Frequently Asked Questions - Parents / Carers

Please see the packing list on the right, as well as the Q&As below. If you have specific questions which are not answered please contact a member of the bookings team.

The activities depend on who volunteers for the camp and which camp your child is attending. We try and add something every year but generally the activities will include arts and crafts and 'Mad Scientist' science experiments; team sports such as football, and basketball; water-based activities such as swimming (supervised in a pool), fishing and canoeing; archery (instructor-led); individual competitions for chess and draughts, table tennis, etc.; and a variety of evening activities such as movie nights and a camp fire.

We are a Catholic Camp and Mass or a Communion service is held each day. Children and helpers are encouraged to attend. All children are required to attend Sunday Mass. Above all, the Catholic faith teaches us to treat each other with respect and kindness, something that the children are encouraged to do.

The site is set in over forty acres of Essex countryside, near Colchester, and is owned and maintained by SVP volunteers. The full address of the camp will be sent to you in your confirmation pack.

The Camp gives the utmost priority to the safety of the children. Usually two helpers are assigned to each tent of children and they are responsible throughout the week for their general welfare. The children are never allowed off the site other than on organised swimming trips.

All helpers, in accordance with child protection procedures, are carefully vetted with references and an enhanced CRB or DBS record check. All helpers must also attend a training day to learn the Camp procedures and protocols. All the activities at Camp have undergone rigorous risk assessments and a review and inspection of facilities is carried out annually.

Children need to be sufficiently independent to attend St. John Bosco Camp and capable of following basic rules of safety, e.g. not to climb over fences. We do have a code of conduct for children which we will send to you with the booking confirmation. We ask parents/carers to go through this code of conduct with the children attending our Camp prior to attending.

A full list of the required equipment and suggested clothing will be sent with confirmation of your booking, and you can also view the packing list here. This will include a sleeping bag. A time is set aside each day to enable everybody to tidy up and check their personal belongings. Please ensure that all belongings are marked with the child's name.

As this is a Camping holiday, please do not bring do not bring designer clothing, expensive watches, rings, iPods, mobile phones, hairdryers, cameras, electronic games etc. as these may be easily lost or broken. Mobile phones are not allowed because of child protection. if you wish your child to bring a mobile phone they MUST hand this in at the beginning of camp. Every child has the opportunity to ring home if they wish using the office camp phone. 

Transport to and from the Camp has been arranged and is included in the cost. Pick up points are: Central London or Beckton, (East London) or Harold Hill, (Romford). Further details of exact travel times and pick up points will be sent out with your confirmation of your booking.

Alternatively, you can provide your own transport.

Yes. A more detailed medical form will be sent with confirmation of your child's booking and this must be completed and handed in on arrival at Camp when the children are being booked in. All medicines must be clearly marked with your child's name and clear instructions provided on the dosage.

We have a First Aid point on site and a doctor and general hospital are available locally.

The Camp is able to cater for restricted diets. Please give full details of any allergies, intolerances etc. on the application form.

We will ALWAYS call you in case of an emergency. If you do not hear from us then you should assume that your child is happy and having a fantastic time at Camp. We discourage regular phone contact as it is usually the main cause of homesickness. We are very experienced in dealing with this issue and if a child is distressed we will make sure they contact you. The Camp is also set in over 40 acres and the children follow a rich activity schedule for the week sometimes away from the phone line. A call may result in Children missing out on an activity.

You can follow us on Twitter at @boscocamp

We always welcome more volunteers. For more information about volunteering please visit our volunteers page.

Outside of meal times a tuck shop opens once a day for the children to purchase items. The camp operates a bank system where we collect the money at the start of the week, track the spend and then return any unused money before the children go home. A reasonable amount to bring would be in the region of £5-10.