I am a slightly reluctant camper. I did a lot of camping as a kid with Brownies and Guides. We also went camping as as family and in university quite a lot. So I am no stranger to camping I just choose not to do it anymore. When The Geek says he wants to go camping with the kids I tell him to have a nice time, I would rather stay home and knit.
So when Karin asked me to be the camp nurse on the kids nature camp I was dreading the camping part a bit. But it turned out to be a lot more pleasant than expected.
We left Cape Town on the Saturday morning and the first stop was the shooting range. Both Karin and her husband shoot and feel it is important to teach gun safety to children and teach them respect and not fear for a weapon. Stuart gave the kids a very good talk on gun safety and especially what to do if another child tries to show you a gun. Many kids are hurt/killed when showing off or playing with a parents gun. Each child go 2 turns at the target and they all enjoyed it very much
We then headed to !Khwa Ttu San Cultural Centre where Karin had booked the Bush Camp Village for us
It is a tented camp, the tents are canvas tents preset up on permanent concrete bases with a grass facade for authenticity. Inside the tents had matresses, sheets, duvets, pillows and a light. So not pitch you own tent roughing it but not quite glamping either. Tent held 2 per tent and all the kids paired off into their tents.
There was 5 two-man tents on the one side, in a circle with a fire pit, the ablution facilities were in the middle and the other side had another 5 tents
Karin then gathered the kids to make a list of expectations and rules for the camp
They played an animal name introduction game, saying their real name and then picking an animal. The kids really embraced the idea of using the animal name for the rest of the camp. So we had a Dog, Cat, Lion, Hippopotamus, Ninja Turtle, Giraffe, Leopard, Snake, Panda, Spider, Squirrel, Monkey and Tiger
We then went on our first bush walk to the pans
After a shower and a check for ticks which we need to do after each bush walk, the kids played a blindfold trust game around the eating area.
Campfire and story telling
The next morning was bacon and egg breakfast and then on with a full day program. It also happend to be about 34C this day!
First Bush walk of the day, Karin asked the kids to walk in silence and discover what they could experience with their senses, Karin then thought them a fun game to do with insects, bugs or creatures when they found them. Put your ear close to them and “hear” their name – the name that pops into your head. The kids loved this
The kids then did a think tank about who eats who in a food chain
After lunch was bow making with James which was a huge hit
Collection the perfect stick
Some crochet for those who wanted to learn
Food chain game about what happens when you remove parts of the food chain
Camouflage game with lost of mud and messy fun
James taught the kids to make a trap and they all went off to find very creative ways to make traps. Luckly for unsuspecting animals their skills need some work. Especially the stealth element
Afternoon walk, finding a tortoise and learning about identifying male and females
Writing down a word next to each of the 5 senses
These words they then used to make a senses poem to read to the group
My youngest and husband arrived on Sunday night. Yme had to go to work on Monday morning so Titus was camping with me the one night
The kids divided into groups and did plays for us all as we waited for the Potjie to be ready
By now night had fallen on our 2nd day.
My phone batteries died after this so I don’t have pictures of the next day but we packed up and went to the San cultural center to look around.
Karin was a brilliant camp organiser and the kids had an amazing time. I planned for any emergency as the camp nurse but we pleased I needed no more than a few plasters. All things considered, even for me, who is not fond of camping it was fun. As long as I can have about a year to recover!