“To hear my children talk about all that they discovered, to see the life in their eyes as they relive their experience and to notice the depth of feeling is to know that I have given them something as a parent to treasure forever.”
What is the aim of the camp?
Our Forest Rangers camp incorporates a highly successful blend of nature awareness, bushcraft, outdoor games and storytelling. The aim is to empower the children with new skills, to deepen their relationship with nature and breed a new confidence to continue to discover it for themselves. Most of all, this programme aims to deliver a hugely enjoyable childhood experience which will be remembered forever.
What will the children be doing?
Bushcraft is the art and science of living from the land. It demands that we open all of our senses to pay the closest attention to the world around us. The activities may include fire by friction, shelter building, woodcraft, plants for food/resources and natural cordage.
Nature awareness is the study of wildlife and the practice of getting really close to it. Using a combination of fieldcraft skills we’ll study tracks and signs, explore sensory awareness activities, and use the dawn and the night to locate and observe wildlife.
Storytelling – traditional tales with a wildlife theme, told to the children around the campfire help to make sense of both the experience of the programme and the natural world around them.
What do the children gain?
These programmes require the children to respond to a demanding (and enjoyable) sequence of tasks in an unfamiliar setting. The likely outcomes from participating in such a dynamic interaction with the natural world are an increased enthusiasm, energy and motivation. Most importantly of all, the course is designed to give the children a really exciting and meaningful time together in nature! The activities can have a positive impact in many areas including: organisation, integrity, planning, teamwork, observation, problem-solving, tenacity, awareness, communication, responsibility, attitude and leadership.
How will the camp be?
Our team create a supportive, friendly and nurturing environment in which children can practice new skills; learn about wildlife, flora & fauna and the natural wonders around them; play outdoor team games and have fun. The children are generally active and lively but the pace is relaxed and without pressure. We want the children to feel comfortable and supported throughout – to encourage them to join in and have a go at what’s on offer but also to support them to sit out and take a break when needed.
See details on the practicalities in the Essentials section below including how to reserve a place.
Sign your child up for outdoor fun & challenges; bushcraft skills & storytelling and much more!
Elena Harris: Elena was the co-founder of Wildlings; an outdoor based home education setting in the Chilterns. She participated in WildWise’s outdoor leadership programme Call of the Wild 2017, and since then continued to train and volunteer with WildWise until being given an instructor position in 2020. She is a qualified level 3 Forest School leader and has also trained in bushcraft with Ray Mears’ company Woodlore. She home educated her 2 children focusing on nature connection, consent-based education and NVC resolution. She is passionate about reconnecting people with the land, indigenous knowledge and nature-based practices and crafts.
Cameron Harris: A lifelong Dartmoor resident and lover of all that is wild and free, Cameron began working with WildWise in 2020 and since then has been involved in various projects centred around co-creating playful, wonder filled spaces for young people to connect with themselves and their natural environment. Special interests include ancestral skills/primitive skills, exploring the rhythms and techniques of how our ancestors lived and interacted with their world – crafting with wood, bone, stone, clay, leather, and copper to create tools and jewellery. Tracking is another great passion – honing our ability to notice tiny signs and read the stories written in our surroundings. Dartmoor’s stories are a huge inspiration. He is immersed in local folklore and loves to hear and tell a story around the fireside. A passion for social justice as well as the wild and natural world has led him on a journey of discovery; working extensively in home educating, learning how to facilitate consent-based communicative spaces, reframing ideas of ‘challenging behaviour’ and working in a therapeutic and trauma informed way.
Kael Atterton: Kael is passionate about ancestral skills and crafts and is committed to sharing the knowledge and skills that he has learnt. Through practicing natural crafts, he experiences a direct connection to our shared ‘stone-age’ past and wishes to share this potential for ancestral connection and lineage with those he teaches. He sees these skills and crafts as a way to foster beneficial and reciprocal relationships with the living natural world, as it has done so for him. Kael believes that earth skills are empowering and can help people feel connected with their bio region and feel a sense of place and belonging, he finds great joy in both teaching and practicing them himself. He runs Red Squirrel Ancestral Skills with his beloved, Cat Powell, where they run a weekly “Stone Age School” and teaches adults ancestral skills.
We have filled our Seasonal Assistant posts now but we are still looking for volunteers. Come along to our Volunteer Information & Induction day on Dartmoor on March 23rd. Lunch included! Find out more here…