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Our First Post!!

September 9, 2016

Hello! We are Back2Basics, a fun recreational camp designed to introduce children to the great outdoors and teach them fundamental skills whilst having time away from technology and the internet. Back2Basics is ran by Aaron and Stuart, who have a combined 5 years’ experience working with children in a camp environment, and so know how to get the very best out of kids.

Our camp is semi-structured, so that we can fit as many activities as possible into a day, without having the timetabling rigidity of school.

When kids arrive on the first evening, the first task is to pitch the tents. With some help from the counsellors, the kids pitch their own tents that they are sleeping in which provides a hands on activity for bunk mates to get to know one another. Once sleeping arrangements have been agreed upon, we get the camp fire going, as camp wouldn’t be camp without a warm fire! Our bush craft specialist Stuart shows the kids how to start a fire, using varied techniques, and the kids help by collecting firewood.

The last task of the evening is dinner. At Back2Basics, we want kids to have the fullest experience possible, and so in the groups that they are sleeping in the kids prepare and cook their own dinners (under adult supervision of course!). Even the youngest kids or those that have never cooked before are able to participate and enjoy learning about outdoor cooking. Typical meals are hotdogs, burgers, chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognaise, risotto, etc.

The after dinner treat is ‘smores’, an American camping classic but with a British twist. Nothing beats the taste of flame roasted marshmallows! After sitting around the campfire for stories and songs, we have lights-out which is dependent on the child’s age, but tends to be around 9pm.

Morning reveille is 7:30am, with breakfast cooked from 8am. A typical breakfast consists of cereal, fruit, eggs, bacon, and toast. Again, this meal is cooked by the kids with the help of the adults. Once we have cleaned the camp and washed faces, we head out for the day’s activities.

Our activities vary from simple games such as chain tig and marco polo, to education sessions where we teach map reading and compass skills. All activities are performed within the safe and secure environment of Norwood Park. There’s no real time-scale or constrictions, which allows us to tailor each day’s activities to the group. At the end of the day, we want the kids to have fun and do the activities they want to do, not what’s prescribed by the timetable. We return for lunch at midday, and have a rest hour to allow food to digest and kids to relax. Lunch consists of soup, sandwiches, and fruit.

We return to activities at around 2:30pm, and go till around 5pm. The afternoon session is usually kept for bigger activities such as treasure hunts, orienteering, and hikes. Again, any suggested activity by the kids is more than welcomed. While we encourage participation in all games and lessons, we understand that certain activities are not everyone’s favourite, and so we never force any child to do an activity that they do not want to do.

Once we return to the camp for the evening, the format is exactly the same as the night before, where the kids help cook and clean up.

The following morning, after breakfast, the kids help to take down the camp by rolling up the sleeping bags (we swear the bags get smaller when we try to put the bag back in!), and dismantling the tents. We want everyone to leave the camp the way they found it, as the camp has been our home for the two days. Midday is pickup time, and it is farewell from the counsellors. Parents are greeted to happy kids with stories to tell and a bag full of washing (sorry!).

We hope that that gives a bit of an insight into our camp and how we operate. If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we love to hear from you.

 

 

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