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Keep Playing go camping at Suntrap
Play Association Tower Hamlets used to run summer camps at Lambourne End where different projects could go and stay for a few days. Since these have got harder to fund it doesn't mean we don't want to do them.
Children have been asking to go camping, they are local Play Champions so we could use our budget to book a night at Suntrap Education Centre and dust off the PATH tents and camp gear and get out there.
Going the last weekend of June we had a lovely mix of weather, a tiny bit of rain, lots of wind, proper sunshine and beautiful sunsets. Parents dropped children off and were impressed at the outdoor centre with covered kitchen and fire pit for cooking, the children went straight to the zip line. After all putting tents up we went for a walk in Epping Forest, up and down hills, up a few trees we discovered a rope swing and stopped for ice cream befopre consulting the map and heading back to camp to start the fire for our dinner.
All the different diets were catered for, veggie foods first, then more veg and halal chicken finished off with hot chocolate (one diary free) and marshmallows round the glowing fire.
Jalal who came with his son gave us this story
''We arrived at camp having passed through stations on the central line, the landscape morphing from urban jungle to placid surburbia and ending in sedate countryside the next 24 hours unfolded, getting to know lovely people as well as the character that is Epping Forest. The forest continually delivered surprise with the diversity of trees and the creatures that inhabit it.
It was a welcome break from the usual Saturday routine. It was relaxing too to watch the children take to the open air with gusto. Left to their own devices and suitably equipped they splashed in mud, conjured up potions of leaves, twigs and other gunk, zipped down wires, kicked balls, threw frisbees, caught balls, collapsed jenga, whittled wood, rolled down hills, sparred with quarterstaffs and trekked through terrain.
The weather was erratic but few noticed. Sharing food cooked outside was a particular highlight, particularly after the appetite was whetted from the long walk. All in all, I can't wait to do it again.''
Click here to see the photos on flickr