Woking District Scouts

7th & 9th September 2018


Fun Friendship & Integration

Over 185 scouts and leaders converged onto Woodlarks Campsite in Farnham to hold their 33rd annual Handycamp for a weekend full of fun and challenges for pupils from local special needs schools including, Freemantles in Mayford, The Park school in Woking, Abbey school in Farnham, and Portesbery school in Camberley.

54 Explorer scouts aged 14 to 17 yrs old from the borough camped with thirty five children with special needs aged 10 to 16yrs old who were supported by over 90 leaders, including teachers from the various schools.

The young people camped in tents and the Explorer scouts were buddied and looked after the pupils for the whole weekend. With a Caribbean theme for the weekend they all took part in new and challenging activities such as climbing and abseiling, backwoods cooking over open fires and cooking foods such as Dessert Yams (sweet potato with golden syrup);

The main menu of the camp also included succulent Jerk chicken and sweet potatoes as well as Jamaican cake.

They also tried their hand at archery, air rifle shooting, and constructing model boats from wood and sailing them on specially adapted rain gutters.

Another very popular activity was playing typical Jamaican music on Steel Pans supported by Euphoria Steel Band from Brighton.

The huge three face climbing and abseiling wall was constructed by PTG Scafolding with HSS Southern in Old Woking supplying some of the safety fencing and lighting.

The 33rd year of Handicamp was funded by the Chobham-based Children with Special Needs Foundation, the Surrey Army Cadet Force, also received donations from Roberts Butchers in St Johns, Tennakers Farm Shop in Chobham, Most of the food was supplied by Waitrose.

Handciamp was very fortunate this year to also receive funding from The Kelsy Trust and St Faiths Charity.

During the weekend, Woking’s Mayor Cllr Will Foster and the Mayoress Hannah Thompson visited the camp and experienced the thrill and enjoyment including taking part in the climbing. The camp was very fortunate to see the Red Arrows flying over the campsite.

The weekend enabled everyone to integrate and learn from each other and enjoy a memorable weekend. The explorer scouts are buddied with the pupils from the local schools, on a one to one or two to one basis, and look after their buddies for the whole weekend, camping and enjoying the activities in patrols.

Handycamp is a very unique camp and for the majority of the pupils, this was their first time away from their families and the weekend enabled both the scouts and pupils to experience new challenges in a safe environment and for both the scouts and the pupils this is unknown with everyone learning about each others disabilities, and conquering fears of the unknown, with some of the challenging activities”.