Forest Family Camp: A magical long weekend of camping under the stars and celebrating nature together
The Quadrangle Trust, Kent – 26th to 28th July 2019
With increasingly urban lives and less time to spend in nature, we’re creating a space for you and your children to feel the grass between your toes, to revitalise, replenish and rediscover your wild side.
Join us for an enriching weekend of nature connection, delicious vegetarian food, wild swimming, storytelling and music, dance, yoga and campfires hosted and curated by The Quadrangle Trust and Way of Nature.
Together we’ll build a community made up of 25 families that offers a safe space to re-wild ourselves and our children. Workshops will be aimed at children aged 4 – 8, but open to all.
Join the tribe, the camp is just the start….
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
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
Amy loves dancing, cycling and walking on her hands. Always up for adventure she has been on a boat full of scientists to the Arctic taking photos, crawled around caves searching for rare bats. She an urban farmer with a team of children and experienced camp cook, so will be leading our feasts over the weekend. If you haven’t heard of the Secret Seed Society, here is Amy talking at TEDx about why she set it up!
Max has been part of the camp team since we started 3 years ago. His days are spent with The Outward Bound Trust as an education consultant, designing outdoor learning experiences for young people from across the capital. In his spare time, you’ll find him playing in the snow, climbing on rocks, scaling mountains, cooking, camping or dancing. His passion for the outdoors is infectious!
Zoë spent her early years in the wildness of the rural Andes. The experience of growing up surrounded by a powerful landscape gave her a profound love of wildness and instilled a firm belief in the value of nature immersion to inspire, restore and connect. The sense of wonder that is so vital to a curious and open mind is something that Zoë is most grateful for as a parent and something she endeavours to bring to her work as a performer, movement teacher and osteopath, both in the UK and internationally. Zoë has also been a long term facilitator of community camps at her home on the yorkshire moors and is learning to enjoy the beauty and the chaos that collaborative community brings.
For more about Zoë see her website www.motionislotion.co.uk
– Bring your own tent: £150 per adult/£80 per child (for adults this breaks down as £80 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.
To make an enquiry and to obtain the booking link please email: Adrian Kowal
How do I get there?
Trains run frequently from London Charing Cross to Shoreham. It’s a direct train and only takes about 40 minutes.
If you’re worried about getting the train with all your stuff have a look at our packing list. Last year people said they brought far more than they used. You might be surprised how little you need for a weekend, especially when all your food and activities are catered for. We’re encouraging people to get the train together and we will post out which trains to get a few weeks before the camp. As well as supporting the environmental ethos we’re all working for, the train journey is going to be a super fun way to meet fellow campers (think hogwarts!).
If you normally just fall back on your car here’s a chance to be supported in challenging yourself to take a more environmentally friendly way to get about with your family. You might be surprised how achievable it is and you’ll be doing your bit to make the world a better place for your children’s future- by committing to pollute less, and teaching them that sustainable travel is accessible and fun!
What do I need to bring?
Below is a list of recommended equipment to make your family’s time at our camp as comfortable as possible. Please do bring a few additional bits thatyou know you or your children will need – though it is our invitation to pack as light as possible and enjoy minimal living for a few nights.
If you have a guitar that you play or percussion instrument please do bring it along!
What if it rains?
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing” forest school maxim. If you’re wearing good waterproofs and are warm and dry inside your clothes then you and your kids will find playing in the rain is fine, in fact it’s fun!
Can I charge my phone?
Our site is really small so you won’t need your phone to be in touch with friends at the camp. For that reason we encourage you to turn off your phone while here. As well as so you have your eyes and ears open to all the beautiful things you and your family will be doing.
If you need to make an urgent call to someone outside the camp you can do this from the lane where reception is available. Emergency charging is available at the farm house.
iPads, laptops and other electronics such as amplified music/speakers are not allowed at the camp.
What will we eat?
We’ll be turning seasonal ingredients into a variety of delicious and nutritious dishes for each meal. Everything will be vegetarian. There will be fun roles for us all to play in preparing, serving and tidying away from each meal. Our kitchen leader, Amy, is an expert at exciting children (and grown ups) to create and eat colourful plant based food. You’ll no doubt learn some new recipes, flavours and techniques for making food in the wilds. There’ll be some cooking on fire and with big pots!
What if me or my kids are hungry/thirsty between meals?
Teas, coffee and all sorts of healthy snacks are available to help yourself whenever you need.
Are there toilets?
There are flushing toilets at the farmhouse and lovely compost toilets in the camping field. These have the benefit of recycling human waste, and smell like sawdust.
Can I have a shower?
There are 3 warm showers at the farm house. Mostly people find that it’s much more fun to bathe in the little river that runs past the camping field.
What happens if there’s a medical problem?
We will have first aid qualified staff on site. Please ensure you let us know of any specific medical information before you arrive.