- July 7, 2015
The Outdoors Project are reconnecting our children with nature…
When you look back on your childhood what are the memories you treasure most? Chances are they aren’t the time spent watching TV, but the days playing outdoors with friends, exploring, creating, getting grubby and just being children.
“We’re passionate about helping our children to reconnect with nature on a regular basis,” says The Outdoors Project founder Joel Evans. “Lots of kids in Brighton and Hove might go camping with their families once a year, which is great, but we believe they should all have regular access to green spaces, and that’s really what we’re about.”
The company, now in its fourth year, runs over 40 weekly After School Clubs which take place in all weathers and on school premises, for which Autumn term dates are now available to book online. The sessions are focussed around survival, outdoor adventure and play through a whole range of activities; from building shelters using all-natural resources to games with air toys. Besides learning new outdoors and physical skills, the children are encouraged to respect each other, to work as a team, be inquisitive and resilient.
As well as the After School Clubs, The Outdoors Project run popular birthday parties and Holiday Clubs, again taking advantage of local parks and outdoor spaces such as Hove Park and Preston Park. This summer sees the biggest range of activities on offer since the company’s beginning, from professional climbing tuition, raft building, archery, circus skills, water games and ‘mad science’ sessions. All of this goes to show why The Outdoors Project were awarded ‘Best After School Club UK 2014’ in the ‘What’s on For Juniors’ Awards.
They are nominated this year for ‘Best Local Activity’, with Senior Instructor Richard Welch also being nominated for ‘Most Outstanding Activity Leader for children aged 5 to 12’. These awards are voted for by parents, testimony to the quality of The Outdoors Project’s sessions.
“Our success over the last four years has lead to us setting up franchises in West Sussex and Bristol as well as growing our provision in Brighton and Hove,” says Joel. “The plan is to keep growing by continuing to ignite local kids’ passions for the outdoors and get them up off the sofa!”
The Saplings Project
Saplings is a nature group for parents and pre-school children, inspired by the Forest School ethos and principles. Sessions are full of exciting and fun outdoor activities all themed around nature, such as games, bug hunts, mud painting, natural art, stories and much more. They’re aimed at getting parents and children exploring nature right in the heart of Brighton. Sessions currently run in St Ann’s Well Gardens and Preston Park but keep your eyes open for more Saplings popping up across the city in your local parks and green spaces.
The Outdoors Project also run Forest School sessions with local Nurseries, recently inspiring Young Sussex Children’s Day Nurseries to embark on a bug hotel project!
Geocaching is a real-life treasure hunt, using GPS or a Geocaching mobile phone app to locate ‘treasure’ hidden by a geocacher. Joel says “for me this is a positive use of technology, using phones to go on an adventure.” For more information, and to see a map of local geocache locations, sign up for free at www.geocaching.com