residential FAQ lettter and kit list
Linking nature with the curriculum
Your child is about to take part in a school residential with Outback2basics. As a parent myself I can understand you would have questions and concerns regarding their time with us, for some even, it may be their first time away from home! For this reason I want to reassure you that my staff and I treat every child with compassion, kindness and sensitivity to make sure each child has an enjoyable and positive experience. Please find below the answers to some frequently asked questions to give you confidence regarding your child’s upcoming trip.
What is the trip all about?
Outback2basics is a small family run business based in a woodlands on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border. It has been operating for the last 5 years. We teach outdoor education and are passionate about encouraging children to use and respect their natural environment. We teach a mixture of Stone Age education and Bushcraft inspiring young people to be creative and enjoy the woodlands.
What happens if it rains?
It is in the nature of what we teach to be outside. However we do have some covered areas that we can use in the case of poor weather. We teach under a large parachute, we have a big tarpaulin covered roundhouse with wood burner and a 6m rustic tipi that can be used as an additional classroom. We ask however that all children are well equipped for the weather with wellies, water proof rain jackets and waterproof trousers if possible. (Kit list included)
Are there toilets on site?
We have 3 very comfortable compost loos built inside wooden sheds. We have a female and a male toilet and basic hand washing stations outside.
Are there any risks involved?
In the woodlands there are always risks but we have completed a full risk assessment of the woodlands that we use and monitor any hazards by keeping a dynamic risk assessment. We always start by outlining all the risks to the children and explain the rules we ask them to follow in order for us to maintain safety throughout the camp.
Also, we always have a fire going. The fire is in a clear area, off ground with clear boundaries. The children are clearly shown how to walk around the outside of the fire area and given strict rules not to touch or interfere with the fire in any way unless asked. All lead staff have full first aid certificates and a full 1st aid kit is kept in an accessible area on site.
How many adults and staff will be present?
We work on a ratio of 1:12 where activities are concerned. The school will bring at least 2 members of staff and Outback2basics works with a minimum of 2 staff depending on numbers.
What qualifications do the O2B staff hold?
Naomi Walmsley who is the founder of Outback2basics and runs the sessions holds a national qualification in Bushcraft leadership, levels 2 and 3 Forest School leader qualification, a current first aid certificate and a full DBS check. Daniel who is co-founder and lead instructor on most sessions is a trained medic.
All of our staff have been fully trained by Outback2basics, have a full DBS check and are first aid qualified.
What do the activities entail?
The activities differ depending on the choice of the school and purpose of visit. The activities can range from cave art and shelter building to fire lighting and foraging. The school will know prior to their trip so any questions regarding the activities your child will be partaking in should be directed towards the school and organisers of the trip. We do ask for parents to provide clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty.
What do they eat?
On all over night courses we provide the food. We ask for the children to bring a packed lunch on the first day. We then supply all snacks, dinner and breakfast on a 24hr trip and the additional meals on extended trips. We cook simple, recognisable home cooked food. Don’t worry, NO WORM BURGERS, OR FORAGED MUSHROOM STEWS!!!!! We cook food such as spaghetti bolognaise, pasta bakes, sausages and mash and vegetables. If your child has any allergies or food intolerances then please let us know and we will do whatever we can to cater for these children. If you have a child with lots of dislikes of certain foods then please bear this is mind and pack a few of their favourite foods with them. They will need lots of energy during our camps and whilst we aim to please everyone’s tastes with our home cooked nutritious food we are aware that not everyone likes the same food. Please do not fill their bags with sweets and chocolate to fill up at night time as this only makes them hyper and active before bed. We reserve the right to confiscate this kind of snack in the interest of a calm and positive atmosphere in camp in the evening - to be handed back at the end of camp.
Where do they sleep?
The children will be sleeping in single sex group tents unless they are particularly keen to sleep in shelters they have made which have been safety tested and agreed with staff. We quite often throw a tarp over these shelters before bed just to make sure they stay dry in case of rain.
Where do the adults/teachers sleep?
School staff will have their own staff tent clearly located so the children know where to find them. Outback2basics staff make sleeping arrangements to maintain at least one member of staff to remain ‘on –call’ throughout the night. Some children choose to get up when they feel a little home sick and we welcome these children to sit with us a while around the fire until they feel secure enough to go back to their tent. The site is lit with lanterns which also clearly light the toilets.
How secure are the woodlands?
Our woodlands are part of a large estate. We share the woodlands with Fishermen who are members of the Bradford Rural Estate fishing club. The fishermen are only there during the day and it is rare that we see anyone. Our site is based some distance away from the lake. The woodlands are secured by a locked gate throughout the day and night. Our area of woodlands is nestled down a track and remains a very private area.
What do you do in case of emergency?
Our part of the woodlands can be accessed by car down a woodland track. The Outback2basics 4X4 remains on site in case of emergencies. Emergency services can access us via the woodland track.
We have clear emergency procedures and all our staff have been trained in case of an emergency. We have a full first aid kit on site and all of our lead staff are First Aid qualified. Is there a shop on site? I’m afraid not.
- Sleeping bag
- Roll matt
- Toiletries (spare batteries)
- Spare change of clothes (Please, no shorts)
- Old clothes for ‘messy activities’
- Warm jumper
- Hat (Light hat - protection from sun in warmer months/ woollen hat - recommended for night time)
- Blanket – Recommended
- Extra socks (thick socks for sleeping recommended)
- Rain jacket
- Rain trousers – Recommended
- Insect repellent (warmer months essential)
- Sun screen (warmer months essential)
- Packed lunch for first day
- Drinking bottle
- Any medication needed (To be handed to teaching staff on arrival)