Here's to a Successful First Summer for Mount Cook!

With the end of August already in sight, and the new academic year just around the corner, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on what has been a fantastically busy and successful first summer for Mount Cook and the team!

We welcomed our first group on July 7, and within the past 8 weeks we have already worked with over 750 children and young people.

Groups we have worked with this summer include The Challenge (a large UK provider of the National Citizenship Service), various primary and secondary school groups (All Saint’s Junior School in Matlock, William Gilbert Primary in Duffield, Alderman White Secondary School in Nottingham and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Ashbourne), and local youth groups from the First Chesterfield Scouts and the First Ashbourne Boys Brigade.

Our Eco Explorer and Action Adventure Summer Camps launched with a bang this August! The amount of interest we have already received for our Holiday Camps has been fantastic, and we really do appreciate the amount of support and positive feedback we’ve had from local parents.

The first Eco Explorer week saw 33 very excited 6-11 year olds arrive at our front door, eagerly anticipating 5-days of fun outdoor activities. (We have to admit we were a little anxious at the sight of so many bouncing children!) The week consisted of orienteering, map-reading, exploratory walks, team challenges, archery, fossil finding & gem-panning, raft-building, canoeing and rock-climbing -  phew!

By the end of the week, our Eco Explorers had made lots of friends, experienced new outdoor activities, and achieved things they could be proud of. I’ll never forget one young boy who was not confident in water, and was slightly nervous about the water-sports day. After the group had returned from Carsington Reservoir, he ran over to tell me that he had been brave enough to put his head under the water, and that ‘raft-building was awesome!’

Watch this space for more holiday camps in the future!

Why should the kids have all the fun?! We also welcomed numerous adult groups to our Centre this summer for various events and activity sessions.

Ashbourne Ladies Circle joined us for an evening of archery and team challenges, followed by a delicious 2-course meal and a glass of wine (or two).

Derbyshire-based photographer Guy Badham also hosted his first Nature Photography Training Weekend at Mount Cook, including full catering and accommodation at our brand new Centre. Guy led the group to some of the best photography spots on the High Peak Trail and around Middleton, Cromford and Wirksworth to capture some stunning landscape and wildlife photography.

The evening dinner table set, ready for our Nature Photographers. 

The evening dinner table set, ready for our Nature Photographers. 

It really was a fantastic and inspirational couple of days. Guy’s expertise, enthusiasm and patience was added to by the wonderful welcome we all got from Mandy, Ant and Charlee and especially Mary. We were very well looked after with great food and lots of smiles. The building is a superb place to stay and work in.
— Martin Webster, Nature Photographer

Finally, this August Bank Holiday marks our first Survival in the Wilderness Family Weekend! We will be delivering 2 days of bush craft and survival training to our guests, from building dens, learning natural navigation, tying safe knots, to making a campfire and backwoods cookery. Included in the weekend is accommodation in our Centre (don’t worry, we don’t make you sleep in your den – unless you really want to!), and a slap-up two course dinner in the evening. It promises to be a great weekend!

A impressive den from one of our den-building sessions

A impressive den from one of our den-building sessions

Looking into the Autumn, we already have so many events to look forward to…

On Saturday 17th September we will be hosting our first Family Fun Morning Session on our brand new High-Ropes Course, which was installed just 3 weeks ago! The price for the morning is just £10 p/p, and an optional £5 p/p for lunch at our Centre.

We’re also proud to be a part of a leading rural arts festival this September- The Wirksworth Festival. On Sunday 18th September, Mount Cook will be the venue for a free Youth Music and Arts Fringe Event. The day includes various performances and shows based in and around the Centre, as well as burgers and hot-dogs available from our dining hall. 

We also have a Day of Shakespeare with Oddsocks Productions on Saturday 15th October, and a Spooky Halloween Event for October Half-Term! 

We look forward to seeing you in the new academic year! 

The Mount Cook Team x


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