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Each year around this time our web-site reawakens with information and forms for the next summer camp. We were so lucky with the last camp (2016). The weather was just incredible and the helper team and children were all in such a good space throughout. I really felt that we were creating a genuine, creative, ‘extended family’ experience for everyone. I can still feel it now all these months later and know just how much these camps energise, enthuse and inspire me year after year. Yes there is always that obligatory trepidation before each camp as well – nothing in life is guaranteed – but somehow these camps keep doing it for me, the children and all the helpers who simply keep returning year after year. They are all young students who offer 2 weeks of their precious holidays and dedicate themselves to the children entirely voluntarily each year. Indeed none of us is paid and the modest surplus after each camp is used exclusively to replace and upgrade equipment and to sponsor participants for our annual Youth Camp (Stroud Youth Initiative) held during Easter each year. This camp in 2017 will be my 17th camp!! Aaron
The 2015 camp turned out to be a little wetter than we would have liked but certainly a very positive and fulfilling experience for all. We had 63 children and some 33 helpers and one dog (Gus the pug!). I have never seen so many children and helpers in tears saying goodbye and not wanting to go home at the end of the camp. It’s hard to know what to put that down to. Certainly the helper team really came on board with creative ideas and enthusiasm. It was also our second year with a ‘Youth’ group for the 14- 15 yr olds and they were a really strong and engaged group many of whom have said they want to return as helpers next year. That’s exactly what it’s all about.
Every year I think we’re not going to get the numbers and then lo and behold we do. And so again this year we now have exactly 60 children signed up. A great number for a good social dynamic. The weather forecast is looking good and the helpers are enthusiastic and prepared. On Tuesday the 14th the helper team arrives to set up camp – dig loos, put up tents, transform the barn into a kitchen, dining area, circle meeting area, craft area etc And generally bond and prepare for the arrival of the children on the 18th. Exciting! – Aaron