SONGS rang out across the campfire last week after a hugely successful summer camp for young people run by a Marlow-based activity centre charity.

Around 75 happy campers aged between 16 and 21 embarked on Longridge's week-long adventure holiday at Westhorpe Lakes, near Marlow, as part of the Government’s National Citizen Service programme.

The scheme, designed to boost skills and encourage young people to take on new challenges, saw the intrepid group take part in dragon boating, climbing, rafting, hiking, nature trails and of course evening camp fires.

Staying in tents on site and using eco-showers - with many of them experiencing camping for the first time - the young people go to grips with the outdoors life, hiking up Winter Hill and enjoying the views over Marlow.

Longridge Commercial manager Savannah Catharine said: “For the last 2 years we have held a summer camp at Westhorpe lakes, and this year was no different. We had a fantastic group of instructors, and some truly amazing young people

“Some participants managed to conquer real fears, (of water or heights) while others learnt to be more confident in a group environment, and some just laughed all week.

“The weekly campfire was another perfect reflection session, where the groups could freely talk about how they had surprised themselves at what they had achieved, in between a few classic campfire songs.”

NCS brings together young people from different backgrounds and helps them develop greater confidence, self-awareness and responsibility.

It encourages personal and social development by working on skills like leadership, teamwork and communication.

Longridge staff added that the campers were extremely positive about their stay, with full feedback marks across the board for instructors and organisers.

The only downside, the young people remarked, was getting to grips with living in a tent and renouncing the luxurious trappings of home life.

Longridge hopes to run a very similar camp for 2015, and possibly make it available to more people.