The kind of holiday kids would choose themselves. Our philosophy at YD is that it is the child’s holiday after all so we do everything we can to make our holidays free, real and fun.
Children are free to choose their own timetable of activities so they never have to do anything they don’t want to do.
We also don’t ‘enforce fun’ or try to keep kids mindlessly occupied every single moment of the day. There is always plenty to do at YD and no-one ever gets bored but we also encourage and value children taking time out of adult organised and adult orientated activities to simply play, talk and generally socialise amongst themselves. It is this significant amount of child-initiated social interaction in the evenings which makes camping at YD so special and enduring.
Mutual Respect and Equality
We believe children are citizens. Not just pre-adults but full members of our society who should be accorded the rights and respect due them as such. The responsibilities unique to adulthood do of course mean that much of the time the adult’s word is the final word when it comes to safety, the law or bullying (oh and bed times…); but when the opinions and wishes of children can be heard they should be heard and we listen very carefully.
This attitude of treating kids like real people breaks down many of the traditional barriers of age and means genuine friendships, and a genuinely enjoyable time, can be shared between adults and children.
We do not separate kids based on age or gender. We have a wonderful mix of 8 – 14 year olds plus several 15 -17 year old helpers and volunteers (all ex YD kids themselves) and even our staff range from 18 to 60..something.
We believe this is very important in fostering a sense of equality amongst the children and making them all feel included. It also has the knock-on effect of allowing the ‘big kids’ to drop their teenager act and play around like a little kid again whilst encouraging them to be caring and responsible to the younger ones. The younger ones are empowered by being allowed to participate in the same activities at the same time as the older kids and they get to gang up on them in waterfights!
YD Summer Camps is non-denominational and does not offer any form of religious observation during it’s holidays. However participants are free to observe any religious practices they see fit which do not interfere with the freedom and enjoyment of others.
Realness means going rock climbing on real rock (unless the weather is bad) and caving down real muddy caves.
Our bushcraft instructor really has hacked through the jungles of Borneo and studied tracking with native Americans. Our pottery, batik and tie dye and mosaic making instructors are trained teachers/instructors who practice their crafts outside of YD.In the evenings we collect firewood and sit around real campfires toasting marshmallows telling jokes and ghost stories at night.
We have been having lots of fun at Young Dartington for 22 years and each year brings new and exciting opportunities for everyone involved, from the kids to the staff. The incredible locations we are lucky to have allow for brilliant experiences no matter what the weather.
With a huge range of exhilarating and creative activities combined with a passionate and loving family staff YD Summer Camps have gone from strength to strength and in recent years opened a new venue just outside of Bristol.