Children on Residential in North Devon

We often get asked why would people choose a small activity provider?

The answer to this is simple – Quality

I have worked in many activity centres through my 18-year career in the outdoors. Some have been large centres and some have been smaller centres. When I decided to give up working for other people and decided to set up on my own there was a reason why!


I decided I wanted a Centre where I only had one school to look after a week. I wanted the students to experience their residential to the best of our ability. When we have students on a residential they work with the same staff all week, that way they build up a really good relationship with the staff and the instructors know every child’s ability and their limits.

Being a small centre we don’t have to work to a strict timetable. Larger centres had to stick to a strict timetable to make sure students get around the activities and they all have lunch at the same time. We are not like this – if students are having a great time, or they all want another go at an activity – that’s what we do. They are the ones that have paid for the residential and we appreciate this fact, we want every child going home thinking their residential week was the best week of their lives!

Being a small team, without a large HQ means you can speak to the same people every time you have a question or query. Choosing a small Centre allows you to build a relationship with that company. Rachel is our Office Manager, or as we like to call her, our ‘Head of First Impressions’. She is usually the first person you will speak with, and normally thereafter she will always answer the phone to you. As a company our interest is to build these relationships, we want schools to return year on year. We get students telling us that we instructed their brother/sister 3 years ago – that makes us feel old!

‘The Food is Better”

When you work with a small centre, they don’t have to cater for 200-300 children a night. This means in our centre we can leave the deep fat fryer behind! All our food for our groups is freshly cooked every day and we offer a nutritional, balanced diet, which is enjoyed by the all the children.

What about the quality of the Instructors?

Being a small centre we are open 363 days a year. That means our staff are full time members of the team. We look after our staff and they stay. We invest in them and give them lots of additional training to make them better and better. Many larger centres are only open for 9 months a year and therefore they have a completely new staff team every year. When you rebook with Rock and Rapid Adventures, you will see the same faces year on year. One school has now been with us 6 years and they have had the same instructor every year!!

However I think the most important part of using a smaller centre is the flexibility. You have to book in around large centres, whereas we as a small centre allow you to book what you want. How long do you want to come? 1 night or 4 nights. What activities do you want to do? You choose your bespoke program. This is something that doesn’t happen in large centre.

In summing up my points, I feel it is better to use a small residential provider for the following reasons; Flexiblity, Great Staff, Cost, Great Educational learning and finally Value for Money.

Keith Staff Profile Picture

About The Author

After working for 15 years in the outdoor industry freelancing for different expedition and outdoor companies, Keith set up Rock and Rapid Adventures to provide the high level of customer service that he felt was missing from a large number of outdoor providers. Every element of the company reflects his passion for the outdoors and his desire to provide the highest possible level of customer service.

Whenever possible Keith is out in Spain on the climbing crags of the Costa Blanca. Keith is a qualified Climbing and Kayaking Instructor and hopefully soon to be a diving instructor.

twitter Find Out More

*/ ?>