Four night residential courses now form the core of our activities offering a wonderful variety of adventure and fun activities in some of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring scenery that the UK has to offer.
The breath-taking beauty of the Scottish Highlands and Islands provide the kind of back drop in which young people can thrive and while our programme is based around fun, there is also a serious side to it. We want our young participants to experience the thrill of helping a friend succeed, of discovering that they have skills they never knew they had and of finding out that working as a team doesn't just benefit the individual but everyone.
Pre-Covid we had offered and filled 130 places for young people spread from Easter through to the July and August summer holidays. Several of these were then moved back into October to try and salvage something from our programme, sadly to no avail. In 2019 we switched to the four night stay format - arriving on Mondays and departing on Fridays - rather than the mainly five night stays we had offered in the past. This change was prompted by discussions with our user groups, most of whom felt the new format would be easier for them to organise staffing arrangements while still giving young people a significant and beneficial respite stay. Again this is something which is always open to further discussion as we are happy to tailor our programme to suit the young people who are involved with it, in fact often their views are at the core of any changes which do take place.
To date our experience has shown that young people thrive in the fantastic settings we can offer them and the incredible backdrops allow them to enjoy new challenges and experiences which they are never likely to forget.
Our annual programme brings the best out of the young people who attend, allowing them to meet with others from a similar background, share their experiences, cares, concerns and successes, while giving them a more positive outlook on their own lives.
The courses are deliberately intended to give these young people a real break from their own caring responsibilities and a chance to have fun and just enjoy being young. However, there is no doubt that they come away with more self-confidence in their own abilities and a better idea of their potential and some of the possibilities that are open to them.
In the recent past we have concentrated much of our efforts on working with young carers, those who can miss out on so much that life has to offer. However, we are interested in being involved with other young people, no matter what walk of life they are drawn from. Hopefully our programme gives them a glimpse of the opportunities open to them and adds fresh focus to their lives.
While Camp&Trek continues to allow young people the chance to explore and enjoy the Great Outdoors, often for the very first time, we also aim to open their eyes to new opportunities and allow them to not only discover strengths and skills they did not know they had, but to return to their own communities more confident and self-aware.
Although some uncertainty still exists we have now put in place a programme for the forthcoming year. Places for the various courses have already been filled by the groups of young people who sadly missed out in 2020 because of COVID. Hopefully that experience will not be repeated this year!
If all goes according to plan then around 90 young people will be involved in a series of residentials which will run through July and August. This year we will be returning to Glencoe Independent Hostel with activities there run once again by Hebridean Pursuits Outdoor Learning. We will also be utilising a new venue, for us, at Abernethy Trust’s Barcaple Centre located in a secluded setting in the rolling hills of Dumfries and Galloway near Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright. We are sure everyone will have a wonderful time!
Four night residential stays, combining a chance to enjoy the Great Outdoors and for young people to work as a team to discover more about their own and others strengths and abilities, continue to be at the heart of what we do, although we are always willing to discuss alternatives. We work primarily with young carers but are happy to chat about the possibility of involvement with young people from all walks of life. All our courses are heavily subsidised and currently leaders, usually two to a group of eight young people, go for free.
The list of dates and venues for 2021 are follows:
Abernethy Barcaple Centre, https://abernethy.org.uk/our-centres/ July 12-16 & July 26-30
Glencoe Independent Hostel, Glencoe https://www.glencoehostel.co.uk/hostel-bunkhouse/ activities run by Hebridean Pursuits Outdoor Learning July 5-9, July 12-16, July 26-30, August 2-6
Although all places for 2021 are provisionally filled don't let that put you off. If you are looking to take a group of young people away next year then, through potential drop-outs or other opportunities, we may still be in a position to help out! So why not get in touch? Call us for a chat on 077658 99650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org