Maybe like me you first heard about Camp Quest UK right back at the beginning. Maybe you’ve thought on and off about it, but haven’t come around to making a decision or finding out more. I found out that it’s never too late to join the CQ family.
by Alastair Lichten
The experience of a first-time volunteer coming into the well-established Camp Quest is in many ways a bit like that of a first-time camper, or perhaps a parent deciding whether or not to book a place for their child: a bit nerve-wracking, with no idea what it will actually be like when you get there.
My first step to getting involved was messaging the Facebook page and volunteering for the 2016 junior camp in sunny Norfolk. The junior camp is a bit shorter than the senior camp (4 days/3 nights), to adjust for the younger age range (ages 7-11), and the other volunteers thought it would be a great introduction to the world of Camp Quest.
For a new volunteer – much like a new camper – there’s no time to worry about fitting in, as you’re too busy getting on with things. It already seems like such a blur, but it’s amazing how much we saw the young campers grow in a few days.
By the end of that first camp I was part of the Camp Quest family and wishing that I’d joined sooner. However, upon stepping into the week-long senior camp (ages 11-17) in August, I felt a bit of the nervousness return. Camp Quest is a community that has grown over many years, with several campers coming back year after year – some for their 6th or 7th year. Would they get to know and trust me in such a short period of time?
Nervousness about fitting in, is a common theme with many new campers and part of the personal journey that is Camp Quest for both campers and staff. Because the campers create their own environment and the ethos is very much bottom up, everyone has a part to play, within the overall framework of Question, Understand, Explore, Search and Test.
The distinctions between new and returning campers blur immediately, and within days are largely invisible. The size of the activity groups (that are mixed up for different activities) limit the formation of cliques but are large enough to allow campers to both meet everyone and stick to smaller groups if this is more comfortable. This is really helpful for first time campers, particularly those who may be a little shy. It’s finding the sweet spot between stretching and supporting that runs through the Camp Quest ethos.
So, if you’re currently undecided about Camp Quest, if you’re a parent weighing it up, or a young person wondering if you’ll find your place; then I really urge you to book today.
Places are still available for the senior camp (ages 11-17) at the end of August: click here
Or if you have any questions or other inquiries, please get in touch with Dianna: firstname.lastname@example.org