This weekend I had the unusual experience of sitting down to a four-course roast beef dinner – with coffee and after dinner mints to follow – high up on a hillside at Llyndy Isaf.
I was the guest of honour of the Columbus Fellowship “Sigma Camp” which has been located every summer in a secluded hollow tucked into the hillside above the farmhouse since 1960. This charitable organisation, which aims to promote an interest in outdoor activities through adventure, enables children to develop self-reliance, responsibility and consideration for others.
This year, I was in the company of 101 children and young people looked after by a team of teachers presided over by the redoubtable founder-member Mike Thompson (MBE). Mike was one of a small group of teachers that started the fellowship back in the late-fifties and he has been the driving force behind these summer camps ever since.
Before we tucked into the meal – prepared by the youngsters themselves in a highly organised camp kitchen – Mike made a speech emphasising how important it was that the National Trust appeal succeeds, so that the two organisations can work together to extend and enhance the opportunities for young people to gain inspiration from this amazing place.
I’ll raise my glass to that.