Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Camp Avalon - Friday 19 June 2015



Camp Avalon - A camp for young birders and inner city teenagers


So, the evening of Friday 19th June 2015 arrived and with it the first Camp Avalon.



Hamza Khandker at Camp Avalon, Shapwick Heath, Somerset
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Teenagers on Camp Avalon, Shapwick Heath, Somerset
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Hamza Khandker at Camp Avalon, Shapwick Heath, Somerset
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Teenagers on Camp Avalon, Shapwick Heath, Somerset
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Dad and I got to the campsite 1/2 hour late at 6.30 pm and met up with Lewis Mitchell, who was a scout and helped put up our tent (as Mum had been useless earlier).

Mum arrived at 8 pm with five city boys and at the same time as everyone else.  There were going to be fourteen of us young people over the weekend, with six of us being ethnic minorities. The ratio was unheard of and I stunned that we managed to get them there, camping and going out into nature.  During the week, we'd had concerned messages about not having kit, whether they would be able to charge their phones and shower facilities.

So mum was in charge of the food.  We were meant to be having super noodles, veggie sausages and corn on the cob cooked in the fire plus toasted marshmallows (with veggie ones for the veggies and Muslims).  The first problem was that we couldn't find the super noodles. They were probably at the centre with the breakfast cereals.  As Mum got out the corn, one of the Afro Caribbean boys, 14 year old Moni-ee (pronounced Mon-e-a) said he would help her.  He lived in St Paul's which is in inner city Bristol only about a mile from my Nanu's house, where my mum grew up. 

Moni-ee was fantastic and was clearly used to cooking for lots of people, saving the day.  Whilst the food was cooking, we all toasted marshmallow, which was new for some.

After dinner, we drove the 10 minutes to Shapwick Heath to go mothing. One or two teenagers were frightened of moths but still stayed with us to watch.  Bill Urwin was doing the mothing as part of the Avalon Marshes Bio Blitz.  Everyone enjoyed looking at the moths especially the large hawk moths.


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Shapwick Heath, Somerset
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Teenagers from Camp Avalon, Shapwick Heath, Somerset
Photograph taken by and copyright Young birder, Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Mothing at Camp Avalon, Shapwick Heath, Somerset
Photograph taken by and copyright Young birder, Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

The camp site locked the gate at 11 pm but we decided that we would leave our cars outside so arrived back at 12.15 pm.  By the time we arrived, the lovely lady from the campsite was opening up the gate to let us in.

We were quick getting sorted before at 12.30 pm Mum and six teenagers were trying to sleep in one tent.  At this point Moni-ee decided to do a poetry recital, but more about that later.  I just knew they were not going to be so happy at 6.30 am!

Dad had a pre-booked course the following morning and so missed out on the camp!


About the Writer



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig 



Mya-Rose Craig is a 12 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She is looking forward to going Mountain Gorilla Trekking in East Africa in the summer and watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. She has recently been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter











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