Yes, we are open through all four seasons and during both term-time and school holiday times.
Yes, they can (with the exception of snow and ice climbing!). However, you will find that the KMC instructors will manage some of the activities in a different way when it's very cold to keep people moving as much as possible and to avoid anyone being wet for a long period.
Yes, we always welcome leaders (and especially new leaders) who would like to make a reconnaissance visit to the centre. Given some notice, we can usually arrange for a senior member of staff to meet you, give you a tour of the site and some of the local activity venues, and answer any questions you may have.
Your instructor/s will make every effort to include all the activities you have listed, but may well advise changing the order of events in the week to make best use of the weather.
It may be. Your confirmation of booking will give details of any other party already booked in to the centre for the same period, including contact details for the leader of the other party. The accommodation at KMC is very flexible, allowing up to three separate parties to use the site at the same time without the need to share any facilities other than perhaps the coach and the dining room at mealtimes.
No, you don't, but experience shows that visiting leaders who do take part in the activity programme usually enjoy themselves a great deal and have a valuable opportunity to enhance their relationship with their students.
Our experience shows that activity groups of between eight and ten students work well. Because you know your students and your learning objectives for them, we leave it to your judgement how best to form the groups. For example, if you have a spread of ages you might wish to group the younger students together and do the same with the older ones if meeting personal challenge through adventure activities is an important objective. Conversely, you might wish to put older students together with younger ones if you'd like the older ones to have a chance to take on responsibilities within the group.
Our advice would be to plan a structured activity session of some sort for each evening you will be at KMC, and to let all students know in advance that there will be an expectation to participate. Our groups have enjoyed a wide range of indoor and outdoor, on-site and off-site evening activities and some of the simplest (a quiz or a session of party games) have been enjoyed the most. It's nice to plan some activities that promote social interaction.
There is a surgery less than a mile from KMC, and we can help to arrange a visit to the doctor if necessary. Where a student is unable to participate in the day's activity due to illness, it will usually be necessary for a member of visiting staff to stay on-site with them. You should find out in advance what the school or other organisation expects in this regard (eg should it be a female leader who stays with a girl who is ill?) There is sometimes the possibility of moving a sick student into a separate bedroom (so that they have more peace and so that any infection is less likely to spread). Of course, in the unlikely event of a serious illness developing, parents may decide that they would like to travel to North Wales and fetch their son or daughter home.
We have some house rules (see below) but it would not be appropriate for us to set bedtime because parties vary so much in age and composition. You should decide upon your own evening routine and bedtime, and any other domestic rules you would like to make (eg when students should have their showers, or when they are permitted to go out in the grounds).
It will be a great help if you can ensure party members have access to the kit list to help them pack the right items. Appropriate mental preparation is helpful (party members are prepared to participate, co-operate, try new things and work hard at times). It may be possible to prepare physically with practice walks or circuit training to help party members be as fit as possible for the visit.
KMC can provide a 12 minute DVD showing the site and some of the activities and this could be used in advance of the visit. However, you may wish to bear in mind that some young people find activity sessions all the more exciting if there is an element of the unknown.
Beyond these basic preparations, further work will depend on the learning objectives of your visit. Given some notice, Kent Mountain Centre will be happy to provide study materials relating to these (eg myths and legends of Snowdonia, slate quarrying in the Llanberis valley, coastal management planning in North Wales).
Your follow-up work will depend on the nature of your visit and its learning objectives. Some parties produce creative work. Journals, photo displays, film, art, poetry and drama are all possibilities. Events celebrating the achievements of individuals and groups during the visit can cement improvements in self-esteem.
Where fieldwork, cultural studies or environmental studies have been undertaken results can be written up and this work can be followed by further research after the visit.
Please ask the staff at KMC if you think there are ways we can help you with follow-up work and events.