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A working farm camp experience

Today, more and more children have very little or no contact with the natural world. And this has a significant impact on their health and development. Our children are submerged in virtual worlds that extend beyond their imaginations, limited only by bandwidth and megapixels. In the age of staggering technological advancements, does it really matter if our children spend their lives between school and screen? Recent studies say that is does… with a majority of children spending their time indoors and doctors treating more injuries related to getting out of bed than falling out a tree.

Children are interested in the natural world, as they’ve see on TV or through a visit to a National Park. Getting to know the natural world develops a love for nature and helps children care more about its survival. Its not so much what children know about nature that matters, but rather what happens when they are in nature, learning, engaging and playing – experiencing it directly on their own or with their friends, that’s what counts.

Our children's time is much more pressured than it once was. Spare time must be spent constructively with extra mural, sports and culture activities – no time for ‘ilding’ in the park. The biggest obstacle for today‘s children being allowed to play like this, stems from parental anxiety around safety. It's a problem we need to address, because the consequences of failing to allow our children to play independently outside are beginning to make themselves known.

Obesity is perhaps the most visible symptom of the lack of such play, but literally dozens of studies from around the world show regular time outdoors produces significant improvements in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning ability, creativity and mental, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

With just a few minutes of "green exercise" each day, children have experienced rapid improvements in mental wellbeing and self-esteem, with the greatest benefits experienced by teenagers. Free and unstructured play in the outdoors boosts problem-solving skills, focus and self-discipline. Socially, it improves cooperation, flexibility, and self-awareness. Emotional benefits include reduced aggression and increased happiness.

At The Character Company we believe that boys are smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the outdoors. Physical activities boost self-confidence and we have seen that time and time again through our long-term mentorship programme, which offers a weekly MENtored activity and weekend camp experiences for young boys with absent fathers.

We believe that children need to experience not just the wider world, but how they fit in. So climbing a tree is about learning how to take responsibility for one’s self, and how – crucially – to measure risk. Falling out of a tree is a very good lesson in risk and reward.

The Character Company is offering an incredible week-long camp experience on a working farm in the picturesque setting of Balele in the Drakensberg. Our Balele Working Farm Camp Experience offers exciting days filled with fun farm activities like milking cows, feeding new born lambs, horse riding, hiking in the mountains and sleeping under the stars. You will not only get to experience a working farm, you will also get to appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to get produce to the shelf of your local grocery store. Running a working farm means that there is always something to do! And with a group of TCC boys, it’s always fun...

A big focus will be the importance of a solid value system as we lay foundations for growing boys into 5 Values Men.

The camp experience is best suited for young teen boys, aged between 12 and 15 years old. We believe that it is a great time to show young boys the value of hard work and remind them of the effort it takes to succeed.

Book your space today and let’s raise boys to be good men.

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