Residential School Forest Camps, East Sussex
“I slept alone in a shelter that I had made myself, I never thought I would be able to do that. I feel more confident and have overcome my fears.”
About our Camps
Circle of Life Rediscovery runs unique, nature-based forest camps for young people in a beautiful woodland environment in Sussex. Our forest camps have a strong environmental basis, a range of activities to challenge and inspire and are above all, lots of fun!
Benefits - why are overnight residentials are so important?
Our camps offer the opportunity for participants to camp overnight in a woodland away from home, maybe for the first time! While this can be daunting for some, it gives the opportunity for young people to learn new skills and fend for themselves from putting up their own tent, to lighting their first fire or cooking a meal!
National research shows the huge benefits overnight camps can have on young people, including:
- Improving resilience, confidence and self esteem.
- Boosting cohesion, engagement and a sense of belonging within their peer group.
- Improving knowledge, skills and understanding.
(Learning Away, York Consulting 2015)
To read more about the benefits of residentials, please see our Blog.
“I didn’t think that I liked camping but I have underestimated myself. The camp was amazing, I have not only learnt new skills but I have learnt to be grateful about everything around me. I have a new sense of confidence and believe in myself.”
Camp Participant, June 2019.
We provide catering and equipment for all activities. Each camp is bespoke and unique to your needs, activities are planned in advance with the school and can be linked to your current learning programme or national curriculum.
Activities can include:
- Firemaking: Match challenge, using fire steels, using ancient methods.
- Blindfolded exercises: Deer stalk, drum stalk and awareness trail.
- Creative activities: Woodland bling, clay, earth ovens, natural paint.
- Tool Use: Whistles, pencils, spatulas, mallets, butter knives, carving, wood animals.
- Camouflage & stalking: Using natural camouflage materials and games.
- Cooking and foraging: Cooking on the fire. Wild medicine and crafting.
- Teambuilding: using ropes; making chariots, tasks, catapults, water/shelter challenge.
- Mapping exercises: Map making and navigation, finding key hidden objects, directions.
- Tracking & casts: Tracking activities, exploring and signs, making animal casts.
- Ropes and knots: Rope challenges, knots for frames/chariots.
- Bird Knowledge: Bird language and pellets.
- Large team games: Using 60 to 100 YP.
- Possible: Climbing wall; Falconry; fishing; Tree Climbing; Tree planting.
John Muir Award
We can also offer the John Muir Award on our camps. This is a National Environmental Conservation Award that encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places. There are four challenges are at the heart of each John Muir Award. To achieve an Award each participant must:
• Discover a wild place
• Explore its wildness
• Conserve - take personal responsibility
• Share experiences
Our camps take place at Powdermill Woods, a beautiful and peaceful 100 acre private Sussex woodland near Battle, East Sussex. It is one of three nature reserves managed by the Powdermill Trust for Nature Conservation, Powdermill Wood, as its name suggests, has a history linked to charcoal and gunpowder manufacture in the local area.
The site is an ancient alder carr woodland, listen out for great spotted woodpeckers tapping and drumming in the trees!
Our camps and activities are run in and around the South Downs National Park.
Early booking is essential! Please call 01273 814226 or email us to plan your next school residential!
Our recent camp video with Tiffins School, London. Please see our YouTube site for further videos about our camps.
Camp Participant, June 2019.
"I've learnt that the biggest beauty is the outside world."
"You see a new you, you see the world differently."
Tiffins School Camp Participants, 2018.
"Even though I found some of the activities a challenge, you were always there to guide me and encourage me."
"The closing circle felt really special and it was really emotional."
"Overall, the camp was really fun, special, exciting and emotional."
"I loved the music and the singing, you were all great teachers and bought something different to the group."
Lewes New School Camp Participants, July 2018.
Camp Participant, June 2018.
"My son is completely different since camp, he has more thinking space inside his head, he is calmer, he has changed."
Parent, March 2017.
Our next #ForestSchoolTraining course commences next month and places are limited! Find out how to get involved: https://t.co/43TkmDro1z #ForestSchool #OutdoorLearning @FSAForestSchool Endorsed Trainer pic.twitter.com/mOhwQxCEeG— Circle of Life CIC (@outdoorteacher) October 9, 2019