With residential camps on hold during the pandemic, Camp Build is going on tour, bringing the excitement to children safely bubbled up on London’s adventure playgrounds.
Camps in Epping Forest are out this year, for obvious reasons. And lo, ‘Camp Build on Tour’ was born. First stops, Haringey and Southwark…
If the kids can’t come to Camp Build, Camp Build will come to you
Led by ‘Build technical wizards Jon and Peter, first stop on the Camp Build tour was Haringey’s Somerford Grove Adventure Playground, where children worked with the team to build a ‘house on stilts’. The following day (punishing schedule innit!) saw the tour van pull up at Southwark’s Bethwin Road to build an ‘outdoor café’ shelter. Children there are yet to agree on the name, but ‘The Golden Goose Café’ was a strong contender when the London Play team left them delightedly exclaiming over what they’d achieved in one short day.
Camp Build in a normal year would have seen groups of children from adventure playgrounds taken out to Epping Forest to camp and build in ‘the wild’. A lot of fun, with the aim of giving young people confidence and practical skills that they can use when they return to their playgrounds, to help with the upkeep and development of their sites. Although this year they missed out on the camping aspect, working in their playgrounds rather than in the forest meant the project could respond directly to the plans/ needs of the sites. In some cases these plans were professional! Riley, a Somerford Grove regular, has plans to become an engineer and had knocked up a serious architectural model to give Pete and Jon a few ideas.
With social distancing restrictions meaning the vast majority of playgrounds are operating without indoor space this winter, the sheltered café space at Bethwin will hopefully make a big difference. Plans are already afoot amongst some of the kids to add a slide to the roof, we can’t wait to see it!