The biggest adoption & fostering event ever?

Every year New Family Social holds a Summer camp for its families. In August 2012, 120 children and 150 of their parents spent 5 days building confidence and new friendships.

This was possibly the biggest ever event for adopted and fostered children in the UK, and the difference it made to so many people is clear to see from the visitors’ book, below.

We would like to thank PACT for helping to make this year’s camp possible.

2012 visitors’ book

“Thanks for a fabulous weekend. The scout volunteers and “yellow tops” have made it truly fantastic, with well thought out and planned activities, especially movies night, disco and camp’s got talent.
This is an experience our boys would get nowhere else; understanding and love in abundance.
We cannot thank you enough.”

“Another inspiring and affirming weekend for LGBT families. It’s wonderful to see our children so relaxed and happy within a social mix that truly reflects our families; this doesn’t happen anywhere else! Thank you for all your hard work, thought and great sense of fun. We are only sorry we couldn’t help more due to recent placement.”

“This is an experience our boys would get nowhere else; understanding and love in abundance.”

“Thank you for a fantastic weekend, we’ve all had a really lovely time. It was really lovely to attend our youngster’s celebration hearing whilst at camp, which helps make the day even more memorable.
See you all next year”

“Thank you once again for a great event. We all love coming each year and we can see that you and the team have put so much though, time and effort into organizing this amazing opportunity for children to play in such a safe environment. It’s a great way to meet so many families and make good friendships as well.
We all look forward to many more camps & events and we will support you and future events as much as we can.
Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”

“Thank you for a truly amazing experience for all of us. Next year when our son is less high maintenance we’d be happy to help more.”

“Thanks so much – we have had a wonderful time.”

“Fabulous weekend thanks so much. Our daughter loved the rock climbing and dancing in the show… also the pond dipping and the camp hike. Camp team were troupers and so were the Scout team. Such a great location with so much to do.”

“We love the location and the social meal times are an improvement on last year. Thanks to all NFS staff and their organizational skills. The adventure activities for the kids were great and really enjoyed by all. The campfire was a fantastic addition too as it was another social meeting place adding a different dimension. “camp’s got talent” is very entertaining and a great confidence builder for the kids.”

“The last 11 months were difficult for my family; this has helped us & we have reached a turning point.”

“A huge thank you to Andy and all the volunteers for all their hard work. It really is appreciated. A lovely location, looking forward to next year.”

“Thank u very much for a wonderful setup. I hate camping but this one has been fun, really fun. Our little one has really gained loads as well as ourselves. Just great to meet others and speak and most of all if the little one kicks off no stares, just understanding. As our little one said “loads of mummies and daddies!”

“Beautiful location, great support from the scout volunteers. For our family, from sleepy rural Somerset, it’s been invaluable in mixing with other gay familes, as well as other adoptive families regardless of sexuality! The eating together concept has been great for informal socializing, as well as allowing us to limit the amount of cooking equipment we’ve needed to cram into our already overloaded car! Tea & coffee together has also been great. Our boys, 11 & 8, have really enjoyed the open spaces and the opportunities to do the activities provided by the instructors.
All in all, a lovely relaxing break for adults & children (& dog) alike!
Downside though is, I want another ickle one, about 2 yrs old or so I’d say!”

“I have really enjoyed camp. It was fun. I will definitely come next year. Thanks to Simon – I have really enjoyed myself. The food was lovely and I liked the entertainment. How many stars = 10”

“Thank you to all the organisers & volunteers for this weekend. It’s been wonderful! My daughter has thoroughly enjoyed all the activities & was talking about coming back next year after a couple of hours! I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to meet fellow adopters – particularly of older children. It’s been really beneficial for my daughter to have met so many adopted / fostered children & not to be seen as different! This has been an inspiring weekend with some really creative & enthusiastic people & we’ve really enjoyed ourselves. Scout camp a really good choice of venue with lovely staff. Particularly enjoyed the breakfasts & dinners.
Thank you for all your hard work & giving of your time – we’ll definitely come next year!”

“Many thanks for such a great time, our boys loved coming and made many friends as did we. We also managed to spend time with 2 families that live close to us and have a good start for some friendships.”

“The kids have finally understood the idea of permanence… we have all felt much more a family.”

“Thankyou so much for another fabulous weekend! We have all had a brilliant time – the extra activities have been thoroughly enjoyed, as well as the other games / disco! It’s always great to meet-up & see so many other families with just mummies of daddies!
Thank you! Will definitely be up for it again next year!”

“Thank you for another fabulous year camping. All your efforts are greatly appreciated. We know it takes a lot of your time away from your family time to organize this event, thank you.
Yet again you have excelled yourselves with location & activities for the children & adults. Look forward to next year & meeting more great people.”

“Thank you very much for all your hard work. We really enjoyed our first NFS camping trip – well done.”

“This is our first camp (having only had the children since April). It has been transforming for all of us. The kids have finally understood the idea of permanence.
I have had so much informal support and we have all felt much more a family.”

“Absolute highlight of the Summer!!”

“Thank you for a fab camping. It was our first time at camp with our little ones and they have loved playing with all the other children. Good food and company.”

“Thank you so much for another fantastic camp! The kids have loved the open space fresh air and freedom, as well as the opportunity to take part I the new activities and make new friends! We have cried with laughter and then laughed some more!”

“Seeing some of the kids from last year having grown in confidence at this year’s “Camp’s got Talent!” was truly lovely.
Thanks once again. Here’s to next year!”

“Wanted to say “Thank you” to a great bunch of guys who always had a smile on their faces and who were well organized, professional and kind.
The last 11 months were difficult for my family; this has helped us & we have reached a turning point.”

“Our third year at camp…. Again, thank you!
This is such an amazing, exiting, positive experience for our kids. It is a family tradition with us & it is fabulous – may it go on and on!
Loving meeting new families & seeing families from previous years growing up.”

“I like going camping, playing with new friends & going to bed & having a disco & doing the mud art!”

“Thanks for another great Summer camp, you’ve thought of everything as usual and our son has had a total blast! The site is perfect and hope to come back here again next year.”

“Absolute highlight of the Summer!! Great to make some new friends and catch up with old ones – the kids had a blast – happy times indeed.”

“It’s wonderful being with all these lesbian and gay adopters and our children. The collective space is great so thanks for the 3rd time round for organizing a great NFS camping weekend. As we are leaving someone has already said could it be a week? Thought this is a great location – very central… and the volunteers need a special special thank you. So 3rd time around great to reconnect with old friends and meet new… and major thanks to all of you who organize it.”

“Thanks for a wonderful weekend. It was very well organized. The kids made friends easily and didn’t want to leave! We enjoyed chatting to other parents and had a relaxing time, knowing the children were happy.”

“Thanks for organizing a great camp. It was obvious that so much work was put into this event before, during and after.
Our children had a great time and loved every minute. It has been great for their confidence, especially abseiling and climbing.”

“The three of us had a brilliant time. It was our first holiday as a family and first nights away from home (apart from Nanny & Granddad’s). Little chappie’s face the first morning he woke up in a tent was a treat, at first a little disorientated and then sheer joy coupled with “We are in our tent and we slept in it!”. He is also rather proud of himself for managing to complete the walk by himself…youngest to manage it we reckon!
Was great to catch up with those that we already knew and great to make new friends from across the country. Little chappie loved every second and wants to go camping again, so do we!! My only worry is that his expectations of camping are now rather high!
Thank you so much to everyone that contributed to a great weekend. Especially the ‘yellow shirts’.”

“Just got back from Camp and would like to express our sincere thanks, appreciation and congratulations to all the organizers of the Camp and the activities for such a fantastic event. Really appreciate all the hard work that went into the arrangements before and during the Camp.
We had a brilliant time and met so many new people. It was also great to spend time with the people we already knew and to see so many families coming together.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“Thank you for organising such a great camp. We were all a bit nervous beforehand, wondering what it would be like, and we all had a great time. I was overwhelmed by the sense of community, the generosity of the volunteers and the openness of other parents. It was fantastic for the children in terms of activities, the freedom to run around the woods, make new friends and realise that other children are adopted and fostered by LGBT families.
I hope you have a good rest after all your hard work.
Thanks again.”

Published in NFS news on September 25, 2012