Circle of Life Rediscovery camps offered the opportunity for participants from Tiffins School in London to camp overnight in a woodland away from home, for some it was the first time.
School: Tiffins School, London
Subjects: Cross curricular, John Muir Award
Number of pupils: 20
While this can be daunting for some, it gives the opportunity for young people to learn new skills and fend for themselves from putting up their own tent, to lighting their first fire or cooking a meal.
Each camp is bespoke and unique to the needs of each school group, and activities were planned in advanced with the school and were linked to their current learning programme and National Curriculum too.
“I didn’t think that I liked camping but I have underestimated myself. The camp was amazing, I have not only learnt new skills but I have learnt to be grateful about everything around me. I have a new sense of confidence and believe in myself.” - Tiffins school pupil.
The residential for Tiffins School began with a Woodland Day to start the journey which took place a month before the actual residential. The idea of this was to teach students the skills they needed for camp. The Woodland Day taught them fire lighting, shelter building, cooking…some tasks of which they have never tried before. The Woodland Day was also an opportunity for students to join in with planning the camp activities.
A residential with Circle of Life Rediscovery also involves working towards the John Muir Award. The John Muir Award is a national environmental award that encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places through a structured yet adaptable scheme.
“It actually felt good to be away from my phone and I feel I have a new appreciation for the natural world, I see the world differently now.” – Tiffins school pupil.
The Award challenged each participant and encouraged awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.
The Camp itself took place for two night and three days and included activities such as tool use, team building games, night stalks, cooking and plenty of adventure.
Students also took part in a conservation activity during the camp, which included tree planting or clearing an area within the woodland to open up the canopy to new growth, therefore increasing the overall biodiversity of the woodland.
Back in the Classroom
At the end of camp students got to go back to school and share their experiences and what they have learnt with the rest of the school. They came away from their John Muir Award experience with more confidence, were closer as a team, had a better understanding of the natural environment, and achieved an award at Discovery level.