CHILDREN across Tamworth have been getting back to nature and enjoying the great outdoors thanks to a summer holiday camp with a difference.
The unique new Omega Outdoor Adventure is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of young people through a wide variety of outdoor activities.
This summer, youngsters have been learning new skills such as rock climbing, archery, problem-solving, orienteering, team sports, bushcraft, body zorbing and environmentally friendly arts and crafts.
The programme is designed around the Omega team’s aim to raise awareness of the many benefits of outdoor play. This includes improving mental and physical health, as well as helping children to build confidence and learn valuable life skills – all while having fun in a safe environment.
Omega was set up 12 months ago by Judith Snaith, from Tamworth, who has worked at and managed holiday camps around the world and wanted to bring a new choice of club to her hometown.
She is supported by a team of fully qualified coaches who between them have years of experience and qualifications in activities such as real archery, climbing, mountain biking, caving, fine arts and even Makaton signing.
All share a passion to give young people of all abilities the opportunity to push and challenge themselves in a safe environment. Whether it’s building dens and doing bushcraft, climbing or kayaking, the impact of these activities should not be underestimated.
Judith said: “Unfortunately, we live in an age where children lack active physical activity and are engaging in more sedentary behaviours at home, such as watching TV and using computers and smartphones. Not only does this have an impact on physical health (increase in obesity levels, rise in rickets, a decline in heart and lung function) but it is also shown to have an impact on mental health (increase in depression and anxiety).
“Children need the opportunity to explore the unknown, the unpredictable and the adventurous.
“For this reason, I wanted to do things slightly differently when I set up my own camp, to give the children a real, unforgettable experience rather than just getting them through the doors to make money. I want to bring positive change to as many lives as possible.
“Outdoor adventures provide an opportunity for people to gain confidence, discover things about themselves and to get active in an enjoyable way. Over the years I have seen the positive changes in young people, allowing them opportunities to become a leader where they may normally stand back, to build a true team from a group that don’t want to talk in front of each other.
“You can’t underestimate the importance of this type of outdoor adventure and play when it comes to both physical health and mental wellbeing. Our activities are all designed to improve communication, teamwork, confidence, independence, problem-solving, managing emotions and feelings of inclusion.”
This summer, Omega Outdoor Adventure is leading a pledge to get children playing outdoors more and has been supported in their quest by the Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr Richard Kingstone.
He visited one of the Omega summer camps at Landau Forte Academy, Ashby Road, to see what it’s all about, and try his hand at archery.
Richard, who has fond memories of an active childhood playing in woods and parks, said: “This is exactly the sort of thing we should be encouraging our children to get involved with. Today, most young people seem to spend time on their tech, which is great in one sense, but it doesn’t beat getting out there in the great outdoors.
“So, what Omega offer is exactly the sort of thing that young people need to be getting involved in. Let’s all make a pledge to get our children playing more outdoors!”
For more information about the activities that Omega Outdoor Adventure provide, visit www.omegaoutdooradventure.co.uk or follow on Facebook or Instagram.