Wild Family Fun

Tales of living, working and enjoying life in the outdoors


September 05, 2014

Canoe Camp: This is my Office

In work, my favourite time of the year is when we take a group of young people on canoe camp. The group work all year round, in their school, to earn behaviour points to be able to take part in canoe camp, so the young people who attend really deserve it and want to be there.

Good behaviour equals a reward.

I love it as I get to canoe in the most beautiful environment. We have two days of open-boat paddling on the River Wye, through the beautiful Forest of Dean. We camp at a lovely (and very quiet) youth camp-site, which allows open campfires, and this is great for toasting marshmallows. It’s a truly breathtaking place to be.

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We were very lucky and had stunning sunshine, so there was no need for thermals or waterproofs. The suntan lotion was applied liberally before setting off and we gently paddled down the river. Throughout, we spotted ducks, swans and even saw an otter.

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The late evening was spent around an open fire. We told scary stories and the adults freaked out the young people out by telling them gory tales of the wild boar that live in the forest around the campsite. Every year we tell the story, and it has become quite an “Urban Legend” throughout the school.

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Trying to dry my socks in the morning sun!

The next day involved a gentle paddle, with the current slowly pushing us down to Monmouthshire Rowing Club where we exit the river. When the end comes into sight, the water fights start! This involves lots of splashing, with boats being paddled faster and faster to get away from each other. By the time we reach the end, we’re paddling in canoes full of water, with all the staff and children squelching and soaking!

It really is a fantastic couple of days. It can be hard work paddling, especially on the first day. It’s usually for about five or six hours, depending on the weather, the river levels, the wind and (of course) the different personalities within the group, but I love it.

The young people get so much out of it, and have a wonderful time. They really make the trip worthwhile, and I love their company. For my part, it’s great to be involved in something that’s so positive.

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 Those two days of canoe camp always reassure me that I’m in the right job, and I feel really very lucky that this is my “office” !

4 thoughts on “Canoe Camp: This is my Office

  1. What a great idea and what a fantastic venue. No wonder you love going to the office so much. I’ll bet your lovely daughter missed yo while you were away though and she’ll soon be starting to earn her good points so she can accompany you and listen to the boar-ing tales.
    I feel content that with people as dedicated as you Kim, there’s a chance for all youngsters to learn about where they live and how best to look after it.
    xxx Massive Hugs as always xxx

    1. kim says:

      Hi David,
      The River Wye is such a beautiful place, a wonderful place for paddling. As long as I come home with a little treat my daughter doesn’t mind missing me for one night! She has started to come on my Duke of Edinburgh weekends, my husband and her meet us at the camp site which is always lovely. The young people make a right fuss of her.
      I have such a lovely time with the young people, can remember one young person seeing a cow for the first time with us. He couldn’t stop staring bless him.
      I am a very lucky lady having the outdoors as my office.
      Take care,
      Kim

  2. Sounds absolutely wonderful, what an amazing experience for you all. You really are very lucky Kim x

    1. kim says:

      Thank you so much. I adore canoe camp and those two days I realise I am very lucky in my job!

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