Archive for 2012 Games Makers Camping

Volunteer reports on her Camping At The Games experience

Hilary Orr, married Mum of 3 talks about her Gamesmaker experience in this article: Happy Camping! The Gamesmaker Campsite

She talks extensively about her experiences at our Eton Manor campsite….

“Because I had recently been made redundant, I was on a budget and this totally reflected where I was able to stay; even the most basic hotel prices were out of my league. Through joining a Games Maker forum I found the Eton Manor Rugby Club who, via “Camping at the Games”, were offering camping for £10 a night (bargain!). I set up a Facebook page, and soon had in excess of 48 members who were to be camping at Eton Manor Rugby Club in Wanstead! We set up camp together and even had our very own ‘village hall’. We had all our shift rotas hung inside the village hall, so we could see who was off on a particular day and pal up together, we enjoyed meals out, visits to the theatre, museums etc.

I had been given a folding bike from a friend and I sprayed it red, white and blue and brought it with me to London. It fondly became known as ‘camp-bike’, and I used it to travel to Wanstead tube, but more importantly for my daily shower/toilet trips, when usually I would be dressed in wellies, dressing gown and pyjamas!

I thoroughly enjoyed the camping, and in some respects just as much as completing my Olympic role. It was like having a ‘family’ while living in London; the rugby club staff were utterly fantastic, they started serving breakfast as early as 6am (to catch those on an early shift) and served alcohol into the early hours (to catch the late finishers)!

I recently attended the Team GB parade in London, and despite not being offered a place on the Mall, I stood proudly with my camping Games Maker friends and the public and screamed and cheered at the spectacular athletes as they passed us by parading the medals.

To coin a phrase, I had the time of my life in London this summer, and feel so honoured and proud to have been a part of it. I have had experiences and made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

A day in the life of an Olympic Games Maker – continued!

Kathy Gould from Basingstoke has just completed her role as a Games Maker where she was a T3 Driver and this is what she had to say about her stay at Match Day Centres…

I’m just back home from the experience of a lifetime!

 When I was accepted as a volunteer driver for the Olympic Games, my first reaction was “woo hoo!” My second reaction was “where am I going to stay?” I knew staying in London was going to be expensive, but I hadn’t banked on there being no vacancies at hostels or in universities. One of my friends jokingly suggested camping, and I thought why not? I typed camping for Olympic Games into Google, and it found Camping at the Games – perfect!

The booking was really simple, and I loved that the staff understood that we might need to make changes once our shifts were confirmed. Although Eton Manor would have been closer, Match Day was open early enough for my first shifts so I decided to stay there for my full two weeks. I’m so glad I did. The Match Day staff were friendly and helpful, and the locals were fascinated that we were camping on their football pitch and made us feel so welcome.

I can’t imagine I would have met so many wonderful, positive, friendly, inspirational people if I’d stayed in a hotel. I feel I’ve made friends for life.

 

Thanks so much to Cathy for sharing her story, we would love to hear more so keep them coming in!

The Campingninja Team

 

A day in the life of an Olympic Games Maker…what’s your story?

Laura Hopley, a Games Maker at the Royal Artillary Barracks, tells us about how she swapped her home in Telford for Blackheath Rugby Club…

My games experience has come to an end and as I sit in my camping chair looking out over the tented landscape which I have become so used to during the last 12 days, I am tinged with sadness. It has to be said that it has been the best, most surreal experience I have had! Meeting many famous faces within my role as tribune team leader at the Royal Artillery Barracks, as well as seeing a team GB gold unfold before me, has to top the long list of events that have made these days so memorable! Who would ever have thought that a quiet, 5ft 2 brunette would have been able to lead a team of other volunteers, stand her ground with stroppy press members and, most impressively of all, pitch her tent alone and in under 30 minutes!

The camping experience has been one I won’t forget! I was incredibly nervous about camping alone but I shouldn’t have been. The team at Blackheath were fab, facilities great and I never wanted for company in the bustling (and dry!) bar. What a 12 days… Made all the better by the family feel at Blackheath, without it my games experience wouldn’t have been half as good, and I know I have made friends for life! To sum it up in one word, and in the words of the class I teach… Epic!

 

A big thanks to Laura for sharing her experience with us and we want to hear more of them!!

The Campingninja Team

 

Great to meet 2012 Games Makers at Wembley Orientation Training

2012 Olympic and Paralympic Gamesmaker Orientation at Wembley

Braving the cold wind at Wembley - Feb 2012

On Saturday we braved the cold, and some rain, and ventured to Wembley Arena in order to meet some of the 2012 Games Makers and let them know about Camping At The Games and, importantly, the special flexi-camp deal we offer to all Olympics and Paralympics volunteers.

The day comprised of 2 sessions (morning and afternoon) at which Games Makers from all over the UK, and beyond, were introduced to the Games and their place in it. So, we made sure we were there before each session to catch up with people on their way in.

We were there with our big sign and flyers as people streamed from the station and car park. We’ve always practised what we like to call “ethical leafletting” – in a nutshell, only giving leaflets to those interested in what we offer – far less waste and far less annoying!

It was really lovely to meet so many Games Makers and we were struck by the huge variety of people who are all volunteering their time next Summer in order to make our 2012 Olympics and Paralympics a success.

We did get a little confused before the afternoon session as the mix seemed a little more diverse than before…. It was only when someone asked us the directions to the “Big Brother” auditions that we worked out what was happening – a truly eclectic mix!

Overall, it was a big success for us and we had lots of positive feedback and met quite a lot of people who had already booked their camping for the Games with us. The only down-side was that Geoff’s hands nearly froze off; but that was soon remedied by a big plate of Ikea Swedish Meatballs – Mmmmmm.

Useful Links

Find out more about the Flexi-camp Camping Deal

Check out our campsites, find out more info and make a booking online

Find the time it takes by public transport to get from each campsite to each Olympic and Paralympic venue

Flexi-Camp is a hit with Olympic and Paralympic Games Makers!

Games Makers Make Bookings!

Following last weekend’s orientation session for Games Makers we have seen a huge influx in bookings through our flexi-camp package and we now want to hear from you about what we can offer to make your stay even better!

Our flexi-camp package has been designed for Olympic and Paralympic Volunteers who still don’t know when or where they will be working at the Games yet. The package enables volunteers to change the dates and location of their campsite free of charge and if they need to reduce the length of stay they are entitled to receive a full refund on those days (providing the booking is still a minimum of 7 nights), still for only £10 per night!!

The package has proved to be a huge success, particularly as we now have 6 great sites on board covering each of the main Olympic and Paralympic venues from East London to Eton Dorney to Weymouth! And in response to this influx of bookings we are now creating dedicated volunteer camping areas at each of our sites and that’s not all…

Having spoken to a number of Games Makers we realise that aside from great value convenient accommodation, you may require some additional facilities to make your stay more comfortable – after all you could be camping for more than two weeks! So we would like to hear your suggestions, we can’t promise everything but we will do our best to make your stay more enjoysble. It could be that you simply need access to a local laundrette in the evenings or perhaps there are specific Games Maker activities that you would like to run at the sites, either way please do get in touch!

We look forward to hearing your suggestions, post your comments on this blog or Facebook!

The Camping at the Games Team!