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The Outdoors Project is your summer holiday saviour

Sweating over the impending summer break? We've got just the thing to keep the kiddos entertained - no screen time necessary. Here are five reasons to check out excellent local summer camp The Outdoors Project

If the thought of the long summer holiday just makes you daydream about gin and you know you will be up against a losing battle with the backside of a smartphone, you might want to consider tempting the offspring with the great outdoors. There are plenty of kids clubs and camps around over the summer hols of course, but The Outdoors Project, a Sussex-based company started in 2009 by two parents who wanted to get their own kids out of doors and into nature, is a bit different and a whole lot cooler than most we’ve come across. Here are five reasons we’re totally loving it.

NATURE’S THE STAR OF THE SHOW

You don’t have to be a sports billy to be a winner here – The Outdoors Project ensures that every kid finds something they excel at in nature with a repertoire of games and activities that are suitable for all levels of fitness and confidence. There are sites all across Sussex: two each in central Brighton and Hove, one at Parkwood Scoutcamp (just over Devil’s Dyke outside Brighton), and sites at Lewes, Shoreham-by-Sea, Worthing, West Worthing and Crawley. Wherever you are, woods, streams, open spaces and fresh air are the calling cards for this day camp.

THE EMPHASIS IS ON HAPPINESS AND BEING AN INDIVIDUAL

Kids have a great imagination and The Outdoors Project is the perfect opportunity to enrich this in a safe and fun environment. Whether they are building dens, playing nerf games, making wands or toasting marshmallows, there is something for everyone and emphasis is placed on everyone getting involved; so however shy your little one is, there is an emphasis on child wellbeing, which feels particularly en pointe in Covid times.

THE AGE RANGE IS CAREFULLY THOUGHT THROUGH

The Outdoors Project summer clubs only take children in Primary schools years 1-6 (so roughly 5-11 years), with the staff – who come from backgrounds in teaching, SEN, forest school, sports coaching, bushcraft and childcare – fully trained, DBS checked, and First Aid trained. All the children are encouraged to mingle, which is great for building confidence, as well as providing an opportunity to learn from those outside of their comfort zone. The groups are not in horizontal year groups but vertically across all ages – different to many other camps, and arguably a more modern way to do things with the the older attendees able to role models for the young ones. That said, kids are monitored at all times, especially during any physically challenging games, and there are always plenty of same-age kids too.

 THE WORKSHOPS AND GAMES ARE AWESOME

If your kids cringe at the idea of another game of archery or football, action-packed, fast moving, tactical team games like Minecraft vs Wildcraft and Nature Ninja might be more inspirational. There’s a high level of creativity at these camps too – sessions on offer this summer include Bushcraft Bake-Off, Harry Potter Wizard Wands, Quidditch and Potions Class (perfect for HP fans), and Bushcraft Fire and Camp Craft. Basically, if it’s fun, The Outdoors Project embraces it with open, paint-splattered arms.

IT’S SUPERFLEXIBLE

Kids can dip in and out of the camp and can try one day, or come every day for a week (or longer!). Starting at 10am, the activities run until 3pm – not bad for £35 a pop, and great for parents working from home – and as the camps are Ofsted-registered, you can even put childcare vouchers towards it. Er, how soon can we sign up?!

For more information and to book visit The Outdoors Project.

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