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Our Beginnings Kirklees Summer Camp began in the late 1960s to improve the links between the different communities in Kirklees. This first summer camp ran in the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park at Bretton Hall and was organised by the local authority. Eventually a community organisation took over with the strong support of the authority in the 1970s. Activities included a range of sporting activities, nature walks, arts and crafts and a campfire. Our History The late 1980s saw three significant changes in three years. First, in 1987, the Camp moved to the grounds of Wentworth Castle, a stately home near Barnsley. The beautiful gardens gave the chance for imaginative walks and the large spaces allowed for greatly expanded games. The presence of the college also gave children and staff access to running water and electricity, and even proper shower and toilet facilities beyond a basic portaloo. Then in 1988, Jane and Duncan Haywood, who had been volunteers with the camp from 1976, took over. Finally, the Camp signed up to be a Residential option for young people taking their Duke Of Edinburgh Award. Now around 90 take part each year, and the vast majority of returning volunteers made their initial contact with the Camp through the scheme. In 2005, Jane and Duncan received the news that they would be presented with MBEs from the Queen for their services to charity. We also moved to our current site at Woolley Edge Scout Camp, only a mile or so from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where it had all begun. The site provides the luxury of a warm, dry place to have fun if it rains and flushing toilets and showers as well as a proper catering standard kitchen allowing for a much greater variety of food for the children. Sadly in 2018 Kirklees council was no longer able to provide the grant that funded the Camp. We were determined to carry on and so Camp became independent charity with the volunteers fundraising throughout the year in order to support its continued operation. The volunteers all come from an extraordinarily wide variety of backgrounds: army medics, teachers, cancer specialists, social workers, students all choosing to work more during their time off. Shape Our Future Camp never stands still. Each year feedback from both children and volunteers is taken very seriously and forms the basis of ideas and considerations at two planning weekends, one after the summer and one prior to the next one. The most fun part of these weekends is the devising of new games and activities. These now include the witches-and-wizards-themed Golden Key; the Rainbow Run relay race; Cluedo and Monopoly and even versions of popular TV shows such as Deal Or No Deal, Who Wants To Be A (Sweet) Millionaire and CSI: Camp Scene Investigation. The time has also come for Jane and Duncan to take a step back and so the Camp is now run by a leadership team headed up by Fran, an experienced volunteer, who is also a SENCO and an Assistant headteacher in a secondary school. The plans for this year include changes to the menu, refreshed games and activities and a lot of new tents – see you in the Summer!

Camp is for children, school years 4, 5, 6 and 7 and is run by an experienced voluntary organization that is staffed by teachers, and experienced volunteers all of whom are DBS checked.

The camp allows groups of about 75 children to spend 4 days (including 3 nights) in the country. Each of the three nights are spent in tents surrounded by open countryside. The children share 4 person tents, they sleep on roll mats in the cosy inner compartment. Children do not need any special equipment, just sensible clothing, footwear and a sleeping bag (although this can be provided if necessary).

At camp we organise a number of large games and events for you such as camp’s got talent, a waterslide, a disco and a camp fire. We also have a range of different activities to choose from including archery, arts and crafts and kite making.  Between the organised activities you have a have a range of sport and games equipment including football, basketball, badminton, snooker and table football. Of course you can just chill out and chat with your friends too.

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