Forest Family Camp: A magical long weekend of camping under the stars and celebrating nature together
The Quadrangle Trust, Kent – 28th to 30th July 2017
An enriching weekend of forest school, delicious meals prepared by in-house chefs, wild swimming, yoga and campfires carefully hosted and curated by The Quadrangle Trust and Way of Nature.
The camp will be a small and intimate event for no more than 35 families with young children. The forest school activities are designed for children between 2 and 7 years old but are open to all.
We bring together forest school leaders, amazing healthy caterers, musicians and holistic well-being therapists to create a shared space where you and your family can be guided to explore connecting with nature and the art of mindful living.
The Quadrangle is a great space for this gathering with a wild-swimming river, a huge brick barn to use for dining, play and workshops, an orchard and permaculture forest garden. A yurt sits by the river and a 1970 Airstream caravan under the trees overlooking the pond is a rainy-day playroom and kid’s library.
The programme will include bushcraft sessions, storytelling, dancing, music, face-painting, fire building, practical workshops for parents around inspiring activities in nature for the whole family, adult and children’s yoga and lots of time for ‘free play’, which might include snoozing in the meadow, wild swimming or woodland walks.
Packing list and pick up times from Shoreham station to come in the Welcome Pack once you have registered.
Who’s it for?
Parents interested in:
– Forest schooling
– Allowing their children to be ‘free-range’ in a safe environment
– Low-impact living
Not for parents wanting to:
– Drop their kids off and party
Most of the camp activities are designed for children aged 2 to 7 but it is open to all.
The aim of the camp isn’t to just have a fun weekend but to provide parents and children with the inspiration, games and tools to support a lot more time spent outdoors as a family.
We see our children spending more time outdoors as crucial to their education and incredibly supportive of a more whole upbringing.
Why is this important? Read more here about the benefits of being in nature and having freedom to play.
In order to keep the modern distractions of technology at bay we will all enjoy a digital detox and request all participants to leave laptops and iPads at home and have their phones switched off or on silent for the duration of the camp.
A Low-Impact Week-end
We’ll be aiming for the weekend to have as low a carbon footprint as possible and our environmental policy includes:
– Vegetarian food
– Food that is locally sourced or home-grown
– Recycling and re-using wherever possible
– Saving water (encouraging people to swim in the river rather than have a bath/shower)
– Organising lift shares and doing pick-ups from the station to discourage driving
The Forest Garden: In 2010 the trustees at the Quadrangle began looking at how the pasture field could be used in a different way, produce food and help to educate people in ecology and low-impact living. The concept of a forest garden using the design principles of permaculture began taking shape. There is now over hundred young trees – apples, pears, plums and autumn olives, and fruit bushes – gooseberries, raspberries, red, black and white currants. Paths take you through the long grasses and around the trees to the camping circles. The river Darent runs gently beside the garden, with steps down to it for swimming and boating.
We will use the Main Barn as our dining space and backup workshop space if we have wet weather.
A Mongolian yurt and a vintage Airstream are on site for play and workshop spaces/dens.
There are 6 toilets and three showers on-site including 2 compost toilets in the Forest Garden camping field.
Arrive between 2 – 3.30pm on Friday
The camp ends between 4-5pm on Sunday
Camp leaders include:
Maggie Scrimgeour is a Level 3 Forest School Leader who works at Into the Woods Nursery in Highgate, London, runs a 5-7 year old home school group and a monthly family forest school session in Queens Wood. She was inspired by the forest school ethos and educational approach in 2008 when her son was born. Through her research and experience in educator she began to understand how children who have limited access to the countryside and wild space need to be facilitated to spend time outdoors and that this should be creative and child led.
Stacey Cohen is a musician and educator who has been inspiring youngsters in the outdoors for 12 years. She has worked in environmental education for The National Trust, Wolverhampton Children’s Services, schools and independent woodland and community events; as well as coordinating a children’s activity area at a major green festival. Her work combines elements of forest school, wild art/natural play; and more. Stacey Cohen Music
Max Girardeau works for The Outward Bound Trust connecting young people from schools across London to remote and wild places in the UK to help develop their social and emotional skills. Before joining Outward Bound he completed the Year Here Fellowship where he spent a year testing early stage grassroots solutions to the disadvantage of opportunity faced by many children in London. He is a mountain dweller at heart and passionately advocates the developmental power of deep connections with the natural world.
Jonnie Taylor is a qualified bushcraft instructor, wild forager and countryside enthusiast with many years experience working with youth groups, schools and the Scout movement. Born and bred in the Surrey countryside, and given the freedom to roam as a child, his life was full of wildlife and exploring. He’s passionate about sharing his experience and knowledge of animals, plants and landscapes and taking children and adults on adventures where they learn to connect with nature in new ways.
Also expect story-tellers, musicians, delectables chefs and much more…
– Bring your own tent: £140 per adult/£75 per child (for adults this breaks down as £70 for the weekend ticket that includes all the workshops, talks and events and £70 for all the amazing meals)
– If you’d like a bit more luxury then please register your interest in a family bell tent by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
– We have a few bursary places available – please get in touch if you would like to find out more.
Price includes local transfers from the station, all sessions and vegetarian meals and snacks.