Building communities through music, arts, crafts & friendship.

Camping with Flysheet

Aims and objectives

  • To build a community for a week where people camp together as a group, learn to take responsibility for themselves and grow and experiment in a safe and caring environment.
  • To be creative through music, arts and crafts and friendship.
  • To develop curiosity about each other and the world around us.
  • To co-operate and share.
  • To be valued and value what others give too.
  • Learn new skills, survive in the outdoors and be close to nature.

How a camp works – camps are a communal holiday for Staff and Children. They only run well as a community when everyone in the group shares out the work and joins together in the activities. Everyone is expected to do his or her fair share of jobs such as water/wood fetching and cooking.

Camp sites – are chosen at fairly remote places in the countryside There is often a stream or river nearby. Toilets are trenches properly dug in the ground and screened off to make it private. Disinfected water and soap and brush are used.

Groups and sizes – there are usually three groups, little group, middle group and top group. Each group camps in an area of the woods with its own staff members, and does activities within that group We also do whole camp activities and have a whole camp meeting once a day.

At the beginning of a camp, the adults in each group will help the children to decide who is sharing a tent and then help them to pitch their tent, get their stuff unpacked etc. if necessary. If you have any worries talk to a member of staff.

Cooking – all the cooking is done on a wood fire in the kitchen area with grids and hot water tanks. A caterer looks after ordering food and planning meals. Everyone takes turns to be on cooking duty and each group has about 2 children of each age group and 2 or 3 adults. They prepare a three meals for everyone else and wash up afterwards.

Water – has to be fetched at least once a day. Everyone is expected to help do this as necessary.

Wood – Again this is usually done every day and everybody helps collect wood and learns to use axes and saws so that it can be used to cook with.

End of the day – there is a camp fire for everybody, though the older groups may also make their own. Every night we sit round it, chat, have cocoa and biscuits and sing songs until bedtime.

Activities – these partly depend on where we are camping but usually include, swimming, walking to the local village, playing communal games in the field, playing in the woods, developing outdoor skills, pitching tents, using maps, night games, making things with wood, painting, woodcarving and various craft activities. We may go cycling or climbing depending on the local area. The older groups often go on a hike when they carry all they need for a night with them and find somewhere to sleep out together.

Group cooking -We usually cook in groups one evening and every group goes off and makes their own fire and cooks their own tea.

Meetings – We meet once a day and sit round in a circle so that the whole camp has the time to talk to each other about how the camp is going, what has happened so far and agree on activities together. Everyone gets a chance to talk and be listened to and be a part of the whole community of camp.

Pea Fair – one afternoon everybody makes stalls and uses peas as currency to pay to have goes on each others games etc.

Show – one night there is a show when children and staff do turns on a stage built on one side of the fire.

We all decide together what the activities will be and then everyone is expected to join in with what has been decided.

Who can camp – Campers come from various parts of the country. The children’s Secretary and the Staffing Secretary mail out to children and staff to find out who wants to camp. The number of children we can take depends how many staff we have. The camp organiser works out how many we can take and lets everyone know if they have a place. We try to keep a ratio of one adult to two or three children. We prioritise Children who won’t get a holiday otherwise, children who have camped before or whose family- have camped before. We make sure there is a balance between girls and boys, women and men.

Equipment – Flysheet has tents. Also sleeping bags and bedding, but not enough for everyone. Please bring a sleeping bag and a mat or blanket to lie on if you can. Sometimes it is very wet and muddy so you need changes of clothes and a waterproof coat and shoes or boots. You will get a full equipment list mailed to you by the camp organiser if you get a place. Please don’t bring radios,  iPods, other mp3 players or other devices which might be a target for others or that might isolate you from the camp community.

Fees – are on a sliding scale to try and make sure that no-one misses the chance to have a holiday because they can’t afford it. Children and Staff both pay at the same rates to go on holiday. Flysheet is not a rich charity and each year we struggle to float the camp as a lot has to be paid for in advance. It helps if fees are paid as soon as you have a place confirmed

Staff – we always need more staff. If you are interested in finding out about training and joining us, please contact the staffing secretary.