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What happens when I arrive at camp?


As a helper, you are asked to arrive at the campsite by 10:00am on Sunday. As a camper, you are asked to arrive between 1:30pm and 3:30pm on Sunday. This is to help us get everyone settled as quickly and easily as possible. If you are very early there are lots of good places to grab lunch nearby rather than queue on the drive! On arrival please introduce yourself to the Camp Leader, Sam. She will be sitting at the “Information Table” with Jo, the Treasurer. They will provide you with some introductory details of the helper/camper you will be buddied with, give you a book with some information about the week, and tie in any loose ends to do with forms or camp fees. You will also get a name tag and patrol colour so you can easily find your new friends in your team.


You should familiarise yourself with the information given to you as soon as possible – but we know there is a lot to take in! When your buddy arrives do take a few minutes to get together with her – you might also want your helper to speak to any parents/carers who
accompany you before they leave. As a helper, it is through this meeting that you will be able to begin to identify exactly what care your camper needs and how she likes this to be provided. Remember, whilst some of our campers may find it difficult to communicate, they are the best people to tell you about how they like to be looked after. Be sensitive about this as it can be patronising to talk to someone else about a disabled person if she is able to provide the answers for herself. Likewise, take this opportunity to let your helper know all about your care needs, how you communicate or move, and any medical information they might need to know about (fits, allergies, diets, etc.). Your helper will be keen to learn about you and perhaps worried about how to help you best – take this chance, remember that while you experience your care every day, it may be totally new for your helper and they want to give you the best camp experience possible.


When you arrive you will be told which group or “Patrol” you are in. You will also meet your Patrol Leader and Patrol Second, an experienced camper and helper who will guide your team throughout the week. Get to know them – they will be your first port of call for most challenges you encounter! You may be asked to help with setting up tents and getting everything ready for the week ahead. As soon as Patrol tents have been identified each Patrol will need to gather enough kit to set up your team’s home for the week. Some campers may need to sleep in one of the dormitories, you will be told about this. There are beds that can be set up in tents and some of the larger tents even have bunks! You may need to get mattresses from the dormitory and there are groundsheets and blankets available. Once you know where your camper will be sleeping you should help to get them and their luggage ‘moved in’, so that they can begin to feel settled. You can take this opportunity to let your helper know what equipment you have brought and any items you need for toileting or personal care – it’s much better to locate toilet chairs and hoist slings when you’re not bursting for the loo!

All campers will need to report to the healthcare team to hand in their medications and make sure all our care plans are correct. You will find them in the medical room in Bradbury Croft. Try and remember where the room is – once everything is settled it’s where you will collect your medications at breakfast, lunchtime, dinner, or evening.

Tips for Helpers

written by our returning helpers and campers

  • Take lots of notes in the training session on Sunday morning. It’s particularly important to learn the names and faces of the crew as they can help you so much during the week.
  • Do ask questions! Don’t be shy if you don’t know something or don’t understand someone. It’s much less awkward to ask an awkward question than to muddle through!
  • There is a map in your diary if you are lost looking for bedding, etc. Anyone will be happy to direct you – don’t be shy; you’ll soon be calling the experienced participants your friends.
  • Refer to your camper, not just their care plan. Do use it to help you ask questions about what they want. Remember, they are the expert in their care!
  • If your camper is in a wheelchair, ask them if they like to get out of their chair (for instance to sit in a different chair / bench / stretch out on a mattress etc.) or whether they like to spend time walking.
  • Get to know your Patrol Leader and Patrol Second, as well as the rest of your patrol.
  • Do look through your camper’s bag with them and familiarise yourself with its contents. It’s much easier than trying to find a pad in a hurry or finding a communication book on Thursday…
  • Don’t be afraid to say you need to “take 5”. It’s too easy to just keep going, doing everything you can to help everyone, and to forget to recharge every now and then.
  • Don’t be afraid to be a bit silly. (Don’t be afraid to be a lot silly!)
  • If in doubt, ask. It’s okay to ask for help! You’re a team and everyone is at camp to help each other.

Tips for Campers

written by our returning helpers and campers 

  • Let your helper know what you can and cannot do. Be honest! It’s always a great surprise to learn on Thursday that a camper can transfer themselves when you’ve been queuing for hoists all week…
  • If you find it hard to communicate, ask your parent/carer to talk your helper through some of your routines. If you have a care plan, this can be a help if something comes up later in the week.
  • There is often a queue for the toilets at busy times. Have a look around all the facilities (old and new blocks!) and try and find a few toilets that work for you.
  • If you use a powered wheelchair, communication book, or something else that allows you to be more independent… bring it with you! There are sheltered areas to charge powered chairs overnight and there will be many new friends that you will want to get to know.
  • Don’t be embarrassed! Be prepared to rough it and see sides of yourself that you never knew existed. As daunting as this sounds, “where there’s a will, there’s a way!”.
  • If your helper is having a rough day, take note and try to make their day better by using that kind word, that smile, to make their day better. Likewise, if a camper is having a rough day reciprocate the roles!
  • There is always a way to achieve, it doesn’t need to be the first option you think of. So, think creative!
  • Take each day, activity and event, as it comes… you will see the good in everything.
  • Get to know your Patrol Leader and Patrol Second, as well as the rest of your patrol.

What to bring to Camp…

You can download the full kit lists here:

As far as possible, please label everything you bring to camp – this makes it so much easier to sort stuff out at the end of the week!

Guidance Booklets