Really Wild about Nature Holiday Club 2018

We had a brilliant menagerie of 48 children going really WILD about nature at the holiday club this year.  Enthusiastic youngsters aged 4 to 10 from our church fellowship, Cub Scouts, Carlton Hill Primary School and the wider community attended.  Each day the fun lasted from 9.30 am to 1 pm.  We took over the entire building for three days with nature posters lining the walls and fun facts about our wonderful native wildlife dotted all around.

Every day we started with collage making and joke telling, followed by our energetic ‘Shake Break’ warm-up dance and a rousing rendition of the Bare Necessities, this year’s theme song. We played some great team games with plenty of relay races and lots of running around.  We also had three competitive really WILD challenges – eating tinned peaches with chopsticks, scoffing a biscuit dangling on a piece of string, and stacking 25 pennies in a tower using only one hand.  These are harder than they sound!

We had a lovely puppet performance each day, exploring themes about nature and our world and how we can take care of this beautiful planet.  The children thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful cookery session each day, baking delicious treats to take home including cheesy pastry ‘snails’ and chocolate buttercream hedgehogs.  We got through more than a hundred loo rolls with our craft-making workshops – thanks to everyone who donated their loo roll inners!

On Tuesday the children met our special visitor Graham who brought in two of his rescued hedgehogs. They had a good snuffle round the building!  The following day two incredible Capoeira dancers from Amazonas Arts ran some very energetic and musical workshops.  Thanks to South East Dance who kindly arranged this!

On Thursday Kevin from Hawking About ran an awesome workshop, introducing the children to his birds of prey and flying them about the Sanctuary!  We met a barn owl, kestrel, tawny owl, little owl, and even the fastest creature on the planet – a peregrine falcon.  It was a magical experience watching such beautiful birds at close range and feeling the whoosh of air as they flew inches above our heads.  Kevin threw down the gauntlet – literally – and many of the children had the birds land on their gloved hand.  They were very brave and it was a truly unforgettable experience.

We had a fabulous celebration with parents and carers at the end of the week – there was cake and a cuppa for all and we chatted about some of the fun activities we’d done.  Everyone joined in as we sang the Bare Necessities and then some very brave parents had a go at our really WILD challenges, egged on by the crowd of eager children.

A huge, huge thank you to all our amazing volunteers who worked so hard to deliver a fantastic holiday club. It was a massive team effort and without the hard work and dedication of truly brilliant volunteers, we would not be able to put on such a spectacular holiday club.

Click here for photo gallery

Liz Neale, Children’s and Families Support Worker