What if my child gets home sick?

We find with a very busy schedule, children have less problems with home sickness. Generally when they have the chance to call home and hear your voice, this is when they can have issues. But as soon as they put down the phone, they are off doing the next great adventure, leaving you upset and worried about how you last heard from them. We're not saying don't call but keep communication short or rely on text messages to keep up to date. If there is a serious issue with your child, don't worry we will be in touch straight away. If you don't plan on sending your child with a mobile phone, then you can contact them via the Skern Lodge office, which is open from 8.45am - 5pm on the following number 01237 475992.

How long has Skern been operating?

We first opened in 1976 and moved to our current site in 1982.

Can I ensure that my child will be in the same group as their sibling or friend?

You will be asked on the booking form if you would or wouldn't like siblings to be in the same group. If they are in the two different ages for the programme (8 -11 years) or (12-14 years) then they will not be in the same group. If you are booking with a friend, then agian there is space on the booking form to name the friend to ensure they are in the same group for the week.

Who will make sure they go to bed at a reasonable hour?

The Camp Beaumont staff will be on-site and close by to ensure that all children are safe and secure in their accommodation and that lights are out at 10pm for the 8 - 11 years programme and 10.30pm for the 12 - 14 years programme. Of course we can't stop the chit chat, but the busy schedule will soon have them dropping off as soon as their head hits the pillow.

How safe is it?

There is risk in all we do in life and outdoor activities are no exception. We cannot say there is no risk but careful management reduces this to a very acceptable level. We are regularly inspected by several bodies: Adventure Activities Licensing Authority, British Canoeing, RYA, Health & Safety Executive, many Local Education Authority inspectors, the insurance company, company health and safety departments and several others. Furthermore we have, and regularly risk assess not only all activities but fire safety, kitchen hygiene, bunk beds, security and staircases to name but a few. The BMC have published a booklet 'Young People - Climbing, Hill Walking, Mountaineering - A Parents Guide' which contains a good exploration of the risks associated with activities.

Further information on safety aspects can be found by following the link below:

Young People - Climbing, Hill Walking, Mountaineering - A Parents Guide

What qualifications do the instructors have?

All instructors are fully trained in the activities they deliver. All hold a first aid qualification, are signed off as competent and are regularly monitored to ensure the highest levels of safety and delivery standards are met. We also follow national governing body guidelines and fully comply with Activity Licensing regulations to ensure the correct staff are delivering the activities for which they are qualified.

Will I be made to do the activities?

Certainly not. Skern is about success and positive outcomes. The programmes are designed to have a variety of activities so that in a stay of a few days you will find, hopefully, all activities fun, some easy and some more challenging. No one will be made to do an activity they do not want to but equally we will encourage you to have a go. Skern is a great place to learn more about yourself and to achieve more than you thought you could.

I have a food allergy; will I still be able to eat?

Of course. The food at Skern is renowned for quality and quantity. We always have vegetarian options and can cater for any dietary requirements but please let us know in advance. Please read our notes for food allergies and intolerances See our Sample Menus

Will there be other groups in at the same time?

Almost certainly. We are always very careful with our client mix. However, there are completely separate accommodation units that are individually secure.

How secure is it for young clients?

Again, this area is risk assessed.

  • Firstly they will never be off-site unsupervised
  • The buildings are locked at night (but they can be easily exited if need be e.g. fire) and all windows have restricted openings
  • There are both Skern staff and group leaders resident on-site
  • The gates are locked at night and the site is well lit
  • All staff are carefully checked to ensure they are appropriate to work with children
  • All instructors have DBS (CRB) checks
  • A Camp Beaumont member of staff is always available during out of activity time and will sleep in their own separate accommodation close to where your child is staying.

What about the transport to activities?

Many of the activities are on-site. For those off-site then either a local coach company is used or more normally, one of our minibuses. These are Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) run under an operator’s licence and as such checked very regularly. All drivers have PCV licences and of course working seat belts are provided to each seat.

What about the weather?

What about it? On the whole activities are carried out regardless of the weather. Each morning, and just before starting an activity, an assessment is made about the weather. Sometimes strong winds can make kayaking unsafe or winter cold may make surfing unsuitable. In these cases great alternatives will be found. Safety is never compromised.

What is the ratio on activities?

Our ratios vary depending on the activity; most activities have a working ratio of up to 1:8, but we never exceed the ratio advised by the Governing Body of that sport.

What equipment do I need to bring?

Only personal effects - clothes, shoes, towels etc see the kit list to know what to pack. All adventure equipment is provided; it is modern, checked regularly and has quality standards where available. All bedding is provided but once again no towels so you do need to bring these. Your ‘what to bring’ guide for a week long stay, please adapt accordingly for weekends. We recommend that you bring warm, old clothes rather than new. Set of casual travelling clothes 2 pairs of old trousers (please note jeans are not ideal as they restrict movement, especially when wet) Shorts 4 T-shirts Long-sleeved sweaters 2 pairs trainers/plimsolls 1 pair of old trainers/wet-shoes, which could get wet and muddy (not Crocs or similar please!) Waterproof coat Waterproof trousers (if you have them) Lots of underwear and socks Nightwear Swimming costume Towels Wash kit Dustbin bag for wet clothes Small personal first aid kit 1 small drinking water bottle Torch Pencil and pen Spending money Suncream (summer) Sun hat (summer) Gloves and hat (winter) Please name everything! Also, before your course, please could you advise us if you, or any of your party are non-swimmers, have any medical condition (such as asthma, etc) or special dietary requirements (e.g vegetarian or food allergies), we should know of. Thank you.

Do I need to bring my own bedding?

No. Beds are made up for your arrival with duvets and pillows. The only thing you do need to remember to bring is a towel. If your child is prone to bed wetting then please let us know. We will ensure that every mattress in the room is fitted with an extra plastic cover and the Camp Beaumonts staff will ensure the Skern housekeeping team will change the bedding every day when they go into clean.

Do I need much extra money?

Very little. Almost everything is included and any extras will have been clearly detailed before you book. We do have a small shop on-site that sells toiletries, sweets and drinks, postcards and t-shirts etc. There is also a small bar for adult clients so some "pocket money" is advisable but not necessary. There are soft drink vending machines on-site. Prices for shop can be found here: SOUVENIRS We are happy to accept payment by card over the phone (01237 475992) and provide a voucher to be exchanged in the shop on your childs arrival.

Is there WiFi?

Yes, the centre does have WiFi available, but not everywhere. Most of the lounges and communal rooms have the best reception. Ask at reception on arrival for login.

I have more questions, who do I ask?

Simply give us a call in the office on 01237 475992 where one of the team will assist with any queries you may have.

Covid testing?

To keep everyone safe on site, Skern and Camp Beaumont staff undergo two lateral flow tests each week to ensure they are free of Covid infection. In line with government guidance please do not travel if you or any other family member is showing signs or symptoms of Covid.

Is coach transfer only available from London?

Yes, to make the course viable, coach transfer is being offered from two locations in London.

  • Mill Hill School, Mill Hill, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1QS
  • King's College School, Southside, Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon, London SW19 4TT
Departure from Mill Hill School will be at: 11.30am Departure from King's College will be at: 12 noon Approximate times (will be fully confirmed closer to the time). Returning back to London the expected time of arrival at King's College will be: 6pm and at MIll Hill School at: 7pm It is possible to arrange pick up from Barnstaple train station, if your child is travelling by train or from Bideford Quay if your child is travelling by National Express Coach. If you are dropping your child off, please arrive at the centre between 4 - 5 pm on the Sunday and between 1 -1.30pm on the Friday for collection.

Who are Camp Beaumont and what's their connection to Skern Lodge?

Camp Beaumont Day Camps have been caring for children for 40 years and part and parcel of the school holiday calendar. Much-loved by parents, guardians and grandparents, they provide flexible, affordable and reliable childcare over the school holidays.

Both Camp Beaumont and Skern Lodge are owned by the Inspiring Learning group. This programme offers the chance for two leading organisations in the children's holiday sector to come together and offer a great unique staycation adventure.

Can I pay with childcare vouchers?

Skern Lodge is only registered for non residential childcare provision. Therefore we are currently unable to accept vouchers at the present time, but we are looking to provide this service in the future.

CB at Skern Lodge logo.png