On January 24th, nineteen HOOP members made their way down to Thetford Forrest to take part in another awesome HOOP Bootcamp Weekend. These weekends are run by coach Mark Flewitt and myself, Heather J. Wynn, they run from Friday evening through until Sunday afternoon and are based at an activity centre deep in the forest grounds.
Whilst many people say they are willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones, it is rare that they are ever truly given the chance to do so, so throughout these HOOP Bootcamp weekends we aim to give people the opportunity to do just that. From zip wiring, canoeing, circuit training, early morning nature walks to clambering around on an obstacle course suspended over 30ft high trees, the challenges the campers face are not only physical, but mental and emotional too. However, the beauty is that you can take part in as much or as little as you wish to. There is nothing anyone must do, say or feel on these weekends, we hold no expectations for the campers other than coming along, enjoying being part of the HOOP team and giving things a go.
We often have tears – of fear, of joy and of accomplishment – but we balance it with laughter, so much laughter! One of the most amazing outcomes achieved through these camps are the many wonderful connections made between the camp members, most people know the other members of the group by name and social media profile picture only, but by Sunday evening it’s clear to see that life-long friendships have been made.
Alongside myself and Mark we also bring along our own resident chef, Brian Powlett, who spends his time in the kitchen cooking up feasts for us all. Brian prepares a menu in advance which gives people the option to choose from a selection of delicious home cooked meals. Brian also offers the opportunity for campers to learn more about food and cooking methods, this can present a great opportunity for those who get stuck for cooking ideas or who aren’t sure how to implement simple cooking changes at home.
I’ve mentioned the word ‘campers’ a few times here, but don’t get worried, there are no tents to be seen! We stay in a basic but very warm and comfortable accommodation block, the only catch being that you have to strip the sheets yourself at the end of the HOOP bootcamp weekend! There is tea and coffee on tap for that post tree-climb cuppa and communal areas to relax and chill in the evenings.
What often surprises people the most is just how much you get to know your fellow campers in such a short space of time. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone with activities like the ones we offer at these weekends, it’s near on impossible not to forge an element of trust with those around you supporting you at the time. The adrenaline is pulsing and this often gets released with powerful emotional surges that subsequently create a strong bond within the group.
As coaches, we find it incredible to see the clear transition in each person over the course of the weekends and, truly, that is why we created them! To not only provide opportunities to do things HOOP members may otherwise never get to do, but to also help every person who comes along to make a real dent in their self-limiting beliefs. Our overall aim is to lead each member from a mindset of ‘I can’t’ to being able to walk back to their lives truly believing, ‘I CAN.’
The next HOOP Bootcamp Weekend will be held on Friday 7th July – Sunday 9th July. Click here for more details. You can contact Mark Flewitt or Heather J. Wynn for more details.
“Hoop Camp was such a wonderful experience, it made me come alive again. There was such an array of wonderful activities that we could do and the support that was offered to each other was unbelievable.”
“I was lucky enough to attend the January camp and it has been totally life changing for me. It has helped me to develop my self-confidence and belief that I can achieve all of my goals and has given me some fabulous memories and lifelong friends. “