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Page history last edited by warren_davies 9 years, 2 months ago


This page gives some information for intending participants,  and is much of it is lifted from threads in the forum.


House Rules

There is only one rule - Welsh only, all the time! 


Where is Tresaith?

Tresaith is midway between Newquay and Aberteifi/Cardigan , just north of  Aberporth.  It occupies a delightful situation on a small sandy bay near the southern end of Cardigan Bay.


Can I get there by public transport?

There are trains as far as Aberystwyth or Carmarthen and buses run from these centres towards Tresaith. Some local buses do run to Tresaith but it may be difficult to get closer than Aberteifi/Cardigan, Aberporth or Newquay at times. Someone may well be able to pick you up at one of these places if you make contact via the forum. Sometimes lifts can be arranged from further afield too.  Don't be afraid to ask.  Traveline Cymru is a good website for local travel info and will work out connections for buses/trains etc for the 'joined up' plan!


What is the accommodation like?

Accommodation is in a hostel created from a converted chapel.  There is a communal lounge with kitchen, and separate dormitories for men and women. We have exclusive use of the hostel during Bootcamps so there is plenty of room to spread ourselves out. It lies a few minutes walk from the beach - and from the Ship where participants are frequent customers. 


How will we spend the week?

Tresaith lies in an area where Welsh is widely spoken, and during the day we often take a trip to a local town where we engage in various activities in order to use Welsh "in the Wild". Evenings might involve socialising in the centre, or more often conversations in the Ship. The actual programme is flexible and will depend on the leaders, the group,  the weather and local events. An informal eisteddfod might be run one evening, so bring along a party piece if you can - tell a story or a joke, lead a song (silly or sensible!),  play a tune etc. Don't worry - it's not serious, it's just for fun, you don't have to take part, and it's not competitive!



Breakfast is informal - bring along your favourite cereal if you wish. Lunch is often taken in the town being visited while evening meals are usually prepared by participants themselves in the centre. 


How much tuition will I get?

Bootcamp is not a course.  It is a holiday by the sea with fellow enthusiasts,  and previous participants would say a most enjoyable holiday too. There is no formal tuition. If you have been doing SSiW, you will be able express yourself in Welsh already to quite a remarkable extent. The whole idea of Bootcamp is that you will use it all the time, you will learn from other participants and you will be amazed at how much you achieve in a week. 


I'm worried I won't cope!

If you have completed the SSiW courses you will cope. Don't worry about being word perfect - no one will be. The more mistakes you make, the faster you will improve!


Local Vocab

This page (click here) contains some vocab specific to south west wales. It is absolutely not necessary to know any of this, but it might just be interesting.




Duvet. Duvet cover. Towels. Pillow cases. (Note to overseas participants: someone in the group will often be able to lend you these to save bringing them with you – get in touch via the forum)

Swimming costume. Sun-tan lotion. Torch (flashlight). Umbrella and wet weather gear. Walking boots or walking shoes. Sun hat, sunglasses. Slippers/indoor shoes.

Drying up cloth, dishcloth and other consumables that the kitchen might not have. Rubber gloves can be useful for washing up.

Toiletries including soap. Small cache of medical necessities to cope with headaches, upset stomachs etc.

Sense of humour. Sense of direction


Favourite food items (herbs and spices where it is not worth buying for a week). Food/drink treats for sharing or bribing the leaders.
Ingredients for caffeinated or decaffeinated beverages of your choice. Coffee-making equipment if you want to make anything other than instant; a cafetiere can be a very popular item.
Welsh dictionary. Notebook to write down new words you learn. Books with Welsh lyrics to singable songs (Calon Lan, Sospan Fach, etc) - the more copies, the better.

Local map. Mobile phone for when you get lost.



Musical instruments. Canoes. Binoculars. Beach games - cricket, frisbee etc. Even a bucket and spade!
Welsh books that you're reading. Children's books in Welsh. Welsh-language music on that mp3 player, & a small portable speaker for sharing.





Note for overseas participants about visas

Just a little thought that you might need to remember, thinking back an incident to the earliest days of this forum. It is very important that you are coming for a holiday in Wales where you happen to be speaking Welsh. This is not a Welsh course. If the immigration people believed you were coming for educational purposes then you would need an educational visa. Fortunately Aran has made it very clear that Bootcamp is not a course, so it should not be an issue, but, without making false statements, it is important that you do not accidentally misrepresent your reason for coming as educational. If you've not been through immigration before, you might feel compelled to make helpful comments when you don't need to say anything. The UK customs officials aren't as intimidating as the American ones from my experience.

In the very early days of the forum there was a long discussion because some girls from Patagonia who were going to stay with a family said they were coming to improve their Welsh, thinking this made their journey more desirable. Unfortunately it meant that they had to comply with the conditions for an educational visa which are stricter than coming as a tourist (related to problems with people improperly entering the country through fake educational institutions among other things). So just remember you are coming to visit Wales to enjoy the countryside and the culture but you are intending to remain as uneducated as you were before you arrived!  
Don't want to make a worrying big deal out of this, and last year was the first year of the changes so the immigration officials were learning to deal with new guidelines, but you do need to be aware that you should not mistakenly describe Bootcamp as anything but a holiday experience. Clearly our other American members didn't have a problem, so it might be interesting to see what they said and didn't say...







Comments (1)

Elin said

at 2:13 pm on Apr 20, 2011

Great page- excellent thinking on the visa issues too. =)

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