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Magdalen Court School
Victoria Park Road

Tel: 01392-49 49 19
Fax: 0870-7051-321


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Wild Camp

A growing body of evidence is starting to show that it's not so much what children know about nature that's important, as what happens to them when they are in nature (and not just in it, but in it by themselves, without grownups). Respectable scientists – doctors, mental health experts, educationalists, sociologists – are beginning to suggest that when kids stop going out into the natural world to play, it can affect not just their development as individuals, but society as a whole.

Quote from the Guarding Newspaper

All of our children get the opportunity to 'Wild Camp' in fact the number of opportunities in a hugely diverse range of environments is very exciting & is one of the reasons our children are so confident, self assured individuals able to turn life's challenges into opportunities.

We live in a special part of a wonderfully diverse country. We have the rugged Atlantic coast torn by wild storms, the relatively tranquil South coast. Dartmoor, which was once described as having such big mires that the mountains had sunk in them only leaving the fun & exciting rocky outcrops for us to play on. Exmoor with it's deep wooded valleys. Woodbury Common & Haldon Woods & of course the picturesque countryside in-between. Who could not fall in love with the South West & Devon.

Dartmoor is the only National Park in England where you can legally Wild Camp, rather cool!Magdalen Court School Exmoor Challenge

Children gain so much from camping & even more when camping out in the wild natural world.


Here are a quick & definitely not a definitive list & what your children will get out of camping out in the wild.

  • Organisational skills.
    There is no so immediate feedback, to when sitting out in camp, with a aching belly & a steaming dish of food to find you left you spoon at home. 7 'P's Prior Planning & Preparation Prevent Pitifully Poor Performance! Magdalen Court School Silver DofE
  • Team skills
    Try putting your tent up is a fresh Westerly wind by yourself, you'll soon learn the benefits of working together.
  • Grit & Determination
    Of course you will get lost, how else do we find those hidden gems! But at the end of a hard day, when the sun is setting, there is a chill in the air. That's the time to push on - concentrate, draw out the skills of your team-mates, find your camping spot, pitch the tent, get a warm brew on the go. Your reaping the rewards of your 'Grit & Determination'.
  • Connecting with nature.
    Watching the sun set, sat around a campfire with your mates, with a warm drink in your hands, watching the bats dart overhead & the cry of a fox in the distance. The world just starts to make sense, it can be a beautiful place.
    I've been woken by a hedgehog sneaking in my tent to search through my food bag. What a magical close encounter! Magdalen Court School DofE group
  • Understanding the provenance of food.
    Food is the fuel for life, unfortunately with our busy, electronic world we inhabit these-days, may children have lost that connection to where food originates. Where does our food come from, what is that in the field, why is organic food more expensive than intensive, why are farmers doing that, don't those lambs look lovely! There is no better place to connect with, where our food comes from, than exploring our factory floor of the British countryside.
  • The Edible Hedgerow
    Identifying what food we can eat, recognising potential hazards of pesticides, traffic pollution etc & then eating something fresh from natures larder is a special experience & links to their science, History, Geography & Maths lessons back in the classroom.
  • How do our bodies work.
    Trying working on an empty stomach, what are carbs, proteins, fats, sugars, electrolytes. Designing a diet to take out into the hills & then getting to live with that opens up so many learning opportunities. The effects of dehydration from lack of fluids or too many sugary Magdalen Court School Junior Camp 2drinks.
  • Self reliance
    If they don't put the tent up, they are sleeping in the rain, if they don't cook their food, they are not eating.
    We will help them & instruct them, but definitely not do it for them. Walk with your laces undone & your likely to get a blister, natures feedback is harsh, but they learn quick.
  • Aspect & Position.
    Where will the suns rays be shining tonight & tomorrow morning? Do you want your tent to be in the evening suns rays or morning sun?
    If it's cold you don't want to camp in a hollow where the cold air collects, it's it a balmy summers day, you need the breeze to keep the midges at bay, where can you camp to get that summer breeze.
  • Pollution
    Where is your water coming from? stream! What is above the stream? where did you wash your dishes, where is your toilet?
    All of a sudden, water pollution is of real concern & matters NOW!
  • Interpersonal skills
    You want to go one way & college another, who read the map correctly? When did you last really know where you were? How long ago was that? how fast have we been traveling? in what direction? etc
    Your tired, grouchy, but it's down to yourself & your fellow peers to sort it.
  • Maths
    I take 62 double paces per 100m on a flat even surface, I've been walking for 8 hours, just how far have I traveled, how many steps have I taken. I consume x calories per minute walking with a backpack on my back. Bearings, calculating timings the list goes on. But I could give examples for every academic subject in school - they all happen our here on camp to.

Magdalen Court School Sunrise

Last Updated: Thursday, 14-Jan-2016