Dates: 4th - 7th September 2020
Location: Sevenoaks, Kent
Camp Wildlife is, essentially, an exclusive adventure camp for grown ups. Its own special form of hedonism lies squarely and wholesomely in the pursuit of outdoor games, challenges and good, clean fun. In the evenings, there’s music, delicious drinks and lovely food – a chance to party under the stars and get a boogie on. Really though, their main focus is on day-time activities, which are wide and varied, fostering a healthy sense of competition and most importantly, challenging oneself to try new things and meet new people.
Like something out of a Wes Anderson movie, there’s bracing announcements over a rattly tannoy, crackling through the crisp, clean air of Sevenoaks Forest in Kent, where the festival is held. Just 40 minutes from London, it has a large and loyal following of people who are looking for something a little bit different from your usual festival fare. Children are not allowed, but the child within you is very much encouraged to appear. It’s an opportunity to hark back to your venturesome youth, to throw yourself, wholeheartedly, into archery and tug-of-war, assault courses and water slides.
Guests can sign up to be members of four ‘teams’ – Fox, Badger, Squirrel and Hawk. Throughout the weekend, these teams compete for the ultimate prize – the Camp Wildlife Cup. This has the effect of creating a deeper sense of community and team-work, breaking the ice and making friends out of strangers. In fact, the event is full of such incitements, with plenty of team sports as well as individual challenges.
Started in 2015, the festival has grown in popularity and is improving every year. The myriad of things to do can be somewhat overwhelming, so guests are encouraged to pre-book a few activities in advance and then leave the rest to spontaneity. You can do anything from extreme-zorbing to macrame, scavenger hunts to beekeeping. An average day may well include making nipple-tassles, learning how to skin a deer and a zombie run. In case that sounds a bit manic, you can take a step back with some yoga, meditation and a turn in a hot tub.
Because the festival is still, comparatively speaking, quite small, there aren’t as many food vendors as larger events. However, there’s still something for everyone – fantastic barbecue meals, vegetarian and vegan options, superb coffee, perfect pastries and even wood-fired pizzas. You don’t really need much more than that.
And what would an adventure camp be without sleeping under canvas? The wisest choice is, of course, the boutique camping. With all that running around, you’re going to want to be able to hop into a hot shower at a moment’s notice, and then come back to you roomy tent to change and get ready for the next part of the day. Plus, you’ll want a good night’s sleep so you’re full of beans for whatever tomorrow may hold – and a memory foam mattress beats a meagre roll-matt any day!