News

COVID-19 – Potential Alternative to Bader Braves Adventure Camps

The DBF was working with Over The Wall, a top events organiser, this year to offer a different kind of Adventure Camp to our Braves.

Sadly, all events had to be postponed as a result of the Coronavirus. We will attempt to offer alternative dates once we have more understanding of the duration of lockdown and other repercussions of COVID-19 but realistically it won’t be possible to reschedule all Camps.

Over the Wall has been in discussion with us about possible alternatives to allow our Braves and other young people some kind of activity and interest, albeit very different to those they had been hoping for, in the meantime. They have put forward an idea that will create an inclusive, accessible and engaging programme which

allows campers and families to experience the magic of camp from the comfort of their own home

You can read the full proposal below or download it as a pdf to read at another time by clicking on the link: Alternative Provision – Initial Proposal pdf

Either way, we’d be very interested to hear your thoughts.


Over The Wall

Alternative Provision – Initial Proposal

 

Aim

Many of the children, young people and families Over The Wall plan to serve in 2020 will be unable to attend our residential camps as a result of their postponement, or as a result of the need to self-isolate for a significant period due to their underlying health condition(s). The aim of the Alternative Provision set out in this initial proposal is to create an inclusive, accessible and engaging programme which allows campers and families to experience the magic of camp from the comfort of their own home. Utilising the skills and experience of our staff team, we expect that this bespoke and immersive experience will allow for campers to achieve many of the outcomes of our face-to-face camps. This includes opportunities to experience increased psychosocial wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence; the development of resilience and independence; and improved social connectivity, family relationships and peer support. For this reason, we plan to establish two separate programmes, one specifically designed to meet the needs of Health Challenge and Sibling Campers, and one tailored for Families.

 

Overview

The service Over The Wall provides is characterised by its inclusivity and accessibility. Camp activities are planned and adapted to meet the needs of all campers, and activities are purposefully designed around our model of Therapeutic Recreation (TR) in order to promote positive and tangible outcomes. The Alternative Provision outlined in this proposal will be no different from the high-quality experiences we ordinarily provide. Our aim is to establish a safe and accessible online platform through which campers can be taken on a journey through their own ‘Virtual Camp’. This will include three specific touch points for each full day campers would have spent at camp. Activities will be intentionally designed to promote specific outcomes, provide opportunities for reflection and be differentiated by age where necessary.

To support this online programme, we intend to send a Resource Pack to campers and families in the post; this will contain all resources needed for the entirety of the ‘camp’, removing any possibility that campers will not be able to participate due to a lack of, or inability to access, resources. Additionally, the pack will include the coloured t-shirts campers would have received at camp – promoting a sense of belonging and a feeling of being part of the Over The Wall community. To ensure inclusivity, written instructions for each activity will be included in this pack for those without access to the internet, and resources will be clearly labelled and organised to support those with additional needs.

The aim of this pack, alongside the online platform, is to establish an accessible, seamless and immersive experience for campers and their families. We aim to establish/utilise a platform which has the capability to keep track of the number of campers who have engaged with this provision, and which provides opportunities to use a variety of feedback and evaluation mechanisms. We also aim to establish a mechanism by which campers and families can upload and share the output of their activities (e.g. artwork, stories) with others. This provides the opportunity for campers and families to be provided with specific positive labels and meaningful feedback, both from staff and potentially from their peers, thus completing the TR cycle.

 

Alternative ‘Online’ Programme for HC/Sibling Camps

This programme will consist of camp activities to cover three days. Each of these days will include the following touch-points:

  • Morning Activity:

An opportunity for campers to participate in an engaging morning activity (for example a Camp Dance, Yoga Session, Sing-a-long). This will be a pre-recorded video led by members of the staff team. The activity will be different for each of the three days.

 

  • Main Activity:

An opportunity for campers to engage in an activity which they wouldn’t normally access outside of camp. This may be an arts and crafts activity, a STEM/design challenge or a games activity. All required resources will be provided in the resource pack (e.g. arts and crafts materials). This will be a pre-recorded tutorial video led by members of the staff team.

 

  • Cabin Chat:

An opportunity for campers to attend an interactive online video call with campers of the same age, who would have attended the same camp (around 8-10 on each call). These calls will be designed to facilitate peer interactions and will include the same campers on each of the three days. This will be a live, secure video call facilitated by members of the staff team with the support of Over The Wall volunteers.

 

Alternative ‘Online’ Programme for Family Camps

This programme will consist of camp activities to cover one full day, and will include the following touch-points:

  • Morning Activity:

An opportunity for families to participate in an engaging morning activity (for example a Camp Dance, Yoga Session, Sing-a-long). This will be a pre-recorded video led by members of the staff team.

 

  • Main Activity:

An opportunity for families to engage in an activity which they wouldn’t normally access outside of camp, and which will be designed to promote positive family relationships. This may be a creative writing activity, a board game or an arts and crafts activity. All resources required for this will be provided in the resource pack (e.g. writing materials). This will be a pre-recorded tutorial video led by members of the staff team.

 

  • Family Quiz:

An opportunity for families to attend a live, interactive online quiz with families who would have attended the same camp. This will be streamed live on a secure platform and will be facilitated by members of the staff team and Over The Wall volunteers.

 

In addition to the above, we will explore opportunities to create an online platform by which parent/carer(s) can engage with others in similar circumstances and develop positive support networks (e.g. Facebook group).

COVID-19

The devastating effects of COVID-19 are truly being felt now across the UK. We can also see the repercussions of the Coronavirus in other countries ahead of us in the pandemic, and the wisdom of the government’s advice regarding self-isolation and social distancing, and the vital importance of following it have become apparent. 

DBF policy regarding COVID-19: We have been in discussion with fellow charities and associated organisations such as Over The Wall, who we were working with this year to organise Adventure Camps for our Braves, and seeking advice from the airfields and flying clubs that host our Young Aviators Days, to evolve a cohesive plan of action to protect the community we all work with. We’ve devised this policy in conjunction with statements and analysis from the Department of Health and Social Care and others and regular Government updates.

Of prime importance is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our Braves and others in the DBF community, many of whom fall into at-risk categories.

Health Camps: With regret, we have, in agreement with Over The Wall, postponed all Spring and Summer Health Camps and a decision has been deferred on remaining Autumn camps until more information is available.

Young Aviators Days: Keith Delderfield is trying to reschedule our earlier Young Aviators Days until later in the year when the crisis may have passed. He has already successfully achieved that with Kinloss, Eshott and Sandown and is in communication regarding others.

The volatility of this situation means that uncertainty is the only thing that’s certain and we will, of course, keep you updated regarding further developments throughout this challenging time.

In the meantime, look after yourselves and stay well.