CAMHS Camp May 2013

What have you enjoyed about the camp?

  • “The thing I’ve most enjoyed about the last two days in spending time with your friends and not your family, so you’re going out into the forest and having all this free space and free time and you don’t have to worry about any of the stress at home, or whatever it is going through your mind. You just come to the forest, open, new space, and be with your friends, be with people that you like and can enjoy time with and just have a good time.”
  • “I’ve really enjoyed making fires. Thats what I really like. It’s nice to get together with people that I know and that I don’t know. It’s been a really nice experience. I’ve never camped out in the woods before! So I was quite nervous about when it got dark, but it wasn’t as scary as I thought!”
  • “Fire making, cooking the food, playing the games, going to see the badger sets and just hanging out with others!”

How do you feel when you are out in the woods?

  • “I think it has made me stronger. I feel like I’ve got a strength inside that I didn’t notice at first, to be able to come out here and sleep!”
  • “I like it because it’s open. You’re not confined in one space. It’s nice to have the fresh air!”
  • “It just sort of feels like it’s normal here. It feels like I belong here, with all the people, and at school it’s not really like that, not because of the education but because of the people. So it’s better to be here than at school. And if I’m honest I learn a lot more here than I do at school.”
  • “I’ve actually found myself getting more connected to people that I don’t really talk to. I’ve got a lot more friendly, and I don’t get outside much because of technology, but I am actually realising how nice it feels to be outside, and really how great it is.”

How did you feel camping out for the night?

  • “I think it was fun and gave us a good experience. I was a bit nervous at first but then when it got it, it was fine!”
  • “At first I was a bit wary because I find it really hard to sleep in a new environment, especially if it’s got bad conditions. But it was actually really fun to stay the night and pitch up the tent!”
  • “I enjoyed it. I think at first I was thinking it was going to be cold and wet but when you actually get to it, it’s nice and warm and you kind of just forget about it and fall asleep!”

Have you noticed anything about yourself?

  • “I change a lot when I come into the forest. I don’t have as much stress in me as I do at home. I come to the forest and I chill out with people that I wouldn’t expect to be with. And for them to have the same kind of freedom as I have, at all different ages, I think that is quite remarkable.”
  • “I’ve noticed my inner strength in being able to cope with situations that I don’t normally cope with on a day to day basis. I’ve never camped out before so that was really new for me, I guess I’ve found inner strength that I didn’t know I had before.”
  • “Just that I’ve become more confident through trying new stuff and just taking risk.”
  • “I’ve noticed that I can be really friendly and at home I’m not the person that I am here. At home I act hard and just be an idiot, but here I’m really kind and nice and I offer to help.”
  • “I think I’ve built more confidence, like being able to ask questions if I’m worried about something or just something I’m not sure of.”

Have you noticed anything about anybody else or the group as a whole?

  • “A lot of my friends here I can tell have a lot of stress from home, and when they get to the forest and we get into our groups, it’s a stress free zone! Family is not here, and we can do what we want. It’s our time.”
  • “I think some of the people have started talking to others more, not just being on their own.”
  • “I’ve noticed that some relationships between people have actually gotten stronger. We’ve just really got to know each other better. It’s really good the amount of relationships round here that are built really.”
  • “I think the group has got a lot stronger now that we camped out because we communicated more, which helped a lot.”

As a group of leaders, what would you like to do next in terms of the mental health campaign and being outdoors that you have already been involved in? Is there a message you would like to give to others?

  • “Maybe to get more school kids out here with us, so us as group leaders can teach them some of the skills we have learnt. I really think it’s so important that the message gets out that being outdoors does help and it can help with mental health problems, because so many people just sit inside and they don’t realise that it’s really nice.”
  • “Coming here, it has really helped. Because you get away from things, and you can do anything you want.”
  • “Just encourage others to try it, because it really is fun to hang out in the woods and be with others you haven’t had a chance to get to know in this sort of environment.”
  • “I think the message I would like to get out is pretty much, don’t judge if you don’t want to be judged. I know it’s an old saying, but don’t judge a book by its cover. Everyone looks at me and they see me do something that might be different to what others would do, and I will straight away be labelled as ‘freak’, ‘weirdo’ or ‘strange’. It’s not me being someone from the outside, it’s just me being me. And you shouldn’t put people down for that, it’s just who they are. They’re not going to change for someone else.”
  • “If you get this opportunity, just take it. You could not get this chance again, and when you’re here you might feel a bit shaky at first, but when you’re sitting around the fire you just get a buzz with the people around you. I’d like to just come out to the woodlands again.”