History

Midges and mud, wind and rain, even the occasional heatwave - the show must go on! Below you can read a potted history featuring some high and low-lights of SEP UK over the years, from our very first camp in Yorkshire in 1968 all the way to a new location in 2019. Do you have a happy memory of your time at SEP? Please tweet it to @SEPcamp.

29th July - 9th August 2019

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2018 Lagganlia Brand new venue

The 51st year of SEP in the UK was in a brand new venue, the Lagganlia Centre for Outdoor Education in the Scottish Highlands. Worth reminding ourselves that this isn’t the first time we’ve had a different venue. There were five camps before we settled on Loch Lomond in 1973. Even after this, there were two further years when we moved away again – to Bricket Wood, in 1977 & 1978.

Much Loved Activities

Many organised activities were the same or similar to those we have provided previously, such as Abseiling (back after a long absence), Archery, Canoing, Christian Living, Hillwalking, Leatherwork, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Salsa Dancing and Worship Prep.

Evening activities, fun and games included a Cheesy Disco, a very raucous Singalong, with new as well as old favourites, a terrific indoor/outdoor Ceilidh, Bull Sessions, Messy Games and an amazing game of Capture The Flag in the forest with the whole Camp.

Mealtimes were accompanied by announcements from Dave Francis, enhancing the feeling of continuity. And we still managed to organise a Final Banquet.

Brand New Activities

New activities this year were Bouldering, Forest Skills, Gorge Walking, Skiing and Tree Climbing. Gorge Walking proving to be the overall most popular activity – there wasn’t not much walking involved, but a LOT of diving across Feshie River, jumping from very high rocks into deep pools, swimming, and accompanied by a good amount of screaming!

Female/Male Groups for the First Time

The change to each group now being a Male/Female split was also an unqualified success and the Camper and Camp experience was enhanced by this change. Michael Gibbs & Victoria Garden won richly deserved overall best Male & Female camper awards.

Lagganlia Staff – Thank You

The Staff at Lagganlia were very impressed with us as a unit, and we were similarly impressed with them, and in particular their commitment to outlining nature and the environment throughout activities. We were bowled over by their commitment, professionalism and friendly attitude.

What? No Take-Down??

Packing up on the Friday morning was much more efficient at Lagganlia. There was still a lot to be done but what a difference from previous years! No endless amounts of bunks to be disassembled or benches to be packed in the barn; no kitchen to be decommissioned or toilets to be taken apart; no marquee and dorm tents to be dismantled; no need for all the separate activity equipment to be organised and packed away.

What remained was the friendly cajoling of campers to make sure their packing was completed and dorm quarters stripped, and that the right campers were paired with the right luggage and put into the right transport home – some things shouldn't change!

What also remained were the tears of sadness and happiness we are so used to as everyone said their goodbyes.

2017 Loch Lomond

The 50th SEP, also known as '‘'The Apukealypse' as legend now remembers it! This year’s theme was 1 John 4:19, - "We love God, because God first loved us." Day 4, Thursday, gastroenteritis hit Camp, necessitating a Quarantine process (were you a ’Quarantine Survivor’?!).

Though some planned 50th celebrations had to be cancelled, others went ahead. Camp still continued normally in the main, with the campers enjoying a cheesy disco the same night, and on Friday night cheese and wine for Staff. Saturday ushered in a 'scorchio' fun day in the sun, on inflatables set up in the field, and the start of unbroken great sunny weather (and a big old full moon that night).

Day 7, Sunday, was visitor’s day, incorporating stories from the past 50 years. Memorably, we arranged EVERY camper into a massive human '50' on the football field, photographing it from height via Terry Carter’s drone.

2016 Loch Lomond 2016 was the year when Jackie Mill took over as Camp Director. We also had seven consecutive days of dry weather, a welcome improvement on previous years. All campers received goody bags as they left, containing flyers promoting next year’s camp, a tin to save their silver, and a Moleskin notebook with next year’s date on the front in which they wrote farewell messages to each other. We had three new activities this year, Social Media, Rocket Building (with non-combustive water powered rockets) and Salsa dancing; all a big hit. The Ceilidh on Saturday had a live band and a haggis well and truly addressed to Rabbie Burn’s ‘Ode to a Haggis’, with much enthusiasm.

2015

Loch Lomond

  • The odd dry day but plenty of liquid sunshine at the Costa del Lomond, perfect weather for trench digging and not forgetting a Caribbean cruise!

2014

Loch Lomond

  • Staff group from US refused entry to UK but visited camp overnight (foam darts).
  • Inflatables games on a wet afternoon

2013

Loch Lomond

  • Outreach to groups of campers from Wiltshire and Glasgow
  • SEP ‘Highland Games’

2012

Loch Lomond

  • Olympic themed final banquet and visit of one of the London 2012 Olympic torches
  • Final large static caravans decommissioned

2011

Loch Lomond

  • New SEP website and Facebook pages launched
  • First community outreach project: trainee staff made improvements to grounds of local school

2010

Loch Lomond

  • Zorbing activity on last day
  • Radio station broadcasts for 24 hours

2009

Loch Lomond

  • Visit from RAF Search & Rescue helicopter

2008

Loch Lomond

  • First clearspan marquee
  • Group of Portuguese campers and staff attended
  • New tables and catering equipment for marquee – no more trestles

2007

Loch Lomond

  • New SEP logo
  • New shower blocks purchased, no construction
  • Adventure activities license obtained
  • Land Rover acquired

2006

Loch Lomond

  • Inflatables and sumo suits for special activity

2005

Loch Lomond

  • Surprise film night masquerading as a security breach
  • Severe stomach virus affected camp in 2nd week spreading in from local area

2004

Loch Lomond

  • Outreach project: 10 campers, 5 mini-campers and 4 staff attended SEP from a children’s home in Botosani, Romania

2003

Loch Lomond

  • First formal child protection checks for staff

2002

Loch Lomond

  • First air ambulance visit to site
  • ‘Storm trench’ dug to take flooding away from main marquee

2001

Loch Lomond

That must have been an uneventful year! If you can think of something noteworthy to add in here, please email admin@sepuk.org with SEP 2001 in the subject header.

2000

Loch Lomond

  • SEP reunion attended by over 150 ex-campers and staff
  • Gordon & Victoria Wilson appointed SEP Directors

1999

Loch Lomond

  • New shower blocks constructed
  • New mountain bikes purchased
  • Whisky tour fundraiser for SEP

1998

Loch Lomond

That must have been an uneventful year! If you can think of something noteworthy to add in here, please email admin@sepuk.org with SEP 1998 in the subject header.

1997

Loch Lomond

That must have been an uneventful year! If you can think of something noteworthy to add in here, please email admin@sepuk.org with SEP 1997 in the subject header.

1996

Loch Lomond

  • Photo disc provided to all campers

1995

Loch Lomond

  • Heat wave

1994

Loch Lomond

  • Camp reduced to two weeks due to reduced staffing availability

1993

Loch Lomond

  • Andrew & Dana Silcox appointed SEP Directors

1992

Loch Lomond

  • 25th anniversary celebrated; 327 campers and 201 staff
  • New 5,000 gallon water tank installed
  • Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award programme

1991

Loch Lomond

  • Severe storm – sailing and canoe emergency rescue
  • SEP became registered sailing school
  • ‘Summer Times’ published on camp
  • Archery champion display
  • Last year of constructed water towers

1990

Loch Lomond

  • Case of meningitis in a camper led to 3 day quarantine of whole camp
  • Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award programme
  • Sabre fencing taught
  • Girls dorms overnight trip on Ben Lomond
  • Walk-in fridge installed

1989

Loch Lomond

  • New sailing jetty
  • Boys dorms overnight trip on Ben Lomond; girls dorms rock-climbing at The Whangie
  • Barn operational with kitchen, laundry, wash up areas
  • Visit of pipe band
  • First year laundry was done for campers

1988

Loch Lomond

  • Force 10 gale hit beginning of camp – 100 mph winds, all dorm marquees collapsed
  • Final year of green kitchen shed

1987

Loch Lomond

  • Acquisition and construction of barn
  • Boys dorms climbed Ben Nevis

1986

Loch Lomond

  • Wooden floor in main marquee for the first time
  • Sir Rannulph Fiennes gives presentation to campers
  • First ‘Summer Times’ published on camp

1985

Loch Lomond

  • “The year of the mud”
  • Mud skiing behind tractor
  • Flooding in the main marquee
  • First mountain biking and trampolining activities
  • Purchase of ex mine rubber mats for walkways

1984

Loch Lomond

  • Mains electricity to the site
  • Heat wave and sunburn a problem

1983

Loch Lomond

  • Serious accident to camper on road cycling activity led to new focus on safety

1982

Loch Lomond

  • Police dog display team

1981

Loch Lomond

  • Parascending activity introduced
  • Ben Nevis climbed

1980

Loch Lomond

  • 2 water-skiing boats

1979

Loch Lomond

  • Water-skiing; Pony trekking; Rock climbing; Obstacle course
  • Chlorination of loch water started

1978

Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire

  • Swimming pool based activities
  • Judo/self-defence activity introduced
  • First Duke of Edinburgh awards achieved including Gold

1977

Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire

  • Gymnastics activity introduced

1976

Loch Lomond

  • Heat wave
  • Cycling and Foil fencing activities introduced

1975

Loch Lomond

  • Go-karting
  • A lion display visits camp
  • Day trips to climb Ben Nevis
  • Senior dorms G8/B8 overnight canoe trip to north end of Loch

1974

Loch Lomond

  • Ben Lomond climbed
  • Flushing toilets for the first time

1973

Loch Lomond

  • First year in Scotland; 225 campers and 60 staff
  • No shower facilities – bathing and teeth brushing in the Loch
  • Gale force winds
  • Overnight trip to Ben Nevis
  • Sheep occasionally found in dorms

1972

Lake Bassenthwaite

  • Water-skiing on Lake Windermere; Leatherwork;
  • Climbing Helvelyn

1971

Lake Bassenthwaite

  • First ‘official’ SEP
  • Sailing, canoeing, climbing Skiddaw
  • Kitchen set up in green army tent
  • Open toilet for men, buckets for women

1970

Violet Hill Farm, Yorkshire

  • 54 campers

1969

Violet Hill Farm, Yorkshire

  • Paul Suckling appointed Camp Director
  • 35 campers

1968

Violet Hill Farm, Yorkshire

  • Youth camp out with 14 campers and 7 staff
  • Cooking on open fires, washing in the river