Forest Family Camp: A magical long weekend of camping under the stars and celebrating nature together
The Quadrangle Trust, Kent – 24th to 26th July 2020
A great place to meet other families looking to enjoy more adventures in the outdoors. Gain confidence in camping, cooking on fire, foraging, free-play and cross-cultural sharing which we can struggle to find in the busy city.
Nature provides a space for us to discover ourselves and our family in new ways, time feels different, we feel different.
Our camp is for families of all shapes and sizes. Together we build a self-sufficient community, made up of about 25 families. There is a role for everyone to play whatever our age, skills and passions. If you are unsure whether it is the right camp for your family please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Leading the camp are a team of outdoor-living enthusiasts and educators with passion and skills in nature, play, craft, food, music, well-being and story-telling. They’ll support you and your family to explore and connect with your new environment, community and the art of mindful living.
You’ll be part of a creative and nurturing community, supported to follow the camp values:.
REACH OUT – Embrace others with your curiosity and your arms, ask for what you need
BE THE MAGIC – be part of the moment, bring your skills, your energy, your intuition and create what is needed.
BREATHE – It sounds silly to say ‘breathe’ but how we breathe can change how we think and feel. We can look around ourselves, connect with our senses and find a moment of calm amongst the excitement for ourselves and for others.
The Quadrangle is a great space for this gathering, easy to travel to from London and the South of England. A chance to live outdoors and explore a wild-swimming river, an orchard and permaculture forest garden and a cosy yurt for community bedtime storytelling. While we meet all our needs in the orchard the huge brick barn provides a place to congregate for dining, play and workshops if we need a break from extraordinarily bad weather.
The emphasis is on creating together, seeing how much we have to explore and enjoy when we are with less belongings. The days take on a natural rhythm around the weather, the daylight, cooking and communing.
Your day can flow between bushcraft, storytelling, cooking, movement, music, face-painting, fire building, wild swimming, nature connection, foraging. There are sessions for parents to take time to reflect on what you are experiencing and inspiring practical workshops around being in nature as a family. 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 and nature connection
– Allowing their children to be ‘free-range’ in a safe environment
– Low-impact living
– Who want to learn with their kids
– Interested to meet new people, try new things
Not for parents wanting to:
– Drop their kids off and take a backseat
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.
Free places & free kit
We rely on the support of our community (you) and your community (neighbours, friends, family, schools, churches) to raise funds to provide free and subsidised places.
If you would like to run a fundraiser please get in touch
If you would like to give or lend kit to participants please get in touch
This is a great opportunity to unravel from unhelpful habits.
We 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.
We offer a minimal sugar diet.
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
Arrive between 2 – 3.30pm on Friday
The camp ends between 4-5pm on Sunday
Amy is always learning new things and her curiosity is contagious. She has a particular passion for vegetables and runs projects encouraging people to grow, cook and eat more vegetables. Check out her talk about Secret Seed Society.
Adrian Kowal Co-Founder of Way of Nature and Founder of evolve wellness centre
Jessie Teggin Creative Director of The Quadrangle Trust.
– 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)
– 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 a booking please follow this link: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/wayofnature/287698
If you have any questions 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!).
Ditch the car…
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!
1. Water containers – minimum 1 litre water bottles for adults and smaller for children
2. Sleeping Bags
3. Sleeping Mat/Thermarest
5. Head torch with full batteries
6. Eye masks
7. Warm clothing and clothing to change into – two layers of everything
8. Waterproof layers [jacket & trousers – you never know with the English weather ;)]
9. Extra layers for warmth at night
10. Hats for warmth and hats for sun
11. Wellies or Hiking boots – and spare shoes in case of rain like sandals
12. Picnic blanket
13. Socks to change
14. Swimming costume
16. Comfortable clothes for stretching/yoga activities
17. Yoga mat
18. Dressing up clothes for the children
19. Sun cream and shades to protect your eyes
20. Mosquito repellant
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.
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.