This year, we are continuing our partnership with Matari Forest School. At present, we run about ten sessions a month, each one lasting two hours. One of the sessions, on Tuesday afternoons, is a weekly class, with returning students, whereas the others are run on a monthly basis.
The majority of these sessions take place on the southern slopes of Gwanak mountains, but we occasionally host the kids on Gwanggyo mountain too.
Children coming to us are normally aged between nine and twelve, though during the warmer months, we'll have kids as young as five come along.
Because most of the kids keep coming back, it is important that we build upon, and develop, the skills that we're teaching them.
At Canyoning Korea, our objective is to give them the fundamentals in navigating a wilderness environment, be it forest or mountain (or stream). We accomplish this by teaching them some ropework, map-reading, climbing, basic bushcraft, and how to manage their own personal apparel or equipment.
Our true aim however, is to teach them an appreciation for the natural environment, and how to conduct themselves in the outdoors in alignment with our views on 'mountain etiquette'.
To maintain their levels of interest, we give them the opportunity to have their say on what activities or topics we cover in sessions. With a little guidance from our instructors, they are steadily building their own syllabus for the coming months. It's been a little tricky as they've expressed such a high level of enthusiasm for a rather large range subjects and disciplines.
Over the past few weeks, we've been familiarising the kids with an expanding array of mountaineering equipment, and teaching them how these new tools are applied in real world scenarios. At our local scrambling area, we've recently learned roped climbing, abseiling and ascending a low angled fixed line.
If you want to find out more about Matari Forest School, find them on instagram @matariforest