About Us

Who We Are

Founded in 1997, and with a heritage dating back to the 1960s, ATE are specialists in education and play. We believe that life needs more play, and so everything we do will always have fun at its heart.

ATE was created as a successor to Colony Holidays and, like our predecessor, we run play-based, community-driven summer camps, and training courses for the staff that run them. We also run residential trips for schools and other groups, and run training and one-off events for people who want more play in their professional or personal lives.

More broadly, we consider ourselves ambassadors and champions of play. We are on a mission to increase playfulness in Britain, for children and adults alike. We want to change the way grown-ups feel the place of play in their own lives, and in the lives of children.

We think it’s simple…life needs play.

“A’s confidence and independence were noticeably greater on her return. She’s made some great friends, especially with Alice, her Monitor. She came back relaxed, chatty, happy and tired – ideal!”

Our Ethos

ATE believes in a world where all children can feel safe, loved and supported; where all children have the opportunity to enjoy real adventures. ATE wants a world where life is not a series of things that have to be done, but of possibilities to savour, to have fun with and to remember forever.

We believe that children need to play; to play outside and with other people. Children need access to environments in which they can explore their imaginations, the unrealistic and the still-fictional; care-free environments with limitless possibilities that encourage them to reach for the stars.

ATE’s ethos was forged on our summer camps, and on the camps run by Colony Holidays. We exist to bring children together for adventure and play in unique residential settings, but we believe that our ideas are just as applicable for people of all ages, and in different settings.

Press & Recognition

Organisations we’ve worked with