Many of today's most successful companies incorporate outdoor training in to their staff development programmes. They, and we, have found that real tasks with real consequences provide an experience with lasting results. With this in mind we offer a range of practical, action-based team development days using the activities themselves to promote learning and understanding. We're convinced our combination of experienced, motivated and enthusiastic instructors and our breathtaking location, deep in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, creates a learning environment that's second to none.
At Plas y Brenin we are committed to ensuring each one of our guests enjoys every part of their stay with us. We appreciate that a productive learning experience relies on a relaxed and receptive mind. That's why we go out of our way to make sure every element of your event is absolutely first class including the facilities, equipment, accommodation, meals, and overall hospitality
A little Bit About Us
A former coaching house and hotel, Plas y Brenin is The National Mountain Centre. Our location is unrivalled as a base for outdoor activity. Tucked in at the base of Snowdon with towering mountains all around, we have a private lake, forest, an artificial ski slope, two indoor climbing walls, a heated indoor canoe rolling pool, a huge variety of well equipped meeting rooms, and a lively, comfortable bar. We can boast en-suite bedrooms throughout and the food we serve is of the highest standard with each meal taken in our scenic dining room and it's picture postcard views of the Snowdon Horseshoe.
But it is our underlying philosophy that is our strongest offering. We go out of our way to be flexible, making your stay with us as enjoyable and rewarding as possible.
With that in mind, have a look through this leaflet and see what's on offer and if you'd like to make a few changes here and there, just call us and discuss things. You may want to add a 'special dinner' to the last night of your event, provide wine with meals, arrange for evening speakers or add an extra night's accommodation, leaving the morning after the event. We're happy to consider any extensions to the programme.
At The National Mountain Centre the one thing that sets us so far above the competition is the quality of our staff. Our instructors include many of the world's most experienced and accomplished outdoor athletes, each one dedicated to sharing their love for the outdoors and of outdoor activities.
Our instructors, coaches and guides have stood on the summit of the world's highest mountains, climbed the steepest cliffs, paddled across the widest oceans and down the fiercest rivers as part of group expeditions. Which is why they appreciate the value of teamwork in achieving a goal.
When you are struggling to reach the top of an ice covered peak, days from civilisation and far from the possibility of rescue, teamwork is the only thing that keeps you alive.
Our instructors are all dedicated professionals who believe firmly in 'challenge by choice' which put simply means that each person has the right to choose how much they are involved in any activity and how much they want to 'challenge' themselves.
Aside from providing an enjoyable break from routine in an area of outstanding natural beauty a team development event at Plas y Brenin can be productive and rewarding in many ways. Helping to forge links between departments, cement bonds between team members, integrate new staff and improve personal skills like communication, problem solving, leadership, planning, innovation and delegation. The nature of the land and water based outdoor activities we offer at Plas y Brenin allow your team to develop trust, confidence and understanding whilst highlighting the importance of effective leadership, communication and, of course, teamwork.
Each of the activities provides a shared learning experience where your team must work together in an unfamiliar environment to succeed. To achieve results in any task or activity, the team will have to bring out the best in each other, and in themselves. In most cases your team will have had little or no experience in these activities beforehand and the process of experiencing and learning new skills together bring enjoyable and enriching rewards. Above all, we believe that everyone involved should have lots of fun.
At Plas y Brenin, we concentrate on what we do best. Making sure you have a great time in the outdoors. We choose not to follow up our team development activities with formal reviews or analysis, although you are welcome to bring your own personnel experts in to fill this role.
On this page you'll find a list of activities, all of which take place over a single day. You can make up your own Team Development Event by 'mixing and matching' from this list as you please, making up an event of one to three days or longer.
We do however, highly recommend that day one of your event is either the 'Rock and Ropes Challenge' or the 'Raft of Problems'.
These two challenges act as a valuable opportunity for our instructors to become familiar with the team's abilities and personalities, giving them the chance to tailor the more complex challenges that follow to suit the group perfectly. There are also many skills learned during the 'Rock and Ropes Challenge' or the 'Raft of Problems' which can be used by the group on the other challenge days, increasing the effectiveness of the team development process. If you would like to join us on a one-day team development day and it is your groups first visit then you will need to choose between the 'Rock and Ropes Challenge', the 'Raft of Problems' or the Gorge Ascent as the other challenges require a briefing on the preceding day and rely on previously acquired skills.
'Rock and Ropes Challenge'
This day of enjoyable outdoor activity begins with an in-depth session on our low ropes course, which blends subtly into the forest environment giving you the chance to experience the tranquillity of this woodland setting.
As you work your way around the Low Ropes Challenge your team comes together to overcome each problem in turn. Calling on the collective contributions of every team member – drawing on their ideas, support, and effort to achieve a team goal, each exercise is performed low to the ground minimising risk and anxiety whilst allowing the team to progress at a comfortable pace.
This perfect 'ice breaker' activity is followed by lunch then a trip to our local crag where the group can experience rock climbing and abseiling. Under our instructor's watchful eye, the team will have the task of organising and running the session themselves, discussing and agreeing the level of personal challenge, individual goals and the demands upon and responsibilities towards other members of the group. Splitting into smaller 'belay teams' you'll have an exhilarating and enlightening afternoon on the rock face.
'Raft of Problems'
This interesting and highly enjoyable day finds your group on a hunt for valuable rafting materials with the ultimate aim of building your own raft. A raft seaworthy enough to set sail on to the lake to retrieve the 'bubbly' and eventually toast your success.
The strength, stability, and ultimately the buoyancy of your raft depends on the materials your team 'unlocks' during the morning challenges. Each activity-based task you successfully complete earns points, which can be exchanged for a broad range of rafting materials.
The day calls for a diverse spectrum of communication and decision making skills. And it's heads down right from the start as the team has to plan the day together, choosing activities, booking time slots and assessing their overall needs. This offers an opportunity for the team to tailor the problems and activities to suit their collective abilities and strengths. After that it's a race against time where you struggle to get your team to each location on time for the pre-booked challenge before working together to complete the tasks and challenges.
Add to this the complexities of selecting the best materials, designing and building a practical raft and getting it into the water in one piece and you have a fantastic recipe for team development - and for great fun.
'Gorge Ascent Challenge'
It's adventure all the way as you scramble through the stream, clambering over wet rocks against the flow of water using ropes and essential climbing equipment for protection as you go. Teamwork and communication are vital if your team are to successfully climb this steep valley stream. Working on the 'challenge by choice' principle your group can choose the extent and intensity of their own experience. Whatever your choice, you can be sure you'll have to work together, keeping each other safe as you move as a team on your way to the top.
This is a truly different challenge and offers a physically and mentally demanding experience with inspiring rewards. It is a unique, very wet adventure in a beautiful natural environment requiring commitment and cooperation from all involved.
This classic team development day blends the best mountain scenery with a great opportunity to develop your teams communication and interpersonal skills. As a team you are challenged with navigating the ascent of a high mountain in Snowdonia.
During an early evening planning meeting the night before the challenge, you'll have the opportunity to learn basic skills. Skills you'll need to rely on the next day.
The Following morning, after planning your route, selecting and packing equipment and discussing the group's individual and collective goals, concerns and responsibilities, you'll set off up the mountain.
With our instructors alongside you all the way, you'll walk to the top of the mountain, using map and compass to pick your way through the breathtaking scenery. Along the way your team will be presented with a range of challenges requiring teamwork and effective decision-making. These decisions are often made more complex by the unpredictable weather in the mountains and the harsh, exposed terrain. Although this is possibly one of our most physically demanding challenges, it is without doubt one of the most rewarding and calls for a unique type of cohesive motivation from the group.
The Summit Challenge is a superb day out which carries with it a fantastic sense of group achievement. It will leave your team acutely aware of their strengths and abilities and provide some great snaps for their photo albums too.
An evening briefing the night before this event provides an opportunity to master basic navigation skills and gather other information you think might be useful during the challenge.
The next morning your team will gather to select and plan a route. With various challenges and routes available, one can be selected to suit your groups objectives and abilities perfectly.
Once underway the Forest Challenge requires your group to navigate from one checkpoint to another negotiating a task at each point to 'unlock' the co-ordinates of the next challenge-rendezvous. Navigation in this dense wilderness is difficult as visual landmarks are often unavailable, leading to an amplified need for effective leadership, decision-making and team input. The challenges that must be overcome vary in nature, combining to bring out a wide spectrum of skills from the entire team.
After following the route correctly and negotiating each task successfully your group will find themselves back at Plas y Brenin for the final challenge of the event.
This is an exciting day spent in beautiful, remote countryside whilst avoiding the physically demanding terrain that the Summit Challenge covers.
Team Development Prices For 2014/15
1 Day Non-residential £105 + VAT per person
includes lunch, tea and cake, equipment, instruction and use of facilities for a minimum of five attendees.
2 Day Residential £273 + VAT per person
includes accommodation, food, equipment, instruction and use of facilities for a minimum of five attendees.
3 Day Residential £367.50 + VAT per person
includes accommodation, food, equipment, instruction and use of facilities for a minimum of five attendees.
1 day £6.30 per person
2-4 days £12.60 per person
5 days £17.40 per person
What do courses include?
A room (normally shared) and full board unless we specifically state "Non-residential".
All rooms are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, soap and towels. Many rooms are twin bedded with en-suite facilities.
Use of specialist technical equipment and clothing.
All in-course transport.
A comprehensive evening programme.
Free use of our climbing wall.
What do courses not include?
Travel to and from Plas y Brenin.
A meal on the evening of your arrival (bar snacks are available until 9.00pm in the "Snowdon Bar").
Food and accommodation after the end of your course (5.00pm on the last day).
Free pick up service from Llandudno Junction Railway Station.
When should we arrive?
You should aim to arrive between 6pm and 11pm on the evening before your course start date. Rooms will not be available until 6pm. No set meal is provided on the first evening but bar snacks are available until 9pm.
Breakfast at 8am the following morning is the first meal of the course and you will meet your instructors and start activities around 9.15am following a welcome from one of our senior staff.
If you have booked a non-residential day you should plan to arrive by 8.45am and should finish around 5pm.
What happens at the end of the course?
Courses finish around 5pm on the last activity day. It may be possible for you to add an extra night's accommodation, leaving the morning after the course.
How do we book?
To make a provisional booking or discuss your requirements please call Lissie Smith on 01690 720119 during office hours or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We strongly recommend that you take out insurance against cancellation and curtailment for each attendee. This applies if you have to cancel an attendee for reasons out of their control e.g. illness. We also advise that you take out insurance against accident and personal injury for each attendee.
We can accommodate varying degrees of fitness but we do reserve the right to curtail participation or in (rare) extreme cases we may ask a participant to withdraw from activities if we feel their lack of fitness is causing excessive difficulties for other course members.
Value for money
As Plas y Brenin is a non-profit making centre, run by the Mountain Training Trust, on behalf of the sports Council our aim is to make sure you get the best possible value for money when enjoying the outdoors.
Plas y Brenin operates a strict code of safe practice for all activities. As part of this code, all activities are covered by one or more risk assessment. Our risk assessments are reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
All activities are entirely weather dependant. Every effort will be made to accommodate your booking but should conditions be such that we cannot run your chosen activities we will offer an alternative activity.
What our corporate clients say
'Our expectations were met and surpassed!
During the few days we spent with you all the members of the team felt they had gained both individually and collectively. I am sure that when this team becomes operational they will be able to draw on and benefit from their experiences.'
Neil Carr, Director of Operational Services - The Foundation NHS Trust.
'Excellent in every aspect! I am in full agreement with my colleagues when I say that, in all respects, the course was excellent. The standard of tuition at this centre was first class and delivered by true experts.'
Kevin Degenhard, Chief Superintendent - RSPCA.
'The feedback from those involved was very positive.
Each considered they had benefited, whether it was learning new skills or the application of existing skills in a new and challenging environment.
AB Elliot, Chief Tech. - Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Service.
Other clients include:
Gore, Master Foods, Jaguar, Asda, Bayer International, Reuters, Lloyds TSB, Barings, Land Rover, Karrimor, Deeside College and Southampton University and many more.
Request a printed copy of our team development brochure here.
Download a PDF copy of our team development brochure here.