Wonders of nature: Lika’s Nurture Camp for foster kids
Getting outdoors, climbing trees, learning how to forage, and sitting around a campfire listening to stories—they’re the kind of experiences that make a childhood magical.
Yet many young people never get to experience the thrill of activities like camping, horseback riding or swimming in a freshwater lake.
That’s why Lika hosts an annual Nurture Camp, where exactly these kinds of activities are on the itinerary. We want to give our young people the opportunity to try these kinds of experiences in a safe environment—not just because it’s great fun, but because these kinds of activities help develop valuable independence skills and resilience.
In 2023, Lika’s Nurture Camp was held in Somerset. Experienced carers, the Lika team, and consultant psychiatrist Dr Patrick Davey (founder of MOAI Health and the author of Cheeky Worries) joined young people aged 10 to 16 at the three-day camp. Activities included learning how to make a campfire, river swimming, sheep-herding, horse-riding, foraging, a treasure hunt, long walks, arts and crafts, and cooking on the campfire.
The camp combines the inherent value of discovery and play in nature with a psychological resilience programme designed to boost self-confidence and improve emotional well-being and a strong sense of self. In a busy world, we want to give children the space and time through outdoor play, creativity, and spontaneity to be exactly who they are.
Various experts were brought in to lead various activities and teach various skills. An expert taught the children how to safely get a campfire started using a steel and flint, for example. Another expert was a bit like Bear Grylls, taking the young people on a walk through the forest and teaching them about nature.
The idea of the camp is for the fostered young people to spend time in a different context, to be surrounded by the countryside, and to be given opportunities they might not have in London. For many of them, the first time they ever experienced an activity like wild swimming was on this camp.
But the camp wasn’t just educational. It was also an opportunity to form friendships. Some of the young people who met for the first time at the camp are now in regular contact. There was a wonderful mix of young people, too, so they were able to meet people from different backgrounds and with different experiences.
It was quite brave of our young people to take part in the camp, as it was so far outside their life experience, but they all learned a lot, had a great time, and went home with a new-found confidence and understanding of their own abilities.
It’s wonderful to see—and it’s why Lika will keep hosting Nurture Camps for our young people in the future.
If you’re in south or east London and you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, give the helpful team at Lika a call on 020 8667 2111. We’re here to answer all your questions.
We’re in the London boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Bromley, Merton, Lambeth, Westminster, Wandsworth, Lewisham, Southwark, Islington, Camden, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, City of London, Haringey, Newham, Redbridge, and Barking and Dagenham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea.