Well my computer has died, well i am hoping that its just the battery as £1000 is at least a months worth of the states gone! Besides my plan to save has hit a bit of a hurdle as my main employer the Brenin appears to be very quiet at the moment, what with the recession and a new budget that seems to have the UK on the brink of ruin, with thousands of people looking down the barrel of redundancies its not surprising that work is thin on the ground. Its been two months since I did any work there!
Its not just the Brenin, I have heard on the grapevine that at the Association of Head of Outdoor Education Centre last meeting that it is a mini crisis that is hitting the industry. With LEA centres appearing to be hit as schools try and find savings, it would appear that Outdoor Education will be one of the big losers. Even before this happened Llanrug OEC was already on thin ice, and if we are not careful there may well be a moritorium on any number of the OEC that North Wales houses. There are 10 I can think of, off the top of my head and probably more. All these places employ not only instructors but cleaning and cooking staff.
A brief chat with a owner of a ‘adventure’ attraction drove home the fact that times are getting hard. As they are having to work twice as hard to get the same amount of work they got last year!
Outdoor Education did a lot for me, and speak to any number of young adults and many of them remember the residential and outdoor ed trips with a fondness and see it as a having tangible benefits to the real world, be it personal and social skills, or learning that nerves and fear are part and parcels of life, or simply the skills of looking after themselves when mum or dad isn’t there. There are so many reasons that outdoor education should keep its funding.
On the flip side there seems to be more and more work/money being thrown at ‘Youth at Risk’ and naughty kids. I often run into or chat to friends where two adults to one child ratio is the norm. Hundreds of thousands is ploughed into this end of the market. It seems counter intuitive to me as if you reward any behaviour that behaviour will become reinforced and strengthened. So how taking a kid thats been naughty and treating them to a two month all in holiday in the hands of two instructors just seems criminal. Bang them up and spend the money on the good kids who should be rewarded and not punished by taking funding away from Outdoor education.
Anyway rant out for now!