Our Standards

1. Consideration of Peers

We know that the real key to the happiness of children is how they interact with each other. In their lives away from our camps, children may be party to, or subject to, interactions that simply aren’t kind enough. Children are briefed at the start of our camps that this does not happen at our camp, and from the outset we will help them to avoid any such incidents. Specifically, we will:

  • Point out that it is how children interact that really makes a camp fun, and in fact to just enjoy each other’s differences to enrich their camp experience
  • Let children know from the outset in a no-nonsense fashion that total inclusion is the starting point for the whole camp, where we embrace both pre-existing friendship groups and children that do not know anyone else
  • Actively promote kindness by regularly inviting children to compliment someone else in the group for ‘making their day’ in some way.*

We will coach children that need it while they are on the camp. For example, from older girls we will expect and meticulously observe for nothing less than total inclusiveness, and from older boys we will expect nothing less than appropriate language and conversation.

2. Consideration of the Public

We are hard-working, with energy, and we are organised. We do not need to cut corners in the conduct of our camps. Nor do we wish to take more of anything than we need. Children are briefed on expectations of behaviour and to think about others in public places. By this means we aim to provide adventures and memories for children without detriment to anyone else. That said we know we can’t please everyone all of the time.

We also know that we and children will make mistakes. When this happens, we will recognise it and seek to make amends.

3. Consideration of the Natural Environment

We provide outdoor experiences in the natural environment because we think it is the most important thing that we could do for young people, and because we love the natural environment and we love to live and work amongst it. It follows from all of these things that the preservation of the natural environment is of paramount importance to us.

Our camps and activities will always therefore find ways to draw attention to the natural environment and to learn about it. Because we know that the more that children know about something, the more interest they can take in it, and we also know that the more we enjoy something the more we care about its future. So, through our outdoor experiences we will help bestow upon children an interest and fondness for the natural environment that will enthuse them and enable them to become guardians of it through their adult lives.

4. Consideration of Private Property

We know that the land and facilities and equipment that we use or which are affected by us, don’t just exist. Invariably they come about through personal dedication and the relentless investment of someone’s time and money. We will help children to appreciate that, it will not be taken for granted and we will treat private property with the respect that it deserves, at all times.

5. Physical Endeavour

Physical endeavour makes people feel better at the end of it. And we are better people when we are happy. Doubtless there are thousands of whole books about it, but we don’t need to expand on it here. Suffice to say that physical endeavour is a cornerstone of our camps.

We will never lack the skills, the energy and the creativity to fully engage every child in every physical activity. But we will also recognise when one child has reached a limit (or has a pre-existing limitation), whilst perhaps another child isn’t being fully stretched. We will differentiate the activity for them to achieve 100% engagement and success in our objective for the quality of every child’s outdoor experience. Sometimes that means recognising when a child just needs a break. Other times, one child that is faring better physically can reach fulfilment from taking on some responsibility for the team or helping another child so that the whole group does succeed in that sense of achievement.

6. Teamwork is More Important than Competition

We love physical competition, but we know a lot of children don’t respond well to it. In fact, it is often only the winner that is truly beaming at the end of it. 1 out of eg. 14 children feeling on top of the world isn’t good enough for us. So, we allow physical competition and commend children that win, but from the outset we are clear that individual competition is always second to the level of endeavour, behaviour, and where applicable the quality of teamwork and sportsmanship. It is only these latter things that are ever eligible for any tangible prizes. Furthermore, every child will exhibit something deserving high praise, and we will notice it and we will compliment them on it. We want 14 out of 14 on top of the world.

7. 100% Success Rate

We provide outdoor experiences because we think they are important to children. We also recognise the potential of the experience to make a discernible positive difference to a young person’s life. A negative or indifferent experience would be a lost opportunity at best, but we think it is worse than that – we would be letting the child down. We will never lack the skills, the energy or the ratios to allow an indifferent experience.

We will start by ensuring children are put at ease as quickly as possible. We know that for many children the most important thing is to be noticed, recognised, known by name and launched straight into the hubbub and rapport of the camp when they arrive and if ever they find themselves alone. Furthermore, our activities are always delivered with the dynamism necessary to engage and re-engage individual children at all times.

Notwithstanding this, children may find things difficult at times or tire or become homesick or want to do something different to what the whole group is doing – sometimes there will be tears. What matters to us is how the child subsequently reflects on the overall experience.

8. Employment Opportunities

We employ a small number of adults. For all our adult staff, these standards and the skills to deliver them, are utterly ingrained. But we pride ourselves immensely on employing young people too, in an appropriate capacity, because:

  • They share a perspective with the children that adults can not
  • They are an inspiration and friend to the children, and they can take a child under their wing for any moments where that might be called for, or they can make up team or pairing numbers in an activity where we’re otherwise a child or two short
  • They have an energy and sense of fun unburdened by the responsibilities of adulthood

Most satisfyingly for us however, we can deliver a different type of benefit to deserving children that we come to know through our own lives and our camps, by employing them. This delivers a benefit beyond the provision of outdoor experiences, as those children progress towards adulthood.

For 13-14 year olds, we can provide work experience on a voluntary basis. For older children we can provide them with often their first employment, pay and work responsibilities and in all cases in a fun environment providing its own memories for them.

9. Opportunities for all Children

We know that a lot of our outdoor experiences are beyond the financial means of a lot of families, but this is an economic reality for a private business. As a business and as private individuals we are always interested in balance however, and in opportunities to deliver whatever our resources might have to offer to those that could benefit most. It is only through a financially successful business/employment that we can take pride in, that we can come to have and share such resources.

10. Health and Safety

This is of course our first priority. We know that however beneficial the provision of an outdoor experience may be, or however beneficial all our provided experiences combined may be, this would count for little in the event of any serious avoidable harm to an employee or a child. So, we bring to bear all our experience as qualified activity leaders, parents, adults and teachers, to the design of every activity and to the safe management of children at all times whether on a specific activity or not.

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