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Forest School x Confidence Camp - much call??

(1 Post)
AnnaAli Tue 23-Aug-16 17:55:01

Hi guys,

Please forgive this being my first post and it being a begging one, but I'm sure it will be the start of a great relationship - and I'm sure you'll see why this was the only place to ask for opinions on this particular matter...

My friend and I have hopefully secured access to a pretty cool bit of woodland with a cabin and want to run something from there, but we're struggling to work out exactly what. She's a qualified Forest School practitioner (and tree surgeon) and I'm an ex-journalist who previously worked a lot with children and teenagers. We are late-20s/early 30s and mostly spend our spare time doing ridiculous projects like making cob pizza ovens and trying to learn to scythe. Anything outdoors, basically.

There is quite a lot of provision for Forest Schools around here (Devon) and we were trying to think about how we could provide something a little different. We were thinking about children who are not very confident and would not (for example) be comfortable joining in a sports club on a Saturday morning. Or I'm sure there are myriad other reasons why a child might want to simply come and have safe but free-ranging access to a bit of wilderness. It'd be small groups and very much child-led, so no set 'activities' as such, but we were thinking of setting a general aim for each session, whether it be insect identification, den building or navigation. if they get carried away doing something else, so be it - the emphasis would be on it simply being a positive experience more than a strictly educational thing.

I guess it's hard to explain without showing the site, but it's basically like some sort of Famous Five-style secret spot (but with a view) that makes you feel totally cocooned and safe and we really feel it would be wonderful to share it - and our enthusiasm and various skills - with youngsters.

Reading that back, it sounds like we have more of a plan than we really do! I would really welcome any comments/input on what issues you face and which services you wish were out there for your child. I should also add that my husband is a counsellor who works in child and adolescent mental health, so there is that capacity potentially there too.

Anyway, thanks a bunch for reading and I hope to hear some of your responses.


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