Thirty-five and counting for Dutch visitors

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Friday 11 September 2009

Thirty-five years since their first trip to Canterbury Camping and Caravanning Club Site, one Dutch secondary school is preparing to transport yet another group of students to Britain for their annual camping trip.

Since 1974, a total of 4,500 pupils have pitched their tents at the picturesque Site and tomorrow (Saturday) Canterbury will welcome another group of 115 students from the De Christelijke Scholengemeenschap Walcheren School (De CSW for short) with a commemorative plaque and the same hospitality the school looks for year-after-year.

School teacher Wim de Haan said: “Every year we have been received with open arms. We want to bring our pupils into contact with the English culture, but we also think it is very important that they get to know each other and learn to co-operate and tolerate each other. Camping is great for this.”

“After 35 years we really have a very well equipped camp: 35 tents for the pupils, a large tent for the staff, cooking equipment and of course everything that makes camping a pleasure like two fridges and a large deep freeze.

“Former pupils – some of whom are students’ parents – often ask if we are still going to England each year.”

Lorries carrying the students’ marquee and tents will begin arriving at Canterbury today, with the teenagers and teachers following on Saturday.

The school will then be presented with a commemorative plaque which thanks them for 35 years of camping, and the students will wear their ‘35-year anniversary’ T-shirts, made as a special souvenir of this year’s trip.

Holiday Site Manager at Canterbury Michelle Papworth added: “It’s certainly very lively having 100-or-so teenagers at the Site but they have their own special field and amenities block away from the other guests, plus they’re out on day trips most of the time, so the hectic moments are limited.”

 - Ends -

The commemorative plaque will be presented to De CSW over the weekend.
If you wish to attend the presentation then contact Holiday Site Manager Michelle Papworth on 07957 790703.

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Editorial Notes:

  1. The Camping and Caravanning Club is 108-years-old and is the largest and oldest Club in the world for all forms of camping. It has 109 award-winning sites throughout the UK and, through a partnership with the Forestry Commission, Forest Holidays now runs a further 21 Camping and Caravanning and six Cabin Sites.
  2. New to Camping was launched on Monday, May 18, 2009 and incorporates all forms of outdoor holidays.
  3. National awards include:
  • Which Motorcaravan Site of the Year Runner-Up – Little Trethvas Farm CS
  • Practical Caravan 2009 Top 100 Parks Regional Winner (Scotland) – Lauder Club Site
  • Practical Caravan 2009 Top 100 Parks Regional Winner (north-east) – Bellingham Club Site
  • MMM 2009 Camping & Caravanning Site of the Year – Thetford Forest Club Site
  • Caravan Magazine Wow Factor Award 2008 – Milarrochy Bay Club Site
  • Loo of the Year 2008, Delamont Country Park Club Site – Winner Holiday Parks category in Northern Ireland
  • David Bellamy Conservation Award 2008 Gold Award – Charmouth, Glencoe and Trewan Hall Club Sites
  • The Maison de la France Tour Operator Awards for Best Camping/Mobile Home Operator 2008 - Carefree Travel Service
  • Which Motorcaravan Site of the Year Runner-Up 2008 – Windermere Club Site