residential

So, how was 2018?

 
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AN AVERAGE OF 4.9 STARS OUT OF 5 IN REVIEWS FROM SCHOOLS

 

The Outdoors People grew considerably in 2018 and had another great year.

We remain committed to being transparent, so here's the fine detail from the year just gone:

THE HEADLINE NUMBERS

  • The Outdoors People worked with 21 schools in 2018 which is a 10% increase on the year before

  • All of those schools were given an opportunity to complete a post-camp feedback form and 11 of them chose to do so.

  • All of them said they would book a camp with us again and 80% have already done so

  • Ten out of eleven schools rated their camping experience overall as "excellent" (5 out of 5)

  • One of them rated their camping experience overall as "good" (4 out of 5)

  • Average overall camping experience: 4.9 out of 5.

  • Of the 9 schools that had completed a feedback form and that had camped with us before, 4 thought their camp was about as good as in previous years, and 5 thought that we were better than in previous years.

  • Taken across all categories, our average score was 4.93 out of 5.

  • As of January 2019, 80% of the schools we worked with in 2018 have booked another camp with us.

KEY CRITICISMS

As the numbers show, were very pleased to see that our schools really enjoyed our camps and didn't have many criticisms but there’s always room for improvement.

In response to 2018’s feedback:

  • We now bring vegan/halal/kosher marshmallows as an option on every summer camp.

  • We have also changed the layout of the two fire pits we bring on larger summer camps so that more children can get around the campfire before bed.

  • We have updated our staff training for our popular Life Skills activity to emphasise that primary school groups should get the opportunity to try multiple different challenges rather than work on perfecting just a few.

  • We have also designed a new (and quite large!) Life Skills task that we hope will be hitting the road with us this spring.

A SELECTION OF THE MANY POSITIVE COMMENTS

“Yet another amazing experience!  The team that came to our school are truly inclusive for all children. Nothing is ever too much trouble.”

“Wow... wow... wow... excellent organisation - thank you!”

“Our children always love the camp- it's a really positive addition to our extra curricular programme for Year 3. For many, it's their first camping experience and [often] their first night away from home[.] It's a great first experience with it being on the school premises yet very different to our normal scheduled school day. It's a brilliant way to enhance teamwork, resilience, listening, independence, friendship, a love for the outdoors and much more!”

“The whole ethos of your camps fits so well with our school's values, and at camp the children are continually presented with opportunities to demonstrate values in challenging and interesting ways.”

“[The] equipment was good quality, well organised, and more than fit for purpose.  Activities which appear "risky" are clearly well risk assessed and actually present minimal risk. Where potential risks exist, they are exceptionally well planned and managed to minimise the risks, and clear boundaries and behaviour expectations reinforce this well.”

“All staff very professional and friendly and made the children's camp really exciting and special whilst also being clear and firm with expectations and rules for safety.”

“It is great the way that [the Camp Director] checks in with the teachers at key points to ensure all is going well with the camp. They are incredibly flexible and willing to work with children with a range of needs.”

“Wonderful, very well organised, [and] great rapport with children”

“A true buzz of excitement hits the children in September as they enter Year 4 knowing that this is the 'year of the camp'!  Thank you once again to the amazing team that came to make this years camp such a success.”

“Fantastic!”

And from one parent: “I have a very grubby and tired girl but she had a fabulous time. (But will she ever stop singing that song!?!?!”

THE NUMBERS IN DETAIL

Administration and Booking: 4.9 out of 5.

Our Staff Team: 4.95 out of 5.

Full Camp Activities: 4.96 out of 5.

Group Activities: 4.93 out of 5.

Learning Outcomes: 5 out of 5.

Overall Camping Experience: 4.9 out of 5.

Value for Money: 4.9 out of 5.

100% would book a camp with us again.

FINANCES

As the feedback from schools shows, The Outdoors People continue to deliver outstanding camps that are excellent value for money. In 2017, we worked hard to help out a number of schools that were in danger of losing their residentials when another company unexpectedly went out of business. Now that we are no longer absorbing those costs, we have seen healthy growth throughout 2018 which we have fed back in to additional benefits for our amazing team of freelance instructors including (industry firsts?) of a freelance staff hardship fund (“sick pay” and limited private health care) and a budget for accredited adventure education qualifications at all levels for our freelance team.

Beyond the unknown risks of Brexit, we have no concerns going forward and look forward to delivering our outstanding camps for many years to come.

Looking ahead

We are excited to be piloting our new Winter Camps. With the children “camping” inside the school building and activities taking place outside, in tents heated by wood burning stoves, these new winter residentials are even lower cost than our summer programmes and allow us to bring our camps to more schools and to deliver our outstanding programmes year round.

Beyond that, we have again seen substantial growth in the number of camps we are offering in 2019 and have further increased our capacity. We have expanded our team of instructors and our management team and hope to use this to increase our capacity again in 2020 or 2021.

RAW DATA

A spreadsheet of all our 2018 feedback form responses from schools can be viewed here.

IN SUMMARY

We’ve had an excellent year and would like to extend a huge thank you to all the schools and companies that we worked with over the last year. We’re looking forward to seeing nearly all of you again in 2019! Extra thanks to those who filled in the feedback form, it makes a huge difference to our ability to keep delivering the best school camps we can.

Our amazing staff team do most of the hard work and I cannot thank you all enough. You deliver amazing camp programmes and activities, and the comments, scores, and outstanding rebooking rates detailed above show that our schools agree with me. Thank you so much and I’m looking forward to another exciting year with you all!

Many thanks,

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Craig Geddes - Company Director - The Outdoors People