So after a few years of being part of the home ed community we decided to go to the next step, home ed camps. We camp regularly both as a family and with cubs so the camping part of the adventure was nothing new but it was great to do it with many other like-minded people. As adults we got to meet other families and parents who are on the same journey as us, it gave us the chance to see how others travel the road. As for the boys they had a great time making new friends and playing from dawn til dusk, and beyond!!
The first camp we did was ‘The Really Wild Home Ed Gathering’. This was a very structured camp with different workshops running throughout the day. It was mostly based upon the great outdoors looking at all areas of bushcraft however if that wasn’t what your children were into there were workshops running alongside covering things like art, storytime, self-defence, Bollywood dancing, ukulele lessons, bracelet making, yoga, pizza making and family olympics.
My boys loved the bushcraft though. They tried whittling and made tent pegs and spoons. They built fires and shelters, they learned how to search and rescue and how to build trust by doing a blindfolded walk with a partner. They learnt to forage and stalk. The boys learnt so much and had a ball, there favourite thing to do now when out and about is eat nettles!! If you get the chance to go I would really recommend it. The campsite was gorgeous, the people welcoming and the choice of activities amazing!
The second camp was a completely different kettle of fish. This was ‘Peak Camp’ which is enjoyed out in Derbyshire. This camp was completely unplanned, its a go with the flow kind of experience and so relaxing. Lots of the families that went had know each other years and they were so welcoming of me who only knew the one family before I went.
The children all got on and played together. The camp site itself had a few trees to play around and climb. Just a short walk from the campsite was a river which was great for paddling and swimming if you are brave enough! There are some hills to climb, though they felt like mountains, and the local village is a couple of miles stroll away through the woods, alongside the river and finally through a few fields. Hartington is a lovely village with some small shops, a gallery, pubs, post office and a duck pond with benches to watch the world go by.
My boys had a great time, they found a pet fish in the river and called him Frank. He was in the river where they were paddling and they were able to stroke him and pick him up which they thought was great, he wasn’t hurt and swam off quite happily.
They also came home with a bagful of sheep bones they found on the hill. We have figured out that some of them were vertebrae , a shoulder-blade a possible leg bone. Not sure what will happen to them now they are home though!!