Shine Camp 2013

Shine Camp 2013 was, I think, our best camp yet! 

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We had a great location ( a private camping field in Swanage, Dorset), great weather and fantastic people!

This year was the first year we were joined by people from all over the UK, many people came who had never before met any Shine people and they left with new friends and a great experience! We had campers from the North East, Manchester, Haywards Heath, and plenty from Dorset!

The trip started on Friday 9th August 2013, and the first ‘tent’ to be pitched was the amazing marquee we had booked both in case of wet weather and as a communal area for the camp. The marquee was supplied by our friends at JD Evolutions and looked amazing as well as being practical.

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(The sky looks a bit dark in this picture but we had no rain and great weather! Just a little cloud!)

Friday evening saw over 40 people camping and a shared supper of gorgeous food brought along by all the campers and a fantastic Paella cooked onsite by Allan with a bit of help from Glemy, a few (!?!?!) drinks were shared and new friendships formed as people met for the first time. For some campers, this was the first time that they had met other younger adults living with a diagnosis of cancer and whilst stories were shared, the evening was a positive and fun experience.

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Saturday saw the arrival of some new campers and people went out and about, exploring Swanage and the local area, walking along the coast path.  In the afternoon, Lesley organised a great game of rounders (with a cricket bat!) which only saw a couple of injuries! and got the families and children playing together.

The afternoon and evening saw over 65 people enjoying the sunshine, games and chatter and, with a lot of volunteer chefs (thank you!) we managed to feed everyone!

ImageA great evening that, spurred on by Polish Vodka cocktails (thanks Magda & Jack) managed to see us up chatting until the early hours of Sunday morning.

(No photos of that!!!!)

Sunday was a day of rest for most with a little sightseeing, a few walks and a lot of chat as we got to know our new friends better.  Many people left on Sunday (work Monday! boo) but we had a couple more visitors and managed to rustle up a BBQ for the remaining 25 or so people at camp.

ImageMonday morning was a bit of a shock and a brush with nature as we awoke to find that some local cows had escaped and decided they wanted to be part of Shine Camp too! An early morning for most of us but some people managed to sleep through the excitement!

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Packing up and saying goodbyes is always the toughest part of Shine Camp and this year was especially so as so many of our guests came from other parts of the country.

We asked people to write their thoughts on Shine Camp in a comments book and just a few of the quotes are below – along with more photos!

Will you join us next year??

Tiani (11) – We all really liked this trip. It was very fun! It was very good for adults and children. The people are lovely and very friendly, I can’t wait to come back next year!

Alison – This is our first Shine Camp and first Shine event so on arriving we knew no-one other than a few emails with Emma. I was a little anxious arriving with a 5 year old son, not knowing how many children he would have to play with or whether the group would be friendly. All my fears melted away with the friendly greeting on arrival and before we had put the tent up my boy was off playing with new friends. There is a great communal atmosphere and I have made good friends. Can’t wait til next year! Thanks Emma and Shine for such a fantastic event, your hard work is much appreciated.

Anonymous – This was our first Shine camping experience. If I’m honest I had my reservations, mainly the thought that it was going to be quite depressing but everyone here is so upbeat and positive it made it so much easier to talk about my mums diagnosis. If anything it has taken a load off my chest. So much fun, everyone is very approachable and easy to talk to. All in all a fantastic weekend.

Charlotte & Neil – Thank you Emma for a fantastic weekend, you have done a great job organising everything (especially cooking all those burgers!) Having only found out about Shine a couple of months ago, Neil and I have been really impressed with the friendliness of everyone. I have managed to go to a few Shine events to meet some new faces and share experiences, but was still a little nervous about pitching up a tent in the middle of a field with strangers! However, everyone has been wonderful and chatty and Emma has made sure everyone has felt so welcome.  I have survived my weekend with lack of showers but am grateful for the portaloos! I have liked having shared dinners and BBQs together as well as having time to do your own thing. Neil and I will be coming back again!

Caroline – We have had an amazing time. I know my daughter was nervous about coming, however, she really enjoyed it. This was my first Shine camp and we will all be looking forward to the next one! p.s. 1st time I’ve woken up face to face with a cow!

Lesley – …what really made it so wonderful was the fantastic people. Feels like we’ve known everyone for ages. My girls made some great new friends and we’ve all laughed and had so much fun.

Abigail & Georgie (Lesley’s daughters) – I was a bit scared about coming but people were really kind. I made some good friends and it was nice to talk to people who have been through the same situation as me. I can’t wait until next year and hope I can see everyone again 🙂

I was really nervous about coming because I didn’t know anyone but I have made some really good friends, thanks.

Magda, Jack and Daniel (2)-Shine camp was fantastic. beautiful place, beautiful people. It was our first shine camp but definitely not last!

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