheer will power. Although almost all of us lost our determination at some point (even those that seemed confident before the journey), we endured the pain of our aching feet and continued to prove others and ourselves wrong. I hope the experience in Chamonix will be just as inspiring.