…ruddy faces, full of stories and looking triumphant.

I am a great believer in the value of freedom and experience over material wealth.  Recently I have been thinking about the things that have made a real impact on Olive.  Never lost for words Olive weaves intricate stories that draw inspiration from the places that she has been, the experiences that she has had and from her vivid imagination.  I hear no mention of the Game Boy or the Wii that followed but I often hear Olive talking about the fun she has in the summer being outside at festivals and on camping trips.

Last year, searching for adventure, we went one step further.   Without any of her friends to keep her company,  Olive The Brave (8) agreed to try out The Bushcraft Company camp in Oxfordshire.    I left her for 3 days then went to meet her after what had felt like an eternity.  I caught a very happy glimpse of Olive and her merry band as they appeared with ruddy faces, full of stories and  looking triumphant.  In the days that followed Olive talked endlessly about bushcraft, we gathered green wood so that she could teach me how to carve from it, I heard her singing campfire songs to herself and watched her as she wrote avidly in her secret diary.

If you are looking for something different for your kids to do this summer Bushcraft Camp could be the answer.  There is no denying that it’s a major treat but one that would mean so much more than the latest new gadget!

Olive waxing lyrical on her time away….
“When I first saw the camp I thought WOW I am so lucky to be able to stay here.  I was a bit nervous but you know what I said “don’t be silly O” and it so worked out!  We made tribes out of different age groups and had archery and blow piping competitions and learnt how to carve knives out of wood.  I loved helping to build our own shelter out of logs and moss and leaves.  If you ever go I hope you will have an amazing time like me.”

Inspired by Olive’s review, in collaboration  The Bushcraft Company  we are offering 10% off their summer camps.

The offer will be live from 17 May 2012 by entering olivelovesalfie  when you book up a camp via their website.

To help things along we are also offering 10% off our favourite outdoor wear from  KoziKids.

The offer will be live from 17 May 2012 by entering MBUSHCRAFTX when you check out of our store.

For a little more inside information I met up with founder Alex McBarnet to ask him about his passion for getting kids outside and back to nature.

OLA: Where did you grow up?
Alex: I was very lucky – I grew up in beautiful Shropshire.

OLA: Did you go camping when you were a child?
Alex: Yes of course! There was nothing i liked doing better. I would camp with friends mainly.

OLA: Have you always like the outdoors?
Alex: I have loved the outdoors from a very young age. The smell of wood smoke is one of my favourite things ever.

OLA: What did you do when you left school?
Alex: I worked for Ray Mears before packing my bags for university.

OLA: When did you start The Bushcraft Company?
Alex: It was early 2008 when I got the itch to do something different.

OLA: What gave you the idea?
Alex: I used to work for Ray Mears teaching children – he inspired me to do something different, not just for those who have an interest in the
outdoors, but for everyone. The British countryside is so beautiful we must make the most of it and we are delighted to be based in the Cotswolds.

OLA: What is your favourite campfire meal?
Alex: It’s got to be pannased salmon roasted over an open fire. Its become our trademark! The pit oven slow cooked venison is also high on the list….

OLA: Where is your favourite place to camp?
Alex: People often forget how beautiful the United Kingdom is – I have been to the jungles and deserts and can whole heartedly say the UK is by far my
favourite place to camp.

OLA: What is on your wish list?
Alex: I have always wanted to run a Bushcraft Adventure in Canada – i think that would be brilliant.

OLA: Name one thing that you wouldn’t go camping without?
Alex: My knife – essential survival tool.

OLA: What is your favourite time of day when you are camping?
Alex: First thing in the morning while breakfast is on and everyone is still sleeping. It so quiet in the woods it makes you feel good to be alive!

OLA: What do you like most about your job?
Alex: Knowing that every year we get thousands of children outside doing what they should be doing – getting their faces muddy, having a great time and most importantly being in the great outdoors. Not only do we offer a fun and exciting activity based experience, but an opportunity to draw out hidden talents, bolster self-confidence, and spark a sense of independence.

OLA: What would you say to parents who are nervous about leaving their kids?
Alex: Go for it and don¹t worry! We are the most highly accredited Bushcraft company in the world. Your kids will have an amazing time and come back tired but full of confidence and a newly found, or reinforced, love for the outdoors.

OLA: What would you say to kids who are a little apprehensive about the camp?

Alex: I used to get nervous and everyone else coming on the camp will be nervous too! You will make lots of new friends and have a brilliant time. I promise you will want to come back again!

If you or your potential bushcrafters have any questions email shop@olivelovesalfie.co.uk  and we will send you all of the information that you need to know.





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