Days to go!
Spree SW is a hugely popular camping and activity weekend for young people aged from 8 to 17 who come as part of an organised group from their church or Christian youth and children's group.
We provide a complete programme of activities throughout the weekend to suit all tastes, including five high-quality spiritual programmes for different age-groups.
Watch the video above and then explore the rest of the site to see why you and your group would love Spree SW in 2018!
Back again for 2018... new 'Encounter' venue for 15 - 17s - serving...worship...teaching...seminars...training...
Please check your leaders meet our DBS requirements BEFORE doing anything else - you can see our new DBS Policy here...
Booking into Spree SW is paper-free with our new web-based Group Booking Form! It's easy to use and tailored just for your group!
Back again for 2018....our new 8-11s 'Discover' teaching stream for those who want to discover more about living as a Christian...
Where does Spree SW take place?
Spree SW takes place at Shobrooke Park, near Crediton in mid-Devon. Shobrooke is a beautiful country park with rolling grassy fields, a large lake and an outdoor amphitheatre. It has reasonably easy access from the M5 and other major routes - to see the site location on Google Maps click here.
What happens at Spree SW?
The aim of Spree SW is to provide a great mix of fun, excitement and spiritual challenge for every young person that comes along. We provide a full programme of activities to suit all tastes throughout the weekend leaving leaders free to spend quality time with their groups. We hope that each young person will not only have an unforgettable weekend in a beautiful location but will move forward in their faith journey, whatever their starting point.
How much does Spree SW cost and is there a booking deadline?
Entry to Spree SW is as follows:
£50 for young people aged 8 - 15, which includes access to all Spree activities throughout the weekend (except kayaking/canoeing @ £14 for a one hour session, and Fencing or Mountain Biking @ £9 for a 45 minute session - all run at the site by qualified staff from Heatree Activity Centre);
£50 for leaders and helpers, but those coming as carers for a young person with a disability may attend free of charge;
£50 for 15 - 17s who join our new 'Encounter' venue - see tabbed box in section below.
Groups may book in at any time right up to July as long as there is still space, but we strongly encourage groups to register and book in the majority of their group as early as possible and then add any additional bookings as they come in later on. To encourage early booking, all Bookings received by Spree SW after midnight on May 18th will incur a £10 per person surcharge.
Once groups have booked in their young people and leaders using our on-line system we do not offer refunds if a place is cancelled.
The minimum age is 8 at the start date of Spree. If they turn 8 during Spree they cannot come unless they are children of leaders in the group, in which case they come free of charge but MUST be supervised by their parents the whole time.
The maximum age is 17 at the end date of Spree, i.e. if they turn 18 during Spree they cannot come as a young person (but they can come as a helper with the group's leadership team and the Spree DBS Policy will apply).
You will need to add on an amount for travel and food for your group.
There is an intentional overlap for 15 year olds; they can either come and join in with the main activities programme with the rest of their group, or alternatively join the new 15 - 17s Encounter stream (called the Development Track in 2017) - see tabbed box below for more details.
How do I bring my group to Spree SW?
1. Have a look at the tabbed boxes below where you will find lots more info about coming to Spree SW.
2. Next, visit the Downloads page where we provide you with downloadable publicity flyers/Consent Forms and promotional videos.
3. Once you are sure you are coming to Spree SW, the group's main leader should visit the Booking Page and complete a DBS Declaration Form*. We will then send them a link to an on-line Group Booking Form.
*The most important thing to do is IMMEDIATELY check that every adult likely to come meets our 2018 CRB/DBS requirements - visit the Booking Page to view the Policy. If anyone aged 18 or over at the start of Spree SW does NOT meet the DBS requirements, and therefore needs a new DBS check, this MUST be started immediately as per our Policy and if the new DBS certificate is not back in time the adult concerned WILL NOT be allowed to stay overnight at the site even if this means the group cannot then come. We cannot stress enough how important it is that Groups sort their DBS's early, and by Easter 2018, if at all possible, as the checks can take several months to complete!
Pictures from Spree SW 2014-17
Overview of Spree SW
Activities at Spree SW
Camping at Spree SW
Child Protection at Spree
15 - 17 'Encounter' Venue
South West Spree is a camping and activity weekend for young people aged 8 - 17* who attend any Christian youth and children’s group in the region.
*The minimum age is 8 at the start date of Spree. The maximum age is 17 at the end date of Spree, i.e. if they turn 18 during Spree they cannot come as a young person. Leaders may bring their own children aged under 8 free of charge as long as they supervise them the whole time. Teenagers aged 15 may either come and join in with the main programme with their group, or alternatively join the 15-17s Encounter stream - see tab above.
The fees for 2018, if booked and paid for by May 18th, are as follows:
£50 for young people aged 8 - 15*. This price includes access to all Spree activities throughout the weekend, except kayaking/canoeing @ £14 for one hour or Fencing and Mountain Biking @ £9 for 45 minutes - all run at the Spree site by qualified staff from Heatree Activity Centre.
£50 for leaders*. Carers coming to look after children with disabilities may come free of charge.
£50 for those aged 15 - 17 on the Encounter stream*. For more information about this new venue for 2018 see the tab above.
*Fees for all young people and leaders rise to £60 per person for all bookings received after May 18th.
Please remember that you will need to provide tents, food and transport for your group and may need to add on an amount to the fees to cover these. Click on the 'Camping at Spree SW' tab for more information about camping and catering for groups.
The site has plenty of parking for cars and minibuses close to the camping area, and on arrival and at departure some vehicles will be permitted to drive to the camping area to load/unload heavy equipment if required. Coaches are able to access the Park although they cannot enter the Spree site itself; it is a short walk to carry hand luggage from the coach drop-off point to the camping area and Spree staff will assist by transporting heavy cases/equipment if needs be.
At Spree SW we try to be as inclusive as possible and welcome young people with physical or learning disabilities. We would expect the group to look after the needs of the young person during the weekend, and for those unfamiliar with the site we recommend contacting the Spree SW organisers prior to booking to chat through any potential issues. We provide a spacious, self-contained, disabled toilet cubicle that meets all current legislation; it is a fully-alarmed and contains a flush toilet and wash basin. Ramp access is provided and there is room for a carer inside. We can also provide a BSL interpreter in the venues for the meetings, but need advance warning if this is required by a group.
Groups may arrive at the Spree site from 4 pm onwards on the Friday afternoon. We also encourage groups to put up tents from mid-morning if possible - or even on the Thursday evening! The first main event on the programme will take place in the amphitheatre (or amphitheatre marquee if wet) at about 9:00 pm on the Friday evening. Spree finishes at 2:30 pm on the Sunday.
Spree SW provides 24-hour first aid cover.
Dogs are NOT permitted on site.
Leaders who haven't been to Spree SW before will find it helpful to download the 'Spree SW Leaders' Guide' from the Downloads page.
The aim of Spree is to provide a good mix of fun, excitement and spiritual challenge for every young person that comes along.
Supervised activities are provided throughout the weekend, but outside of these activities the responsibility for supervising young people belongs to the leaders of their group. If leaders/helpers bring their own children aged under 8 they must supervise them the whole time – we do not provide any supervision for under 8s.
To give you a flavour of what to expect, a copy of last year's Activities Programme can be found on the Downloads page. (The 2018 Programme will be available there during June once everything has been finalised.)
The activities planned for Spree SW 2018 are given on the Programme page of this website. This is a provisional list, subject to weather and other constraints, and more may be added nearer to the event once a better idea of expected numbers is known.
Some optional activities require booking in advance and young people who would like to take part in one may select a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice from these bookable activities on the Consent Form they hand in. Full details of these activities can be found on the Programme page and also on the publicity sheet available on the Downloads page. Please note that Spree SW has now grown so large that we can't provide enough places for everyone, so we operate a first-come, first-served system - another good reason for booking your group in early! Kayaking/Canoeing is £14 extra for a 1-hour session on the lake, and Fencing or Mountain Biking is £9 extra for a 45-minute session. These three activities are run and supervised by qualified staff from Heatree Activity Centre in Devon, but all the other optional activities are free!
We will have some free spaces for Leaders in the Kayaking/Canoeing sessions - these will be advertised to groups nearer to the event and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
For information about the Spiritual Programme and Prayer Tent please visit the Programme page.
Camping at Shobrooke Park takes place on the main fields. We provide portable toilets, portable shower blocks (very posh!), water taps, fire extinguisher points and rubbish skips (including recycling bins). Please be aware that there are no electricity points at the camping area but we provide lots of charging points for leaders’ mobile phones in the Leaders Café.
You will need to bring sufficient tents for your group, cooking equipment (gas only as no charcoal barbecues or fires are permitted on the site) and food.
Camping stoves can create additional risks at Spree. We ask each group to bring a portable dry-powder fire extinguisher if possible and keep it close to the cooking area. We also provide each group with a fire blanket and bucket of water to be kept beside their camping stove. The Leaders' Guide contains important information about the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to avoid it.
The water taps are a few minutes walk from some areas of the camping site so we encourage groups to bring several large portable water containers suitable for drinking water and fill them up early on to help reduce the queuing at the water taps at busy times.
There will be a large commercial food van on site the whole weekend (including Friday evening) providing a wide range of hot and cold food and drinks. The Food Van menu is provided on the Downloads page. After arrival, groups may book meals for later in the weekend if required. We will also be selling ice creams and chilled bottled water on site.
A large Tesco superstore is just 10 minutes drive away and a smaller Morrisons store is even closer. Store details, including opening hours and directions to both supermarkets from the site, are given in the 'Leaders' Guide' available on the Downloads page and sent to every leader/helper well before the event as it also contains important safety information.
Spree runs a café for leaders/helpers, providing somewhere to sit and relax in relative peace and quiet together with free hot/cold drinks and biscuits. The café is open from 9am to 11pm.
A small number of caravans/camper vans will be permitted on site, but ONLY if required for catering purposes or because adults using them are unable to use a tent for medical reasons. Groups wishing to bring caravans or camper vans should request this on the Group Booking Form when it is completed on-line. Spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Caravans and camper vans will be put close to the main camping area if at all possible (although if the site is wet they may have to be parked a few minutes walk away at the top of the site where the ground is flat and well-drained.) We will try to arrange for groups to pitch caravans/camper vans used for catering as close as possible to where the group is camping.
NO GLASS BOTTLES OF ANY KIND ARE ALLOWED IN THE PARK. We appreciate that those who are catering may have purchased some items in glass containers, which is fine as long as any that are broken are completely cleared up as the grounds will be grazed by sheep after we leave.
No adult (i.e. anyone aged 18+) will be allowed to stay overnight at the Spree SW site unless they have a valid DBS Disclosure. Our new, simpler DBS Policy explains what constitutes a valid DBS for Spree SW and the Policy can be seen on the Booking Page. It is vital that groups check their team's DBS validity as early as possible as we will not allow any adult to be booked in until they meet the new DBS requirements, and a new DBS could take a month or more to come through.
At Spree we ask leaders/helpers to follow the best practice advice for working safely with children contained in the Child Protection Policy that they normally use. It is good practice that any adult helpers accompanying groups, and who don’t normally work in that group, should be treated as ‘trainees’ and supervised by the experienced leaders when they are with young people.
The Leaders' Guide given out to all leaders/helpers in advance of the weekend contains lots of advice about keeping young people safe over the weekend, and clear guidelines about what to do if an emergency arises or any form of child abuse is disclosed or suspected. The Leaders' Guide can be seen on the Downloads page and in June copies will be posted to all Groups booking in.
Groups will need to supervise their young people at all times between 11:00 pm and 9:00 am, and at any other time when they are not taking part in an organised Spree activity. We ask leaders of groups to ensure that young people know in which tents the main male and female leaders are sleeping in case they have a problem during the night and need to find them.
Under 8s attending Spree with their parents must be supervised by them at all times.
All adults attending Spree SW should be wearing a Spree SW wristband - these are given out on arrival. Any adult seen on site who is not in possession of a wristband will be reported to the Info Point or any Spree Core Staff member and followed up.
15 year olds have a choice at Spree; they can either take part in the main programme with the under 15s in their group and access everything on offer, OR they can join the 15 - 17 'Encounter' venue for the weekend (called the Development Track in 2017) which gives them their own venue, programme and café but reduces their access to the other activities slightly.
Those aged 16 - 17 can only book into the Encounter venue, unless they come to Spree as a paying leader to help the leadership team of their group look after everyone else. If a 17-year-old will turn 18 during Spree they can only come to Spree as part of their group's leadership team and the Spree SW DBS Policy applies to them.
Encounter will suit teenagers who have perhaps come as young people before, are looking for a bit more challenge and are ready to take on some responsibility. Historically this was for Stewards aged 16+, but this new age-group will replace that and provide a different experience for 15 - 17s that we hope will provide a much more rounded experience of Spree.
Young people in this age group have their own fully-equipped venue with a dedicated team that will run the spiritual programme and a youth café area just for them. They will be asked to help with a few stewarding duties at various times over the weekend, but this will be a much reduced role compared to previous years with no cleaning toilets or having to take responsibility for the inflatables! Instead, they can help with crafts, sports and other less onerous activities which we hope they will enjoy.
NEW for 2018: 15 - 17s who join Encounter are permitted book into the kayaking/canoeing, fencing or mountain biking if they wish but not the other optional activities. They are also welcome to take part in any of the other activities taking place during the weekend, although for various practical reasons we can't let them compete in the 5-a-side soccer tournament on the Sunday.
As well as having their own teaching/worship meetings in our new fully-equipped Encounter venue, we are also running a workshop/seminar programme during the weekend covering lifestyle and faith issues especially relevant to this age-group.
We ask that those coming to Encounter pay the same fee as everyone else, which will go towards the cost of running their venue at Spree.
15 - 17s joining Encounter must ask their parents to complete a copy of the same Parental Consent Form that is used for other young people and they will be expected to eat and camp with their own group.
This section is especially useful if you haven't been to Spree SW before:
What leaders who came in previous years have said about Spree SW...
The kids loved everything they did this year...you have an unparalleled range of activities to engage them!
The Craft tent is amazing!
Talent contest really brought our group together this year.
Fantastic interactive sessions which engaged the children.
Our group loved the sessions. A good mix of songs, talk, activities and some great teaching for the kids.
All were challenged and were chatting about what they had heard. Brilliant!
The organisation was phenomenal. Have been to many Christian camps in the region and this beats them all, so well done!
It is so well organised. We love coming every year!