British Summer Time ends at 2:00am on Sunday 28 October 2019. The clocks go back so you will get a bit of a lie-in on Sunday morning.
Of course, the weather doesn’t always get colder just because we have said goodbye to British Summer Time.
The weather forecast for next week is looking favourable for our trip. It’s too early to be sure but strong winds and prolonged heavy rain (the conditions most likely to narrow our of choice activities) do not feature at all.
As you would expect of an outdoor activities centre located at the foot of the highest mountain in England and Wales, KMC is well prepared and equipped to make the best use of any weather and underfoot conditions – whether that be mild, sunny calm days or falling snow and what hillwalkers and mountaineers call ‘winter conditions’.
We always plan our activities based on an up-to-date weather forecast and any conditions can bring some exciting opportunities. For example, a cold, wet day at the Kent Mountain Centre (KMC) usually means it’s snowing on the mountain summits. The experience of walking on the mountains of Snowdonia National Park is something very special at any time of year but the addition of a little snow or the stunningly wide vistas of a cloudless Autumn day can make it magical.
On a practical note, please do heed my advice (at the parents’ meeting and in the equipment list) about appropriate clothing for the outdoor activities. Nothing has changed just because it’s going to get chilly but, if you have a little space left in your suitcase, fill it with extra warm items like a fleece top, hat, gloves etc.
The coach leaves promptly at 8:00am so please be outside the school gates on Broadstairs Road by 7:45am.
I find that most year nines I have taken to KMC struggle with the same challenge; organising themselves and their equipment.
It is a fact that, when I stood in front of you at an assembly in the Spring term, I made it very clear that you should only apply for a place on this trip if your main motivation is experiencing the unique outdoor challenges offered (as opposed to being convinced by your mates it’s a good idea or simply wanting another week off school). Assuming you followed my advice, the next week will not disappoint. But, be warned, you will have to work hard at thinking for yourself and planning ahead. (more…)
I’ve just published a page of answers to queries and questions we tend to get asked every year – usually on the coach as we travel to KMC.
Please take a look – you’ll find some questions you didn’t even know you needed to ask.
You will probably use more energy in your time at KMC than you ever have in any other week. At the parents’ meeting I mentioned the importance of eating well during your stay and how this is made easy for you by the catering staff. Here are some more details:
We we will be working in four groups during the daytime. We always organise groups by physical ability to ensure the activities are suitable for as many of you as possible. The same groups stay together for all daytime activities (although there are occasionally minor changes at the end of Monday).
You will find out which group you are in on the Monday morning when you meet your instructor.
Evening activities require different sized groups which vary each day.
Each evening, a small group will be responsible for writing the daytime activity group blog posts. We will be looking for different volunteers from each group for each evening. Everyone will contribute to the blog at some time in the week.
We like to keep you busy on this trip. Your days will be filled from 7:30am to at least 9:00pm every day. During that time you will have an hour or so to yourself but most of that will be used up organising your belongings, showering etc (more of this in a later post).
After the evening meal, everyone is involved in organised activities.
Thank you for attending the meeting this evening. I hope you all feel ready for the adventure and your parents are well informed. I did forget to make one thing clear and, as it could save you some packing space and expense, I’ll mention it here.
All specialist personal equipment and clothing is supplied by Kent Mountain Centre. This includes a personal issue for use all week consisting of a waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, boots (and other outdoor footwear as required), rucksack for use on activities, gloves, warm hat and a fleece. Extra clothing will be issued in certain weather conditions. This includes a windproof jacket and gaiters (for use in deep snow and heather).
Technical equipment is also supplied, usually on a day-issue basis and depending on the type of activity being carried out. Items such as wetsuits, climbing helmets, harnesses and bouyancy aids are usually collected immediately before departing from the Centre and returned as the group sort out their belongings in the courtyard before going back into the Centre.
Visiting staff and KMC instructors work hard to ensure the safe return of equipment and care of personal clothing is completed as soon as possible. Participants play an important part in assisting with these tasks and are expected to help out until the job is done. This will still leave time to have a shower and prepare for the evening meal.
If you missed the meeting, you can find dowloadable copies of the information covered here.
I’ve added some of the activity locations to a Google map (click here to view larger map). A few of the walks and most of the other activities used by earlier trips are shown. Many of the place names will soon become familiar because all the dormitories are named after major mountains and rivers near KMC.