Wet and wild in Wales

Sailing, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking – Jayne Hancock from Girlguiding Cymru tells us how they’re giving girls these opportunities at a unique camp

Many of the girls come away from the experience with hugely increased self-confidence and feelings of self-worth.

Many Brownies and Guides in Wales live near the sea, so it makes sense for us to use it and introduce the girls to water sports – and encourage them to engage further.

Each year in May, Girlguiding Cymru runs a water sports camp in New Quay Ceredigion. The camp has been going for two years and has really grown in popularity – the first year we ran 94 water sports sessions and it looks like we’ll do almost 300 next year!

The activity provider is Cardigan Bay Water Sports and they offer sailing, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking for a very reasonable amount because there are so many of us. Their concern for safety is excellent – instructors lead groups of five to eight girls, and there’s always an extra instructor in a boat in the bay for back up.

Being with their friends gives the less confident girls the chance to have a go and see what water sports are like. The kind and friendly attitude of the instructors at the water sports centres means that many of the girls come away from the experience with hugely increased self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. Water sports are great because you can do them with the reassurance of a friend when sailing or in a kayak, but also on your own when windsurfing or paddleboarding.

We camp for the weekend a couple of miles away on an overspill field for a commercial camp site. Again, because of numbers, cost is minimal. We also hire a church hall close to the Activity Centre where we have seaside-themed badge activities, both evening meals and a talk by the local Dolphin Watch on Saturday evening.

It’s cheap, great fun and an adventure! Take a look at what the girls did and what they said about the camp.

We spent over ten hours on or in the sea over the weekend. WOW – Guide
I have never had so much fun on the water - paddleboarding, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing all in one camp. The food was good too. – Guide
I have never paddleboarded before - and I stood up too. – Guide

What a fantastic time - from the second I got on the bus to the second I got off the bus. – Guide

Awesome - when can we do it all again? – Guide