During the eight years that I have been volunteering on Superweeks, I have witnessed many amazing childhood moments being experienced by the children we work with. But some of the loveliest moments, were when they realised how amazing the outside world can be.
Unfortunately, during day to day lives, children don’t always get the chance to get outside and build a den or climb a tree or go on a bug hunt or make a mud pie. But on a Superweek these things are always actively encouraged,and both staff and children join in!
We at ATE share a strong feeling that the outside world can be a real treasure trove of great things for kids to see, do, and enjoy! I have seen an eight year old boy experience jumping in a muddy puddle for the first time, A nine year old girl run up to me holding a very pretty ladybird, A fifteen year old sat by a campfire singing a beautiful song. I could go on all day, but my point is that these moments didn’t only seem special to me, as a grown up, but more importantly they were special for the children that experienced them. These moments will undoubtedly stay with the children for a very long time. and that is a lovely thought, that we could be the catalyst for a new found love and respect for the outdoors and a lovely sense of adventure.
In 2014 ATE ran their first ‘Wild Things’ Superweek. This week was very different to any Superweek before it, it was the first camping based holiday ATE had ever ran. This week was aimed at creating those lovely aforementioned moments and then grabbing those moments and running with them. Alongside camping, all week the kids learnt lots of new skills and had the opportunity to try things they wouldn’t often get the chance to do again. Everything from fire lighting, shelter building, star gazing, outdoor cooking to building rope swings. In this environment the kids had the chance to embrace nature and be truly ‘wild’ for a week (we still had showers and real food, don’t worry). The week was full of beaming smiles and happy voices and many of the children involved had been inspired in some way or another to carry on a love and respect for how amazing the outdoor world can be.
In 2015 ATE will be running another ‘Wild Things’ Superweek and it will run 4th – 11th August (more info here). It is an amazing chance to get your children out there, enjoying nature and sharing some amazing moments with the each other and the outdoors.
We hope to see you there.