Pathfinders Camp is an annual event that brings together people with, and without, disabilities in order to enjoy a week’s camping holiday. Pathfinders Camp was established in 1956, and caters mainly to women aged 18 and over. Around a hundred “Pathfinders” gather in August each year, to share in a holiday based upon a philosophy that encourages everyone to be enabled to participate in as much of camp life as possible.
Helpers and campers are paired up to create one-to-one partnerships that often lead to enduring friendships. Groups, or patrols, are formed of these pairings, and activities are often carried out as a team. Many Pathfinders have clocked up ten, twenty, or even thirty years of returning to camp each summer! To find out more about volunteering go to Join Us.
The camp takes place at Woodlarks Campsite in Farnham, Surrey. Woodlarks is a permanent campsite run by a charitable trust for the purpose of providing camping holidays for people with disabilities. There is a wash block with showers and toilets, and a brick-built dormitory where anyone who is unable to sleep out under canvas can stay and still take part in the camp. These facilities include mobile and tracking hoists, fully accessible toilet and washing facilities including changing beds, and an attended laundry and medical room. All our participants are given basic training in the facilities and manual handling, with experienced helpers always on hand to guide and assist. There is a kitchen area with a sheltered wood-burning fireplace and oven, alongside an accessible food preparation area.
The campsite itself is set on 12 acres of beautiful woodlands comprising silver birch, sweet chestnut, and Scots pine – all of which has been adapted to be accessible, no matter what your sensory or mobility needs. There is an outdoor heated swimming pool (with fully accessible changing facilities, including high-dependency suites), an aerial runway, and facilities for archery as well as other sporting activities. There are art and craft sessions most afternoons and evening activities include a party night with live music, quiz nights, and campfire sing-songs. To find out more about the site go to Woodlarks Camp Site.