Best Memories

Below is a selection of the “best memories” which our Alumni shared with us in March 2016.  The number in brackets show the year in which the contributor first got involved with Campus – although many volunteers have Campus careers which span multiple decades!

1960s

A camp at Sedbergh, Yorkshire Dales where kids kept going missing. One at Crickhowell, Brecon where BBC made a film. The two Series 1 Landrovers which we drove up and down between Liverpool, the Lake District, Devon and S Wales (and were able to use around the Cambridgeshire pubs during term time!) (1967/8)

The kids’ delight as a shepherd on horse-back came down from the hills into our campsite at Llangattock, then allowing each of them to ride his good-natured horse. And almost as delightful, the kids’ shining, grubby, faces around the campfire at Coniston. (1969)

1970s

The painted vans, the children thinking they were anonymous in a small village in Wales, being told 35 was old, the depth of fellowship. (1977)

Ghost hunts in Shropshire. (1977)

Clever people who talked to us. Travelling in the van singing songs. Making Flapjacks. Laughing. Drawing on walks & decorating the Campus bus. Ghost hunts. Days out, canoeing pot holing, mud and fields, football, the inflatable. Everything. (1979)

1980s

Spending 3 hours in the swimming baths; making pizza, camping out in the old green tent toasting marshmallows, ghost hunts “Campus points” dinosaur badges, navigating around Liverpool with young helpers.  Best time of my life. I began a career in teaching on the basis of my Campus experiences but for years I always used to regard Campus weeks as real life and the rest of the year as a build up to my real life. I loved it so much. So intense. Such great people involved in the project and such lovely kids year on year who loved the project, loved the helpers and loved life in the country on jam and cheese sandwiches and songs in the minibus. Great times. I can’t think of another thing that made such a contribution to who I am as a person. (1984)

1990s

Summer 1992 – a baptism of fire… (1992)

So many to choose from!  I’m going to say the nights sleeping in the tent with the campfire – magical. (1994)

So, so many!!  One which sticks in my mind was losing the immobiliser on the beach and having to wait for rescue with a bus load of kids. (1995)

Too many to recall. I just enjoyed all the time I was there. (1995)

2000s

Meeting my wife! (2001)

Everything – it’s so hard to identify one single event!  The excitement on the face of a 12 year old boy when he saw a squirrel for the first time; teaching a kid to float in the pool and he loved it so much that he came back the following summer a fully-fledged swimmer; driving a couple of extra laps on our way back from evening activities, gradually increasing the temperature in the minibus to lull the kids to sleep; the dedication, energy and resourcefulness of the young helpers who make Campus such a success; the close friends I made and have stayed in touch with ever since. (2002)

So many to choose from!  Quiet times spent chatting with a child on the mini-bus are a wonderful memory. (2002)

Trekking up The Cloud after dark and hearing Sue tell ghost stories at the top. (2003)

The surreal moment of waking up as a coordinator at 6am to find one of the Middle Boys had been up since 4am, had toasted over 100 pieces of bread whilst dressed in a full Santa outfit including novelty beard (Campus didn’t own a Santa outfit), oh and he had poured the entire week’s cereal supplies into every bowl Campus owned… Watching the Younger Girls bribe the police with hot dog sausages to let us stay in a park which 1) We weren’t meant to be in 2) We definitely weren’t meant to be BBQing in 3) Closed 2 hours earlier… They let us stay.  (2004)

Meeting my fiancée, a fellow helper, of course. But also intervening in a fight including the following exchange: “I’ll punch your lights out!!!” – “I’ll still shine!” (2008)

2010s

So many, I can’t choose! I think my favourite part of Campus is the way in which so many of the helpers get as much out of it as do the children – the organisation brings together so many different people who all benefit from the projects in a huge variety of ways. (2011)