What you need to know

If you are sending your children to us, here’s what you need to know.

Clothing

Being properly dressed is important if you are outside. So we ask that you make sure your child comes with the following, packed in a single RUCKSACK, so they can carry it easily (NB that your children will have to carry their own kit, so please make sure that it comes in a suitable backpack):

  • Spring/Autumn/Winter
    • warm clothing top and bottom, in layers so that if it is warm they can shed a layer and still be comfortable
    • hat and gloves
    • a waterproof outer layer, top and bottom – so waterproof coat and trousers are ESSENTIAL
    • waterproof shoes in case it is muddy. We recommend walking boots, but you can send them in trainers as long as they are sturdy
    • spare socks and a spare jumper wrapped in a plastic bag.
  • Summer
    • layers of light clothing and something warm on top in case it is chilly
    • sun hat and a layer of sun cream if it is sunny
    • insect repellent if your child is prone to be bitten
    • a waterproof coat; it still rains in the Summer in the UK (if the rain is, or is forecast to be, heavy they will also need waterproof trousers)
    • waterproof shoes in case it is muddy. We recommend walking boots, but you can send them in trainers as long as they are sturdy
    • no shorts please, however hot it is. The outdoors has brambles, nettles, stinging insects and ticks!

Food

Your children will need sufficient food and drink to see them through the day, bearing in mind that they will be outside and active all day. We don’t provide food, and you can’t buy lunch or snacks at our camp, so please make sure they come with enough food and drink. This is what we’d consider enough:

  • drink for the day – please make sure they have enough: we recommend at least a litre of fluid, preferably water. If you send them with juice cartons please also send them with a full water bottle
  • a mid-morning snack (just to keep them going)
  • lunch
  • a mid-afternoon snack

We won’t accept children if they do not have sufficient food or drink for the day.

Food and drink, and waterproofs should be in a rucksack marked with your child’s name. It’s also sensible to make sure that waterproofs are marked with your child’s name as they all look alike and have a tendency to get thrown on and off.

Knives

Please don’t send children with any kind of knife, as they pose a risk to the whole group. Knives will be confiscated by Wild Learning staff and returned to parents on pick up.

Insects

We do share the woods with other animals, which is part of the joy of being there of course. Mostly we get along fine, but there are a few beasties that can be problematic:

Mosquitos, wasps and bees: usually only an issue in the warmer months. If your child is susceptible to bites or stings then consider applying insect repellant just before they join us. We rarely get stings, but they do happen. If your child is allergic to wasp or bee stings make sure we know (on the booking form) and if they need Piriton (or anything stronger) then send it along with them.

Ticks: can be an issue when you are in the woods. Ticks are small parasites that lurk in long grass or ferns and attach themselves to bare skin. They can look like a small scab. If our leaders see a child has a tick they will remove it using a tick key, and inform you on pick up. If you notice a tick on your child, don’t panic, but do remove it carefully as soon as you can. DON’T just yank it out (this is a bad idea). Use a tick key or other device if you have one, or a loop of cotton thread if you don’t. There is a handy guide to tick removal here. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, which is potentially serious, though treatable with antibiotics. You can email or call us if you need advice.

Medication

If your children need medication then please remember to tell us and to bring it with you. It’s up to you to make sure we know any relevant medical conditions, and to bring appropriate amounts of any medication required. In particular please make sure that if your child suffers from asthma that they have an inhaler, and if they suffer from anaphylaxis and carry an epipen that they bring TWO epipens with them (this is the minimum number required for safety in the event of an attack). We will refuse to accept children who don’t have sufficient medicine, for their own safety. 

Toilet

We use an outdoor toilet (either a pit latrine with a camping toilet or a bucket toilet) with a privacy tent on all our sites, so if you feel it would be helpful to mention this to your children in advance then please do so (most of them love it!). There is no option to use a conventional (plumbed) loo during our sessions (as we are in the woods), and it usually takes us until almost lunchtime to get to our main camp site, so it might be a good idea to make sure your children have been to the toilet before you drop them with us. Most of our sites have a public lavatory at the check-in point, so if you can take them to the loo before you sign in it will help avoid crossed legs.

Also, please be aware that sometimes we have all-male or all-female staff on a day.