Camping Trial in 2021

In summer 2018 a number of us attended ‘women go wild’ WI camp weekend in East Grinstead. We had a blast abseiling, hula hooping, zip lining , learning new things and making new friends, chatting and generally having a break. We vowed to continue our camping trips with the WI every year! 

In 2019 a slightly different gaggle of us attended ‘Tents in Kent’ and, although we had a great time together, we spent the majority of it debating how we would have done it better, and we started planning what WE would do if we hosted a camp! 

When we returned home, we set about finding a local – ish campsite that would accommodate a number of our Bognor Regis WI ladies, along with some crafting, talks, activities, walks and just general fun.

Jack found us Furzefield scout camp in Angmering. We knew it would be a perfect venue and we booked for a weekend in the summer of 2020! 

Obviously, we all know what happened in the early part of 2020 and our camp, along with so many other plans, was postponed.

So over two years after our last WI camping experience, a small number of us met for a one night ‘test’ camp mid-week in August. 

Our original band of about 13 was reduced to 7 in the end. We were completely blessed by the weather and arrived Tuesday morning to a beautiful woodland scene with the floor dappled in sunlight and the sounds of nature all around us. The campsite is perfectly sectioned into a number of camping and social areas as well as having a car park, large open gazebo, camp fires, outdoor woodland church, toilets, shower and one plug! But that was all we needed.

We pitched our tents – expertly! Even though a couple of ladies hadn’t even done a dry run at home! 

It was wonderful just to sit and relax, reacquainting, chatting and mixing with friends and having a cup of tea, courtesy of the one plug. 

After lunch we went on a walk. Jan (who had been due to join us) had originally planned a walk and would have been proud of us (not) as we got completely lost and ended up having to squeeze ourselves through a barbed wire fence! We all escaped the landowner’s field unscathed and without being shouted at or arrested for trespassing (Gina was visibly disappointed.)

We rewarded ourselves after the (five – ish) walk with a trip to the pub for a drink while we waited for the fish and chips in the village.

Once we were back in camp, we ate our chippy tea, lit our camp fire and listened to music whilst roasting marshmallows and chatting. The beautiful day had turned into a stunningly clear night and through the trees we could see the stars before we settled down in our tents for bed.

When we woke up the next morning we had a continental breakfast courtesy of Jack, before we started to break camp and clear the site. 

We had all agreed that we felt as though we had been on holiday even though we’d only been 11 miles from home for one night only.

We left with plans of future camping fun, getting back to nature, fully planned walks, workshops and relaxation for 2022’s camp and we hope you’ll join us there. I promise you all, one plug is enough! 

Katie Lyne

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