I was never a fan of roughing it when it came to being on exercise in the army and I have never wanted to go on a camping holiday but this weekend has really changed my opinion. It was fantastic to be in an environment with like minded people where I didn't have to worry about being my "Squaddie-self" and cause offense. I suffer from various aches and pains that can limit my physical ability so it was good to know i could take part with as little or as much activities that i wanted. After a rough nights sleep and knock on affects of sleeping on just a roll mat I was offered a camp bed which provided a much better and more comfortable night's sleep. Nothing was too much of a problem for the staff at Woodland Xperiences and I would love to experience this again in the future both as a veteran and also with my family, as I believe this has a massive benefit to your own wellbeing and mental health. I couldn't fault Ady, Paul and Kev's professionalism and dedication for us all to have a fantastic weekend. Well done guys you certainly delivered can't wait for the next adventure......LG
My mental health has been getting better since going to camp & the walk talk & brews mixing with people that understand & don't judge me. I feel relaxed around the staff that I can talk to them & they weren't just a ear to listen they were friends that helped I can't believe the weight of my shoulders I was so excited and apprehensive going on this weekend. That just before I got there I was physically sick. I also was sick when I got to my tent. Having COPD and depression and not been out the house for 3 years also other ailments and difficulties in walking. I didn't think I would survive the weekend....A. Nother
Woodland Experience has given me hope that I don't need to feel alone I am looking forward to my next weekend with them, and I will be getting out my bed and getting some exercise and maybe not the next weekend but one day I will be able to carry my own backpack and not let COPD, depression loneliness tie me to my bed feeling I can't do anything. I know I can now and it's given me connections of other groups that I can go to a couple of days a week to get me out the house. I wouldn't have been feeling much more positive if I hadn't gone on this weekend I really had a very bad time before this and things were not going good in my life. I feel Woodland Experience maybe not quite turning me round yet but I do have my foot very close to that corner Thank you, your not staff your friends and I will be trying my hardest to convince other veterans that this is what they need. Thank you Woodland Experience xxx
Before I came down I have not been too well both mentally and physically. I was stressed to bits. Arrived at camp and it was like someone had just removed my stress gown. The feeling of being in a woodland around a camp fire was unreal . Totally relaxed. Brew in hand and sat down. Chatted about my journey etc. . Then when others turned up we were shown the tent area, myself and a few mates slept under a parachute, wicked experience. While the others had lovely big tents. First night slept unreal. Woke up and headed for the shower block before our breakfast. I’ve never slept so great in months with my issues. Had breakfast then were giving a few options of what was available during our reflection time. We went to a local place I’d been to. Stunning and came back to camp. In the afternoon we did shooting and others done stand up paddle boarding. Everyone came back buzzing from the activities. We all chilled round the camp fire then had an amazing stew they made. The banter and jokes flowing made me forget my issues because we were all basically in the same boat. Helping each other out from our issues. That night slept amazing again. Next morning had breakfast to which I helped. Then did some axe throwing. Loved it. The whole place was unreal. Professionally ran and the feeling of ease relaxation was seen in each other. The one thing I would like is to make it a day or so longer. But otherwise thanks to all who came and the staff for and amazing time.
I had a bad PTSD episode during one of the nights, which usually would ruin the next day/week for me psychologically and drain me physically, but having breakfast around the campfire, being able to talk with my fellow veterans (and Yvonne) grounded me again. Still a bit shaky and on edge, but nowhere near how bad I usually am and was recovered enough to still be able to enjoy the activities. I always leave camp feeling better than when I arrived The activities were brilliant. We as a family have never experienced paddle boarding. My daughters now want paddle boards for their Christmas. It was such good team building and nyself and the girls made good friends. The team were professional, supportive, informative and everyone made us feel very welcome. It was good to stop and reset with like minded people.
As a gluten free vegan I always bring food with me. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the team organised foodstuffs for me. I had gluten free pancakes and they did a vegan chilli con carne. It is one of the best chili I have ever had. Compliments to the chef. I appreciate the effort that went in. My girls loved the whole weekend and want to come back. It was nice to show them as a veteran what types of things mummy did when she was in the army. All in all a wonderful experience and the team work amazing together. They are definitely in the right job. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone. Thank you and best regards.
I would like to thank all at WDC & WOODLAND XPERIENCES, for the privilege of attending camp & also help giving my partner & daughter feel better in themselves ,I would recommend any veteran & there family to apply to go to camp . It is such an amazing experience with great people that make you feel welcome & nothing is a problem, not even the rain (skins waterproof ) .the kids big & small had a great time ,I would love to have the opportunity to go back ,my daughter would go every weekend if she could & that’s all thanks to all at WDC & THE WOODLAND XPERIENCES thank you we appreciate everything use have done to help our family xx
My daughter lost her vision this year in her right eye which has had a huge impact on her both physically and mentally. She has lost confidence in herself and doubts her ability in what she can do. She did not think she would be able to fire a gun with one eye but after failing on the first few attempts she tried with her good eye and she ended up doing brilliant on the range. To see the confidence boost this gave her was the icing on the cake for both of us this weekend. Words can’t describe how much this meant to us both. Losing her sight was a huge devastation and she still can’t talk about it. She kept it from the rest of the camp although the instructors knew and she would like to thank Paul for the trust he put in her and the boost this gave her.