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Youngsters take over barracks with Army-style activities

PUBLISHED: 18:10 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:30 09 August 2018

Children at Camp Camouflage, the four-day summer camp run by the Amy Welfare Service and Suffolk Coastal Council, getting stuck into all the activities on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Children at Camp Camouflage, the four-day summer camp run by the Amy Welfare Service and Suffolk Coastal Council, getting stuck into all the activities on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

Run by the Army Welfare Service and Suffolk Coastal Council for 11 years, Operation Camouflage is a chance for children of armed forces staff and children living or studying in Woodbridge to have fun and get out of their shells for four days in the summer.

Rock Barracks has been rocking Woodbridge this week as groups of children from Suffolk and Colchester get stuck into Operation Camouflage.

It’s a jam-packed schedule of 26 activities over four days and no two are the same – Tuesday had dodgeball, Wednesday had rock climbing and today the children were let loose on the high ropes.

Harry, a 13 year-old student at Farlingaye High School in the middle of a laser tag shoot-out, has attended Operation Camouflage for the last four years.

He said: “You’re never bored.

Children at Camp Camouflage, the four-day summer camp run by the Amy Welfare Service and Suffolk Coastal Council, getting stuck into all the activities on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGEChildren at Camp Camouflage, the four-day summer camp run by the Amy Welfare Service and Suffolk Coastal Council, getting stuck into all the activities on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“My parents just got an email about it when I was eight and signed me up.

“Now he’s old enough to come, my brother Joe has been coming for the last two years too.”

The four-day camp is as much about having fun as working together, so team-building exercises are dotted in among the activities and the organisers make sure no child is left out.

The whole experience is kept ticking by volunteers from Woodbridge, Wattisham and Colchester garrisons – just like Michelle Dunn and Joll Philbert, watching a group play football.

Children at Camp Camouflage, the four-day summer camp run by the Amy Welfare Service and Suffolk Coastal Council, getting stuck into all the activities on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGEChildren at Camp Camouflage, the four-day summer camp run by the Amy Welfare Service and Suffolk Coastal Council, getting stuck into all the activities on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Ms Dunn, who works with the Army Welfare service in Colchester, said: “It’s been really good. We watch the kids to see if they are communicating and working as a team. There’s been no bickering at all.”

In the arts session, the children were learning to make their own abstract art on canvas to be taken home at the end of the day.

Michelle Morgan, community support development officer at the Woodbridge station, said: “It’s such a big day for some of the younger kids, so it’s good to have at least one calmer activity - we’ve had t-shirt printing and graffiti art in the past.

Children of army servicemen and women, local schoolchildren, young people in care and some young people know to the authorities take part together, leaving the outside world at the gate and playing together.

Children at Camp Camouflage, the four-day summer camp run by the Amy Welfare Service and Suffolk Coastal Council, getting stuck into all the activities on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGEChildren at Camp Camouflage, the four-day summer camp run by the Amy Welfare Service and Suffolk Coastal Council, getting stuck into all the activities on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Suffolk Coastal council officer Sarah Shinnie said:

“Once you’ve got everyone in their coloured tops you don’t know who has come from where – that’s the beauty of it.”

More than 200 services have been delayed on Greater Anglia’s main line this weekend - with unforeseen maintenance issues compounding disruption caused by planned works on the track to London Liverpool Street.

Leave extra time for your journey if it’s likely to be affected by roadworks.

Suffolk villagers have taken ownership of their last remaining pub – more than five years after a major fire devastated the historic inn.

This weekend sees the party conference season move up a gear with the start of the Labour Conference in Liverpool – an event that politicos across the country will be watching closely.

Police have seized a car in the centre of Ipswich as it was unroadworthy and didn’t have the correct insurance.

A five-year funded project to restore heathland at Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Knettishall Heath reserve comes to an end this month but the benefits to wildlife in the area will be seen for years to come.

Drivers in the Halstead area are being asked to contact police with any information they may have regarding a life-threatening crash on Friday night.

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