A free, all-inclusive sporting and adventurous activity retreat for veterans who suffer from Mental Health Illness, reduced Well-Being, Physical Disabilities
and/or Social Isolation.
History of the Veterans Camp
In 2014 a Veteran who had been supported by Outpost suggested the idea that a camping experience would be a great way to support Veterans. In response to this the trustees decided to conduct some research. Research consisted of; current availability of services, benefits to Veterans, their mental health and well-being. It was concluded that; there was limited support available for this kind of experience within the UK, we identified key concepts that have been proven to improve overall mental health and well-being alone and in combination with standard therapies.
In 2016 we began the practical trial phase of the research whilst actively delivering the camps. Whilst providing support we have continued to research, gained experience, obtained feedback and made observations of the
Veterans attending in conjunction with this we have also established a platform of
pathways to further support. Over this period our work has shown us that veterans
experience a positive impact and significant change after being actively involved in the
camp and its activities.
Until 2019 Camps were delivered twice per year however as research and trials concluded
plans for expansion and progression were well underway. As of the start of 2020 elements
are phased in over a 2 year period to create what is the Veterans Camp Program.
This ensures we continue to meet demand of our services and most importantly meet
the needs of veterans.
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About the Veterans Camp
The Veterans Camp Program is a multi activity outdoor experience for Veterans. The program is made up of 3 elements and can last from 1 day to a 5 day residential. The 3 elements of the program are; Full Program, Single Camps and Local Activities. The main camps are held in April, July, October and January and local activities are randomly booked to suit availability of Veterans.
The camps are held in several locations throughout the Highlands of Scotland however each location offers fantastic scenery, peace and tranquillity and an overall unique experience.
Camps are a structured and tailored program of support using a combination of nature, wilderness and adventure therapy concepts which provide opportunity to improve mental health, well-being, physical health and social circumstance.
The benefits of attending camps are limitless, here are just some of the benefits:
* Being able to relax, be yourself and have a good laugh
* Taking part in new and exciting activities
* Build a network of friends and be part of a team
* Learn new skills
* Experience the wild highlands
and so much more..
The camp is a safe environment to interact directly with other veterans, get stuck
into some awesome activities and have some good old fashion fun. A friendly and non judgemental approach is guaranteed, our volunteers and instructors will ensure you
have an positive, exciting and unforgettable experience.
What we provide
Aside from the activities we provide 3 substantial and healthy meals each day cooked onsite in our mess tent. Juice, Tea and coffee is readily available at all times along with snacks.
We can provide tents, sleeping bags, camp cots and roll mats on request or Veterans are free to bring their own camping kit. All activity equipment is provided including wet suits however Veterans will be required to bring items such as spare old trainers. A kit list will be provided to you on confirmation of attendance to a camp.
We offer a collection and drop off service to either the bus/train station or airport in Inverness. We may also be able to assist with financial assistance to Veterans who may find it difficult to cover travel costs. Whilst at the camp transport to and from any activities is supplied.
and best of all we provide the whole Veterans Camp experience for free.
We can offer a range of activities in and out of camp, on land or at sea, up hills or down gorges; there is so much to do you will be spoilt for choice. To give you an idea here is a list of just some of what is on offer;
* Sports - Archery, Volley Ball, Football, Cricket, Badminton
* Adventurous - Abseiling, Rock Climbing, Canyoning, Gorge Walking, Coasteering
* Water Sports - Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand Up Paddle, Peddle Boat, Sailing
* Walks - Beach Walks, Hill Walking, Forest Walks
* Activities - Arts & Crafts, Paracord, Fishing, Kite Flying, Games -i.e Boules
Please note not all activities are on offer at every camp
Veterans Camp can help
The Veterans Camp provides an opportunity for veterans to improve mental and physical health as well as well-being and reduce social isolation. Camps are organised and led mostly by veteran volunteers, each camp being different but structures remains the same, instilling routine and familiarity.
Camps will help rebuild confidence, self-esteem and self-belief.
Veterans will develop new friendships, build a network of support and improve communication skills through peer to peer support/team building activities and personal challenges which can all ultimately provide a basis to achieve.
Camps are a foundation for learning; veterans will learn new skills, learn about their own mental health, their own needs, and enables veterans to realise their own potential. Veterans may even generate an interest in a particular activity that can be continued after camp as a hobby in their local area.
The camp experience can provide a positive impact that can be translated into home lives thus improving marital relationship, relations with other family members, work prospects and employability and general home lifestyles. Veterans who actively seek to be involved in the camp experience will see a higher benefit than a veteran who is not actively involved.
Once camp is complete there is an aftercare system in place which maintains contact with an Outpost volunteers and other veterans who have over time attended the camp.
Camps open a pathway to support; this may be further support with Outpost and if further support is required, we will assist veterans by signposting and supporting them in contacting agencies, specialists or alternative support to ensure the support needed is acquired.
The 3 Elements; of the Veterans Camp Program
The Full Program is a 5 day all inclusive retreat and is active for up to 3 years. Veterans are requested to try to commit to 4 camps each year however there is the option at the end of each year to disengage the program and veterans can choose to disengage at any other time.
Camps will be held in April, July, October, January.
Year 1 – Beneficiary
As a beneficiary, Veterans are offered a place at 4 main camps throughout the year as well as the option to attend localised activities.
During the first year of the program veterans will learn new skills, methods and how to improve their self-belief, worth, esteem and confidence through a structured camp of socialisation, activities, tasks and teamwork.
At the end of this year some veterans who are willing and able to, will be given the opportunity to return to camps the following year as a Mentor.
Anyone who does not request to or is unable to mentor, will have the option to remain on the camp reserve list and will be offered a place to return when a place becomes available to them.
Please note local activities will not be introduced until 2021.
Year 3 – Support Volunteer
Support Volunteers is not a committed role like a full volunteer it is a role that provides enhanced/further support in a higher capacity.
Like in previous years Support Volunteers will be offered the opportunity to attend up to 4 camps in the year as well as localised activities.
The role of a support volunteer is to support beneficiaries, mentors and full volunteers at the camps with set up, operation of the camps, leading smaller activities and assisting trained volunteers on larger/localised activities.
During this period Support volunteers will have the chance to attend training and skills courses including but not limited to sporting/adventure activities, cooking or bush craft skills, first aid and leadership skills. Training will be given to veterans in areas they have a keen interest that will support their life goals as well as the areas in which they wish to support veterans/the camps.
On completion the third year veterans will have enhanced their skills, knowledge and confidence gained in previous years enabling them to actively support others while helping themselves. In addition to this they will have gained skills and qualifications for life which in turn will increase opportunities for social hobbies, further education and employment.
At the end of this year veterans will have the option to;
Join Veterans at localised activities throughout the year
When appropriate, lead their own localised activities.
Enrol as a full volunteer to return to camp and continue to help other veterans
Year 2 – Mentoring
Mentors can attend up to 4 camps during the second year and have the opportunity to mentor at localised activities.
The task of a Mentor will be to: welcome and support Veterans who are in their first year of the program and any veterans who are attending a single camp. Mentors will support, encourage and befriend veterans with a view of helping them with their mental well-being, self-esteem and/or confidence issues, to reduce their anxiety, stress and nerves creating a relaxed atmosphere and assisting veterans with physical disability in minor tasks such as tent set up or tour of the camp etc.
Mentoring provides veterans the opportunity to build on the skills, self-belief, worth, esteem and confidence gained in year 1 of the program as well as gaining a sense of achievement and as a result of experience and guidance gain a sense of responsibility.
At the end of this year some veterans who are willing and able to, will be given the opportunity to return to camps the following year as a Support Volunteer. Anyone who does not request to or is unable to do this, will have the option to;
Remain on the camp mentor reserve list and will be offered a place to return as a mentor when a place becomes available to them.
Remain on the beneficiary reserve list for single camps when a place becomes available
They will continue to be invited to join Veterans at localised activities throughout the year either as a mentor or beneficiary to ensure contact is maintained and support is available.
Single camps are a 5 day residential experience which are identical to the program camps however as a single camp, veterans will be invited to a one off camp as and when a place becomes available.
Camp will be held in April, July, October or January.
Single camps offer the opportunity for Veterans to attend camp but do not request or need a full program of support.
Single camp attendees will too be offered the opportunity to attend localised activities throughout the year.
Localised activities will be introduce in year 2021.
Localised activities are 1 or 2 day indoor/outdoor activities.
They are held in a variety of locations throughout Scotland including Aberdeen, Fort William, Inverness, Ullapool etc.
Activities will vary from sports to activities and skills sessions.
There will be 16 days provided each year for a minimum of 4 veterans.
Don't just take our word for it; here what some of the previous attendees said;
"I attended camp as I felt that I would love to meet like-minded people, even before I arrived I was made welcome and it just got better each day, no pressure, no being judged or feeling like an outcast, everyone was so welcoming and the whole experience was a joy, I would love to go back as a volunteer and help, thank you all the team as well as those of us who thought nobody cared also a big thanks for all the hard work, see you" MP
"I have a lot of difficulties but the outpost charity went out of their way to ensure I had an enjoyable experience although I couldn't do a lot of the things I would of liked to I still enjoyed it especially the company Thank you one and all x" OA
"Thanks to the outpost team for giving me the opportunity to attend their veterans camp. I had a great time met good people got stuck into some indoor and outdoor activities all in a beautiful part of the world. Thank you again" MT
"What an amazing week we have had, thank you so much you guys are the best. Full of fun and of course great banter. highly recommend the veterans camp for anyone looking to relax but enjoy some outdoor activities too, I never thought I would get the chance to again. X"KL
"Excellently run camp and activities....Couldn't ask for a better experience The organisation was 1st class and the activities well run from start to finish" LJ
"What can I say, very apprehensive about the camp. The team soon put me at ease, so supportive, I couldn't fault the weekend, food and activities absolutely brilliant. There isn't anything I would change. Would recommend this to anyone needing support, it has set me on a path and shown me I am not the only one going through the issues I have. Thank you just isn't enough" BM
"The Outpost staff have given me hope and a goal all year. It's kept me going through some dark times. The camp I attended was brilliant, relaxed, calm, a real getaway from life. The fire pit evenings will be a memory that will hold me fast. Thanks to all the hardworking staff for all their help and support and for the challenges" DC
"The veterans camp takes weeks to put together and the time and effort you as a group and team put into it to make sure everyone has a great time and support us to achieve some of the things we never knew we were able to do" MJ
"Just a line express my thanks and appreciation for the wonderful weekend camp. Sure, I found it challenging and that was the best part for me. I met some great people whose company I really enjoyed. It has reminded me that whatever happened in the past, mistakes, injuries etc, that I have to make the rest of my life the best of my life"MT
Got a Question?
Contact us on;
Tel 01854 655 314
Want to Register?
Please have a read through the information and if you would like to attend, please follow the steps below;
The Registration Form
Please complete the form by clicking the Register Button below, ensure you, upload/attach or email to us your supporting documentation.
You should send us;
* Proof of Service
* Proof of Address
* Proof of ID
- Once we receive your form and supporting documentation we will; acknowledge receipt and place you on our waiting list.
Once a place is available to you;
we will be in touch with you by email or phone either:
- Approx 10 weeks prior to a camp that you have been invited to
- If a last minute cancellation place becomes available we may contact you anything from 1 - 7 days before a camp
Information and instructions will be sent to you in a confirmation pack which provide all relevant travel, kit and schedule information.