After multiple lockdowns and school closures, how could we make this a summer for children to remember? For too long, playing outside, spending time with friends and trying new experiences has been restricted – simple pleasures we take for granted.
However, as the excitement surrounding the England football team reached fever pitch, Bonas MacFarlane decided to create their own bit of magic and reimagine childhood through the creation of Camp Bonas.
Our objective was to Rewild the Mind, taking children away from their computers and immersing them in a rural setting where they could forget about the pandemic and enjoy running through open fields, playing games and socialising without fear of being pinged.
The setting was the Quantock Hills, Somerset – the first location in England to be declared an area of outstanding beauty. The farm is owned and run by Colonel Micheal Kingscote who has recently updated the accommodation which provides dorms sleeping up to six children in each room. One camper described it as ‘like living in a palace!’
On Monday 12th July, thirty campers and six mentors travelled down via train and were immediately thrown into a series of activities to challenge their teamwork and communication skills. With many of the pupils coming from a variety of different schools it was impressive to see friendships forming so quickly.
Throughout the week our campers were challenged with a range of activities to help develop their leadership and resilience, as well as improve their creativity and confidence.
The ethos of the camp is to encourage pupils to put their knowledge into practice, to learn outside their comfort zone and offer them an experience away from home; these are key attributes that secondary schools are looking for when they interview prospective pupils.
Throughout the week our campers learnt how to find a flame and work towards building a fire. They went on nature walks to sample what plants could be eaten along the hedgerow. They built shelters, used their pen knives and took to the trees to climb through the forest.
Using our team of talented mentors, classes were arranged in creative writing, singing and acting. Early evenings were spent writing in their journals and playing outdoors before dinner.
Highlights included building rafts, sitting around the campfire in the evening eating marshmallows and putting on performances to earn dorm points for the final day of prize giving – all of these activities were wonderful and amusing in equal measure.
As the happy campers returned home to tell their parents of the wonderful adventures they had experienced, we have already started planning Camp Bonas 2022.
#community #confidence #creativity #summercamp #campbonas #rewildthemind
‘Camp Bonas more than exceeded our expectations, which was especially important given the disrupted year at school. I have never seen Charlie so excited and enthusiastic about his experiences at camp.’
‘An absolute Win Win! It was my son’s first residential camp outside school. His first one week long camp. He came home absolutely buzzing with excitement and with many exciting tales from his week away. The team’s enthusiasm and passion clearly showed throughout. They were amazing with the communication and organising every bit. We are definitely back next year. If your child loves nature, climbing, wilderness, bush craft, rafting, and so much more… I can’t recommend Camp Bonas enough. They truly live up to their motto “Rewild the Mind”.’
‘Thank you for this amazing journey. The girls are super happy and excited.’