Final Family Camp success

Final Family Camp success

14 November 2019

Despite howling winds and torrential rain, four intrepid families, with seven children between them, braved our final Family Canal Camp of the year over the October half term. The weekend was hosted by the Wendover Arm Trust.

During 2019, we have run three Family Camps including this one on the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal. The other two ran earlier in the year on the Grantham Canal and the Uttoxeter Canal. This is the first year that three Family Camps have run in one year, with the extra camp being added due to popular demand.

Unlike most Canal Camps, which run for seven days, the Family Camps run from Friday to Sunday and cost just £15 per person, which includes accommodation and all meals. The activities involved over the weekends are chosen to help make practical improvements to the canal and to help enhance the waterways for wildlife, plus families learn first-hand about restoring the UK’s derelict waterways.

At this most recent Family Camp, the families made clay ‘toppers’ for bamboo poles which were used to mark areas where snowdrop bulbs were planted on the banks of the canal restoration. They cut back vegetation and helped plant 1,000 snowdrop bulbs across the course of the weekend. All families rose to the challenge of making bird boxes which were then put up in the trees.

Commenting on the Family Camp, camp leader Alex Melson said, “It was great to see all the children enjoying themselves and really getting down to work. The parents and children were working together as a team, with many of them commenting on how nice it was to be outside together and getting things done. The children want to come back again in the spring to see their bird boxes and to check how the snowdrops have grown. We can’t wait to welcome them back.”

Jenny Brice from Wendover Arm Trust adds, “The site looks fantastic. We were initially unsure about how the Family Camp would work out, but the children were so enthusiastic and committed to the jobs. We got so much done over the weekend.”

Could you be a Family Camp leader?

Dates for next year’s Family Camps are currently being decided and will be released in December. However, due to a lack of Family Camp leaders, it looks like we will only have resources available for two camps. If you know anyone who might be interested in running a Family Camp, please let us know as we would love to be able to offer three Family Camps again next year.

Find out more about Canal Camps, or if you would like to volunteer as a Family Camp leader, please email alex.melson@waterways.org.uk

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