Bootcamp Tresaith, mis Medi

I’ve just returned from my 4th Bootcamp at Canolfan Tresaith and have enjoyed it and benefitted from it as much even more than any other perhaps, as iestyn suggested, because my understanding and confidence has improved since my first (THE first) bootcamp.

One of the most important factors in the success of these camps is the makeup of the group. This time we had people from USA, New Zealand, Australia, England and Wales. We also had a large range of stages in learning; from pretty competent “speakers” to people who, while having completed the minimum requirements, acknowledged that they were struggling. This range of Geography and ability were no obstacles to the overall success of the week. I enjoyed the company and interactions of/with everyone in the group and will simply name them all:-
Dale, Helen & Hywel, Joanie & Bill, Jon, Sandra, Sian, Ros, Betty, Patricia, Gethyn, with input from Dee (a fellow Magnificent 7er) and Kim, an old hand of 10+ bootcamps.

Another factor was the excellent range of challenges, visits, meals, entertainment and fun activities. I’ll let others spell out their favourites but the Noson Lawen stood out as a highlight and I hope to see some photos and videos posted here.

But THE most crucial factors as always were the care, planning, support, passive leadership and hard work of the fab two, Iestyn & Cat ably assisted by their lovely children, Ioan, Emrys, Gwenllian and Elliw (?).

Wythnos gwych & bythgofiadwy heb un gair o Saesneg :slight_smile:
Diolch o galon i bawb.

I don’t know why Renee dropped out of my list of participants but she was a prominent and fun member of the group.

(I don’t seem to be able to edit my original post to include her )

Just arrived back in Kent. Great to meet everyone and looking forward to hearing peoples stories of their different experiences…Sad to miss the Noson Llawen which I love. Everyone had more Welsh than I did on my first Bootcamp…

First, I think us bootcampwyr will get a kick out of this: as Sandra, Bill, and I enjoyed coffee at the Aberystwyth rail station Weatherspoons on Saturday morning, you will never guess who we spotted… Patricia! I think we were all equally surprised and amused, and Bill, Patricia, and myself shared a really nice 11:30 a.m. train ride together.

I second Huw’s thoughts - we had a really varied group of cool and supportive people, and everyone contributed to an awesome week! Friday night at the Llong, a woman from an adjacent table called me over as I walked past on the way to the ty bach. She said she could tell we were a “learner” group because of the range of ease with the language, but that we all looked like we were having so much fun and she hoped to find a group like us to learn with. :slight_smile:

Some of the week’s highlights for me were feeling mildly starstruck in meeting Iestyn and Cat, the improv/drama games at Theatr Felinfach, songs around the piano in the tavern, the Noson Lawen, and my parti penblwydd, too. I can’t think of anything offhand I didn’t like - just some things that were more challenging than others.

As for the overall experience of being on bootcamp itself, I have mixed feelings of confidence and trepidation moving forward. Coming in, my biggest concern was being able to comprehend and understand what was going on around me. This turned out to be the least of my problems, whereas I found my speaking abilities more disappointing than expected. I guess talking to ones self in ones head does not a conversationalist make, and I now know I should really focus on getting more speaking practice in.

All in all, Bill and I really enjoyed our week yn Gymraeg, and I am sure that some of the side effects are going to persist for at least another week or so: gesturing wildly with my hands as I speak, saying things like “dim problem,” “hefyd,” etc., and wishing I were back in Tresaith. :wink:

Thanks again for everything, everyone, and it was great to meet all of you!


“Whereas I found my speaking abilities more disappointing than expected.”

Wrong…so wrong!!! You spoke really well.

“Whereas I found my speaking abilities more disappointing than expected.”
@dinas: Wrong…so wrong!!! You spoke really well.

Dw i’n cytuno yn llwyr, Kim. Mae Joanie (a Bill hefyd) wedi siarad yn wych.
Nes i joio ein “craic” ni yn y Ship, Aberporth pan fyddwn siarad “Cymreidaleg”. :slight_smile:

Roedd hi’n meraviglioso parlare gyda ti yn Gymreidaleg, Huw…

Dw i’n cytuno gyda pawb arall, Joanie! I thought you spoke really, really well. Glad you both enjoyed the week. Was really great meeting you. :slight_smile:

Thought the week was absolutely fantastic. The weather stayed fine, I thoroughly enjoyed the company of everyone present, had lots of laughs, visited lots of lovely places, and was wrth fy modd to be doing it all yn Gymraeg! Particularly enjoyed the night singing around the piano in Yr Eryr, Aberteifi (where I also bonded with the landlord as a fellow Scarlets supporter!), but also loved having conversations with local shopkeepers in various towns and, of course, some of the regulars at Y Llong in Tresaith. Living the dream!

Diolch o galon Iestyn a Cat (a Ioan, Emrys, Gwenllian a Elliw) for all of your hard work and helpful support that made my first time in Tresaith a very special one indeed. :slight_smile:

Helo pawb! I agree with all the comments here, the Tresaith bootcamp was an amazing experience shared with a fantastic group of people. I enjoyed the company of each and every one of you.

As Joanie has commented above, it was great to run into Patricia (again!) at Wetherspoons in Aberystwyth. And Joanie, you do speak really good Welsh.

I enjoyed everything, Tresaith and the surrounding area, Y Llong, and all the visits, challenges and activities, particularly Theatr Felinfach, the singalong in the pub in Aberteifi and the Noson Lawen. I found that the challenges helped build my confidence in using the language (lack of confidence was probably my biggest problem prior to the bootcamp). This is something to build on for the future.

I remember feeling a little disappointed at one stage towards the end of the week that I had not started thinking in Welsh at all…but then the next morning, I think it was Friday, I did wake up thinking in Welsh and I was thrilled!! On the Saturday morning I didn’t want to go back to speaking English!!!

Diolch yn fawr i Iestyn, Cat, wrth gwrs i’r blant hefyd, a diolch i bob bootcampwr am wneud y profiad mor arbennig!

Helo fellow bootcampers !

First of all I want to say a big thank you to everyone for making the whole experience so enjoyable and so much fun, and especially to Iestyn and his wonderful family.

It’s difficult to say what my favorite thing was, definitely the Noson Lawen, and the singing in the pub (not to mention the Cwrw Teifi). I havn’t sung like that since school !

In fact it was all brilliant, but I’ll never forget the look on the face of the girl working in the woman’s clothes shop in Aberteifi when I said I didn’t want to buy any thing just have a chat with her. I did tell her I was a learner ! She clearly though dirty old git !

Obviously the worst thing was being told that Cwrwgl, has nothing to do with cwrw ! and, to add insult to injury, we didn’t even get to go on the river in one :wink:

I spoke to my ffrind iath on Sunday and he told me that my welsh had definitely improved which I was very happy about. In fact during the short conversation he didn’t get much of a word in, so I know the week worked :wink:

I, like Sandra had my first welsh thought ! It was the first one as I woke up on Friday morning. It was then promptly drowned out by lots of english ones going ‘WOW I had a welsh thought !’

The week did reinforced something I already knew though - my task for the next year is vocabulary !

Good luck to you all - hope to see you again some time.


Obviously the worst thing was being told that Cwrwgl, has nothing to do with cwrw !


Geth, I’m not sure if you’ve tried the Original BBC Catchphrase for some vocab, but I’ve found it equally frustrating and useful for picking up some words and a few patterns. Frustrating because it’s slow and there’s no spot for you to really repeat things yourself, but useful because you can hear the words pronounced properly.

What’s nice is there is a .doc file accompanying every lesson so you can see whether it’s something you want to bother with listening to. They’re not really sequitur, so you can jump around if you wanted to. I think they cover mostly Mynediad/Sylfaen material.

Hi everyone. Don’t think I’ll ever not feel a bit like a quitter for - er - quitting on the class. But, as one of nature’s chatter boxes, it was torture being unable to prattle on and on. Anyway, I’ll work hard at vocabulary in time for boot camp next year. And my punishment was catching some kind of stomach flu for a few days. Such fun in a B&B!

Should I choose Waldo (Walda) as my forum name? How many times did I bump into you all last week? And I was glad to. Amazing how close and warm I feel towards ‘my’ boot-campers. And yes, the singing was so much fun.

Still wandering in Wales for a couple more weeks - maybe Llangollen then the Valleys - then back to Scotland, and then home to my grand baby.

See you next year

Salut Patricia

I think you’re the only one who would think of yourself as a “quitter”. I’m guessing most of us thought of you as being realistic and brave and admired your resolve to try again later.

Speaking personally, I really enjoyed meeting you and the conversations we had in English, Welsh and another forbidden language :wink:

Enjoy your wanderings and come back soon. :slight_smile:

I love the aftermath of bootcamp when so many people get back to normality and realise quite how astonishingly well they did during a week of pure Welsh!

Diolch yn fawr to everyone for the effort you put in - I felt it on Saturday when there was laughter and joking straight after I banned English, and it made me think that we might have a good week. I am totally paranoid about “my” bootcampers, though, so you casued me a few worries in the first few days!

I have to say that the noson lawen was one of my highlits as well, although I’m not sure that the group will be quite forgiven for the “mortgage on the cow”, which three of my kids repeat far too often, and with varying degrees of accuracy (and often enough that I’ll occasionaly get a “sob sob” from Elliw as well!).

You were a really varied bunch this week, which makes it fun for everyone. Too much of the same kind of person can be difficult sometimes, but the laughter we had and the great food / wine / camaraderie was brilliant. And, of course the kids loved it (an appropriate time to apologise to Bill, especially, and to anyone else the kids enjoyed too much!!)

It’s always sad to see you all go on the Saturday, and a shock to hear people speaking English again (especially those whose English is so much more accented than ther Welsh!). But so lovely to hear here how much you enjoyed it, and even better to follow your progress over the following months and years to see what you get out of your new language.

Congratulations to you all, you are now most definitely Welsh speakers!

  • Patricia

“Still wandering in Wales for a couple more weeks - maybe Llangollen then the Valleys - then back to Scotland, and then home to my grand baby.”

If you are in Llangollen you are not far from me! Drop me a PM if you would like to meet up (although I won’t be around much next week).

In case anyone is interested, here are some of the pictures Bill and I took in Aberystwyth and on bootcamp.

I am sad to say that on our last day in Tresaith, my SD card with photos taken throughout the trip decided to self-select out of working existence :frowning: :cry:, so these are what we had on the other camera.


Lovely photos J & B. Sorry you lost some others but you’ve got plenty to keep your memories fresh.

It is really nice to see Bootcamp through the eyes of another Bootcamp! Thanks for sharing these, some cracking photos!

Diolch yn fawr iawn for sharing those Joanie. Was nice to see some of the places again. Sorry to hear you lost the others though.

Where we’re you guys? The old green jacket and I wandered around Pontypridd for four days and never bumped into you :wink:

So today we’ve finally gone north to Scotland, just too soon. Tomorrow London Scottish are playing the hard men of Ponty. Would have been great to go to the game in a hoe and white scarf shouting Alban am Byth!

Hope to see you next year, or in DC???