“I really enjoyed climbing the mountain and getting to the top. I felt free and active. I will always remember these memories,” Joe (aged 9) wrote in a letter after he and his sister Eran (12) had conquered the highest mountain in England and Wales.
Families from Hackney and Hammersmith climbed Snowdon as part of Outdoor People’s Outdoor Family Camping programme 2017 funded through the Big Lottery and profits from the Outdoor People Shop in Netil Market. For most of the families involved, this was their first-ever adventure in Wild Britain, so taking on the highest peak in Wales represented a serious challenge.
We are a Hackney-based social enterprise, which aims to give London’s children and families valuable opportunities to get outdoors. The Mountain Adventure, which took place during the October half-term (25 – 28 October), was the final activity in Outdoor People’s 2017 Family Camping programme. Over the course of the year, Outdoor People has supported nearly 30 families from across the city to enjoy their first outdoors adventure, with sponsorship from Vango and Thermarest alongside the Big Lottery grant and the support of everyone thats bought something from our shop.
When we got near the top we thought we'd be disappointed and have no view as there was thick cloud.... but then we turned the corner and saw this...
A Brockenspectre - unbelievable!!
It was just aces!
We stayed at the fantastic Plas Y Brenin in a private bunkhouse, cant recomend it highly enough, just perfect for a group. And slap up birthday tea for Tom, the volunteers and everyone after the hike too! The kids beautifully illustrated that a 12 mile hike wasn't going to stop them wanting to play later.... but they did all eat well and then sleep well too!
The thinking behind the Outdoor Family Camping programme is simple – encourage the whole family to go on an adventure, to challenge themselves together and enjoy pushing boundaries as a team... and parents will be far more likely to encourage their children to play and have adventures outdoors when they get back home.
The benefits of outdoor play are well documented – children who play outdoors are more likely to be happy, more likely to have a wide circle of friends and less likely to suffer from poor health outcomes.
Playing outdoors, going on a walk, camping out. Simple activities, but crucially, either free or very low cost and open to all. Nothing should stop kids getting outdoors. The only real barriers are in our heads and the ones society imposes...
Climbing this mountain was way, way, way further than these kids - and some of the adults - had ever walked before. Yet everyone did it and everyone was rightly super proud of themselves afterwards!
Maria, aunt to two of the children, said that climbing the mountain: ‘was one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to get through, but I learnt not to give up. You have to keep going even when you want to stop.’
Cath Prisk, Director of Outdoor People, said: ‘To dream big we need to have time to go on adventures. It could be a micro-adventure just going on different routes to a park, or a big adventure to a mountain. Seeing kids who usually spend their evening and weekends on their Xbox or watching YouTube, literally scamper up one of the most challenging paths to the top of Snowdon – was amazing.
“This mountain trip affirmed that children are more capable than we sometimes give them credit for.
Getting the whole family outdoors, empowering parents to let children play and seeing how children burn up their energy achieving huge physical goals, is a practical and positive way to nudge families to get outdoors more.
Just give it a go!
 Based in Netil Market, E8 Outdoor People is a social enterprise, which aims to help families, kids and communities get outdoors more. Now three years old, Outdoor People is a place to buy and borrow great gear to get outdoors, and a service providing support to other organisations who share our mission. Outdoor People’s products, projects and events are for everyone, and profits are reinvested in helping the one third of London’s children who rarely get to a green space. http://outdoorpeople.org.uk/
 Shaw, B et al, 2015, Children’s Independent Mobility: an international comparison and recommendations for action http://www.psi.org.uk/docs/7350_PSI_Report_CIM_final.pdf
 Gill, T. 2011, Sowing the Seeds: Reconnecting Children with Nature London Sustainable Development Commission