The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many areas of life to come to a standstill. Cancelled events, closed businesses and staying at home has been the story for much of 2020, but as lockdown restrictions eased across the country this summer, a degree of normality began to return.
Like many organisations, the Kings Active Foundation have not had an easy year, as their ever popular Kings Camps ground to a halt during lockdown. Thanks to a long-standing partnership with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), sports and activity camps are usually available during school holidays at a discounted rate for children and young people from Royal Navy families. This offer is available in 55 locations nationwide, as well as at 10 UK Royal Navy establishments from Cornwall to Helensburgh. As a result of the pandemic however, all camps were cancelled during the Easter break and it was looking unlikely that the summer holidays would be any different.
Against the odds though, Kings Camps have taken place this summer across the country, with a limited number of camps even managing to return to Royal Navy establishments. The Kings Active Foundation, the Royal Navy and the RNRMC have worked hard to ensure that as many children as possible had the opportunity to return to camp, or experience it for the first time, with safety being the number one priority. “We’re really pleased to have pushed through the challenges and uncertainties to operate Kings Camps for children from Navy families this summer”, said Richard Holmes, Kings Active Foundation CEO. Adaptations have been made to the camps, such as smaller ‘bubble’ group sizes, regular breaks for hand washing or sanitising, and stringent monitoring of children for any signs of COVID-19 infection.
“There’s never been a time when getting children active, having fun and learning together has been so important, and it was clear from day one that children were desperate to do so”, said Richard.
“The feedback from parents has been phenomenal, with many stating that being able to get their children back to some sort of normality was a real boost to family life.”
One parent commented:
“Amazing, safe venue for kids! Great staff who engaged kids from the outset. This is the only camp my kids actually enjoy! They are kept on the go from drop off to pick up and love every minute of it. It's well organised, the activities are structured and the atmosphere is always fun. The chants on the way home in the car are probably the only downside but after a while, even i joined in!!”
Another parent added:
“My daughter absolutely loved it. She turned 5 in October, so this is the first time she has been able to do it. I picked her up every night and she is so excited to tell me all about the new sports she has played, what she has done and the new friends she had made. I was a bit worried that with the ongoing Covid19 situation it wouldn't be as good as previous years, but as mentioned, it was fantastic.”
For information and updates on October half term camps please keep an eye on the Kings Camps website.