Can you tell us a little about some of the activities you’ve run over this summer? You’ve worked in conjunction with A Third Foot, Fifty Fifty and various other people recently – how do these parts combine to form the overall Camp Hillcrest experience?
These are my favourite parts of camp, where it’s all about skateboarding intensely. Seeing kids really vibe off our camp leaders from A Third Foot seeing everyone hyped on making boards, it’s intense! A whole week of it, but the atmosphere is so good, everyone literally loves it. It’s where we pull out all the stops and there is structure to every day and activity. It’s becoming like a family in some ways and we are putting together a little skate team of young rippers including Roxanne Howlett and Liam Minter. Seeing these kids skate is so good and seeing them immersing in skateboard culture and the countryside is really amazing.
“Seeing these kids skate is so good and seeing them immersing in skateboard culture and the countryside is really amazing”
You’ve mentioned what you’re doing being in a more holistic capacity than it being a case of just ‘come and stay and skate our park’ – how do you see the educational aspects of what you offer fit with the skateboarding element?
Skateboarding and the education is all related; ride on wood and chop wood, sculpt wood into a board and ride it. Print on boards, paint, print hoodies to skate in, design grip graphics, use cameras, make music, keep warm, make fire, eat food cooked in fire by the skatepark and the trees, it’s all linked.
Is the camp a seasonal thing in terms of paying guests? If so, how does that work?
Residential skateboard camps are mostly in the holidays with some weekend skate camps in term time. We are bookable for a visit all year round though.
What about during the off-seasons? Do you still live there during the down-time?
There isn’t much down time! I live here all year round with my wife, Corinna, two kids, Penny and Otto, old Mickey the Mixer, an old friend Ric and two other skaters, Rico and Olly and his girlfriend, people visit all year round.
What else do you have planned for 2017 in terms of events?
In terms of skate camps we will be doing some weekend ones, all the future week long residentials will be next year .
We have a got a few skate crews popping through over the next few months including Dave Pegg for a birthday bash, the Coventry skate park project may swing by with Lucas Healy and Welsh crews are always in and out from Freestyle, 420 Store, Vale Skateboard Co, the M32 crew from Bristol, Caldicot, Chepstow, Monmouth, Haverford west. A lot of time is booked up, some is still free.
What about in terms of expansion? Is there scope to build more skateable obstacles on the site? Or perhaps to expand what’s already there?
We are always making new stuff, we have new long ledge between the park and the bunkhouse. Who knows what the future holds, we are definitely making another mini at some point soon. I would love to expand the park, but I need a rest from intensive concrete building for some time at the moment.
How do people find out more about what Camp Hillcrest offers with a view to visiting themselves?
Instagram @camp_hillcrest is the best place for up to date skateboard related things, the Camp Hillcrest website offers prices and pictures of what’s here and workshop info. Availability is just through enquiry by phoning or messaging on social media or email.
From your own perspective, what do you hope that people take home from a stay at Camp Hillcrest?
Skills, friends, ideas, freedom, new tricks in the park, happiness. A love and broader understanding of nature and woodlands, a stomach full of wood fired pizza, a board they’ve made themselves, memories of the best get together with friends, a relaxed feeling from chilling in the tubs, a warm glow from the camp fire and sense of community.
Follow Camp Hillcrest on Instagram @camp_hillcrest and/or consult their website for more information at: camphillcrest.co.uk
Camp Hill Crest – The UK’s only on-site Residential Skateboard Camp