Would you like to go on a DIY bootcamp?

There’s been some discussion on the forum recently about the possibility of people organizing bootcamps on their own. Aran and Catrin have been most encouraging of the idea - Catrin has even offered to share her collected planning resources with anyone interested. :sunny:

In the meantime, Hewrop and I have been in conversation about possibly organizing something for later in the year and I believe a few other people also have some plans incubating. I thought it might be useful at this point to try and gauge what the interest level is for this type of event and to gather some information about what people would find appealing. So…I’ve made a little survey in Google docs. It’s pretty short and should only take a couple of minutes to complete. For anyone who’d like to share their thoughts on the the subject, the survey can be reached via this link. I’ll summarize the results here in due course. Diolch!


Maybe “Bootleg Bootcamp”? :slight_smile:


Many thanks @Deborah-SSi for mentioning the survey in the newsletter this week and thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to complete it. I’ll leave it running for a few more days and then post a summary of the results.


I’ve just tried to fill in the survey but it wouldn’t work, came up ‘error’.


Hmm…I just tried the link on a friend’s computer and on my tablet and it worked fine on both. Maybe you could try it again? Or try cutting and pasting the full link:

Please let me know if you still can’t get it.

So are you guys any further along with this idea? Please keep us posted as to your plans and let us know if you need any further help. X

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Yes, Catrin. Patricia and I are working on this by Skype and e-mail. She has encountered a temporary holdup but one of us will report back soon.

(BTW, I located this wonderful venue only to find that you guys had already used it for your luxury bootcamp :blush: )


Ah, bendigedig!

Remember that if you end up close to us for your DIY Bootcamp, that it would be a pleasure for us to come and visit. :slight_smile:


After some delay (apologies!) I have the results of the DIY bootcamp survey. About 40 people contributed their time to this project and offered many thoughtful ideas - thanks much to all. Below is a summary of the data collected. If anyone would like to see more detail on any aspect of this, just send me a PM.

The strongest interest seemed to be for a shorter bootcamp-like experience (three to four days) in a predominantly Welsh speaking area. Huw and I were quite keen to try organizing something along these lines and did some preliminary planning toward such an event. Unfortunately, we discovered after much to-ing and fro-ing that the only weekend we both have available is the same weekend that the September SSiW bootcamp will be taking place. We didn’t feel it was appropriate to schedule another potentially similar event for that weekend, so regretfully, we have decided not to proceed with the project for the time being. We still feel that it’s an idea well worth pursuing and we hope to be able to take it up again in the first half of next year. And perhaps others will get inspired to organize some immersion adventures in the meantime.

DIY bootcamp survey summary

The respondents

  • Most people (67%) had completed at least one SSiW bootcamp.
  • Most (72%) had completed at least Course 2 of SSiW Welsh.

Regarding makeup of the group for a DIY bootcamp

  • Most people (89%) were interested in a DIY bootcamp with people at a
    mixture of levels of proficiency in Welsh, though there was also
    significant interest in bootcamps with mainly more experience (48%)
    or mainly less experienced speakers (25%).

  • To the question of the minimum number of participants for a good
    bootcamp experience, the replies ranged from 4 to 10, with the
    average and most frequent reply being 6.

  • To the question of the maximum number of participants for a good
    bootcamp experience, the replies ranged from 8 to 16, with the
    average and most frequent reply being 12.

  • In regard to the importance of having a first language/fluent Welsh
    speaker on board, 36% thought that was essential, 39% thought it
    important but not necessary and 25% would be comfortable with only
    learners in the group.

Regarding type of accommodation

  • 20% prioritized low cost over comfort/luxury/privacy

  • 40% prioritized comfort/luxury/privacy over cost

  • 40% were happy to be flexible, depending on what others wanted

Regarding length of bootcamp

  • 95% of respondents were interested in a bootcamp less than a week in

  • The most popular choices in this regard were 3 days and 4 days.

Regarding locations for a bootcamp

In regard to appealing locations, all of the areas suggested in the question received endorsement by more than 50% of respondents. Ranked by popularity:

Dolgellau (tied for first)
Ynys Môn/Anglesey (tied for first)
Bannau Brycheiniog/Brecon Beacons

There were lots of suggestions for other places that might work for a bootcamp. Within Wales, the most frequently suggested locations suggested were Pen Llŷn and Bala. Others included:

Dyffryn Clwyd
rural Denbighshire
North/northwest Wales generally
Plas Tan y Bwlch
Nant Gwrtheyrn

Locations suggested outside of Wales:
north of Britain

Additionally, several people stressed the need for a location that is easily accessible both by car and by public transport.

Regarding degree of structure

Equal numbers favoured similar amount of structure as an SSiW bootcamp and a lesser degree of structure. No one favoured more structure.

Regarding themed bootcamps

Nearly all (90%) of respondents were interested in a themed bootcamp, history and walking being the most popular themes, followed by music, food and camping. Additionally, natural history was also suggested as a possibility.

Other suggestions

  • bootcamp with smaller bootcamps within it

  • “moving” bootcamp - staying a night or two in each location

  • something involving children

  • something including non-Welsh speaking partners


Having seen from close up, may I say how much effort and considerable expertise Patricia has invested in this exercise. Diolch yn fawr iddi hi.

It was a combined but reluctant decision not to proceed right now.

I’m sure the information she has gleaned from her survey will be of use if and when people want to pursue this excellent idea in the future.


I don’t think you should let this stop you - especially not after so much detailed and thoughtful work.

You’re talking about a shorter experience, which is what a lot of people want - so I think it’s unlikely that anyone who wants a full Bootcamp week would decide to go for the shorter experience instead. It looks at first sight like a clash, but I don’t think it really is :sunny:


Might be the two groups of bootcampers “crash” into each-other … what happy experience is that!!! ?

(this sounds fun!)
(just a happy thought dropping out of my head and heart) :sunny:


Great work Patricia & Huw, sounds like there will be much interest in mini-bwtcamps as and when they are available.


Much appreciated Ruth - diolch o galon


thanks ever so much for going to all the effort of pulling all this information together. I’m delighted to see that there’s interest in shorter bootcamps. I know the benefit of longer term immersion but it can be very hard to find a full spare week. If a short camp was organised in autumn or winter i’d be very interested.


Thank you for doing all the research and putting the summary together. It’s interesting to see what emerged from the responses. Look forward to further developments.


Enjoyed reading the results. Would love to go on a mini boot camp later in the year, say October / November. Bala is a good place… theres a Backpackers Hostel , reasonably priced, Bryn y Groes conference centre and the Urdd’s Glan -Llyn camp.