Covid 19 Update Summer 2020
We have been forced to take the incredibly sad and difficult decision to cancel our upcoming Hunger Games and Mockingjay summer camps. We have spent days sifting through the complicated government guidance and have been in communication with the Out of School Alliance to make sure we have interpreted it correctly. Every single other residential camp we have researched online has been cancelled in England this summer. The reality is that at the moment the government guidance is that : “ You should not offer overnight or residential provision to children for the time-being”. Plus you are not allowed to have a bubble group of more than 15 kids. We normally create a village of around 60 people.
Part of the juice of our Hunger Games camps is the deep nature connection the kids experience whilst drinking in the magic of days spent nestled in the woods and the meadows, far from technology. But it is much more than that ; it is the fostering of new friendships, of intimate community evenings round the fire playing music and telling stories and jokes to each other ; it is sleeping in shelters in the woods; it is playing endless games in close proximity to each other . Even if the government loosened the restrictions and changed the rules to allow overnight residential camps (which they may not) we just don’t feasibly see how the very spirit of these camps can be maintained whilst also adhering to the rules set out. Particularly in relation to only having contact with 15 other people, and with the social distancing rules etc.
Despite our thorough consideration of the social distancing measures advised by the government, we can not give our parents, or our staff the total assurance required that these could be maintained at all times whilst providing students with an enjoyable experience. The safety and wellbeing of our course participants and staff team is always our top priority and the implications of strict social distancing in a residential setting would fundamentally change the experience, potentially compromise the safety of both participants and staff, and likely be unworkable for us in the short-term.
This all feels particularly unfair to the children who need this taste of natural freedom this summer more than any other.
On a personal note speaking for myself, Robin Bowman, the camp leader, I am gutted . These Hunger Games have become a part of mine and my regular team of volunteer’s summers for the past 8 years and it will feel empty without them. It is a sad situation.
Furthermore, we acknowledge that however challenging this decision is, we are trying to make it as early as we can out of consideration for you, our valued parents. This is to ensure we give as much clarity as possible and the greatest time for you to make alternative arrangements for the upcoming summer holidays. We promise we will make next summer an even better, fuller and richer experience and really hope you will join us again then. The dates will be the same as this year.
Preferably we would like to roll over your deposit or payment to next year’s camp on which your child will have a confirmed place. However if you would prefer a full refund then we will of course issue one ASAP.
With our best wishes Robin Bowman and the WildWise family.