Following the Campaign for Summer Camps, 2016 sees the official launch of the Summer Camps Trust. It’s an exciting time for summer camp industry professionals, who have been coming together in increasing numbers to raise the profile of summer camps in the UK, with the aim of inspiring millions of young people to take part in summer camps annually within ten or twenty years.
The first Trustees’ meeting, just before Christmas was very well attended with representatives from eight member bodies as well as a full house of Trustees. Discussions are underway to fix targets, numbers and dates, with the group beginning by focusing on establishing just how many young people are attending summer camps now, strategies to identify the reasons that parents are reluctant to send their children on camps and to calculate how many more children each provider could accommodate.
The Trustees have appointed a working sub-committee, to consist of the Chair and Co-ordinator plus three Trustees, helped by member representatives Liz Macartney from ATE and Sam Ridgway from Learn and Experience. This group has met twice via internet meetings, and has a third meeting scheduled for mid-February. Each member of the sub-committee is working on some aspect of what needs to be done, and good progress is being made. The sub-committee will report back to the Trustees and Members at the next meeting in April, with a view to fixing our targets for growth and publicising them widely by the middle of the year, to say nothing of starting the work needed to make sure the targets are met.
Meanwhile, every effort is being made to ensure that all providers of residential summer camps, and other supportive organisations, are signed up as members of the Trust (we are currently in conversations with a number), and that we are endorsed by all shades of opinion in the educational and outdoor recreational world. For example, we have recently been given the warm endorsement of the English Outdoor Council, which is an exciting development.
The Trust believes there to be widespread agreement in the UK that residential summer camps are an enjoyable and beneficial experience for all young people, and life-changing for many. We think it would be of enormous benefit to children and young adults if the UK had a large and well-attended system of summer camps as they do in other countries. The Summer Camps Trust has aspirations to achieve this vision through determination and persistency, and is looking forward to 2016 as a year of real progress.
The Summer Camps Trust
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