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In 2016 I went on a school expedition to Uganda with Camps International. After our Camps Leader phoned the London Headquarters, they allowed us to go for a swim and a game of volleyball in the Nile. We also used Nile Water in the showers on Hairy Lemon Island. After we returned to the UK one of our group became quite ill and after some testing was diagnosed with a parasite- Schistosomiasis/Bilharzia. After the rest of the group heard of the diagnosis we all went to get tested. Most of us tested positive for the parasite. In the UK the NHS covers the medical costs, however because I moved to Germany for Uni straight after the trip, I have to pay for my medical bills of roughly 1500 Euros myself. After my Stepdad contacted Camps International to ask for my payment to be paid by them, they denied the request with the reasoning that I was lying about how they were contacted to give permission to go in the water. This, in fact, can be confirmed by members of my group and so whether they have no written record of the phone call or are trying to cover themselves, I do not know. I am now left with these extensive medical bills after Camps International acted negligent. Myself and the rest of my group were all minors at the time given in to the care of Camps International, who we were promised had excellent knowledge of dangers in the area we were to visit. After doing one google search I was able to find that it is actually common knowledge not to go swimming in the Nile, as it is a breeding site of many parasites. Had the one member of our group not become acutely ill, we would have never known about the parasite and left untreated it can do severe damage to internal organs. I am sharing this now, over a year after our expedition because only now has my medical treatment been completed. I want to warn other parents and kids who have gone on trips with Camps International to get tested and make sure you were not in contact with anything dangerous. Other groups are still being sent to the exact same camp in Uganda where we contracted the parasite so I hope that others are more wary of the organisation and get tested for various parasites upon their return.
I went away with camps over the most recent summer (2017) to Ecuador/Galapagos. The trip provided me with many great memories to swimming with the fish to the beautiful views at all the camps that we stayed. we even started calling base camp 'home.' I was the only one from my school to go and everyone was so friendly and I wouldn't change it for the world. Thank you for a brilliant experience.
My son has just done a month in ecuador on a school expedition. He thrived on this trip. I had my concerns as he has a few social problems. To be told your child was the best worker out there. Helpful to other students and motivating others was a joy to be heard. It helped having a expedition leader that was fantastic. With never being away from home before he didn't want to come home. I recommend the schools expeditions as you have so much support. He would love to go again. He keeps in touch with people that worked and live in ecuador. My son's group consisted of 2 schools who didn't know each other prior to the trip and they all got on like a little family. I'd recommend camps international to anybody thinking of volunteering to help others. My son put in so much and he got so much out of it. Thank you for giving my son an amazing experience.
Both our children experienced a camps trip (Ecuador 2015 and Peru 2017). What a fabulous , professional organisation . Whilst in Peru my son needed medical assistance (His own fault) they kept me up to date with everything and ensured he was treated quickly and effectively . Both my children talk of experiences I can only dream of . Thank you for making it happen . I would 100% recommend the organisation . Totally transparent and totally get it right
I had the most incredible month of my life on a trip to Ecuador. It was two years ago now but I still think about it very often. The people we met, work we did and sights we saw all combined to be an incredible time.
Best 2 weeks I've experienced! Planning to go back and help Camp Beng Mealea again! The people are so friendly and in just 2 weeks I truly made a second family. Cambodia will be my second home as I'm now in love with the country!
The 2017 school expedition to the Phillipines Gave me the opportunity of a life time, and allowed me to find myself, it Gave me the chance to do and see things outside my comfort zone. This experience was life changing.
**PARENTS BEWARE*** - Please ALL parents consider the implications of potentially having to fund the trip with this company if there is any possible shortfall in your fundraising as if your circumstances change and you are unable to commit to the trip there is NO room for a compromise with them. You will NOT be able to retrieve any of the money committed even if a legitimate reason for cancellation is given.
I had hoped that the company, which prides itself in its ethical ways, would understand the circumstance my family found itself in when we had to cancel my sons participation in a trip and we had contributed money for my son's place. After we informed them that we needed to cancel, at NO time was there any compassion shown to our situation and the business head of this company reared its ugly head, throwing its own ethics out the window!! I am aware there is T&C's that cover this company from these kind of cancellation requests which we had signed but I can assure you, the decision to cancel was not taken lightly and with great reluctance though this company did not once acknowledge the reason for cancellation.
Another word of warning is that this is a company, NOT a charity and if any businesses were to sponsor your child, they are unable to declare this as a charitable donation, just in case this would affect your fundraising ideas & any impression given at any information evenings.
I am acutely aware that the company has (and probably continues) to help in the areas they are based in but if you run into any trouble and can't honour the cost of the trip, you have almost 100% lost any contribution paid.
I sincerely hope any of the money that we have paid has gone to some kind of assistance to people they advertise that they help and not into their profits of the company (which I sadly assume has in our case)
I sincerely wish any parent that has their child participating all the best of luck on the opportunity they are involved in, and do not want to adversely alarm anyone to not take part in these trips, I just want to highlight the situation that I found myself in when my circumstances changed dramatically from when we signed up for the trip and the ZERO understanding given by them.
Thank you for your comments and we’d like to say we fully appreciate and sympathise with your situation and reasons for cancelling your son’s place. We apologise that you feel this may not be the case, please let me reassure you that we do genuinely care and have tried to work with you to find an alternative solution to cancelling. We have written to you directly to respond fully to your points and in the interests of protecting your privacy, we will not discuss those in a public forum.
What we would like to explain is a bit more about who we are and what we do.
Camps International is a social enterprise – a business with philanthropic interests at its heart. In 15 years, we have supported nearly 50,000 people in Africa, Asia and South America. We are not a charity; however, we have a charity attached to the company to enable us to do even more amazing work in these rural communities.
The expeditions we run are not organised by the charity, they are organised by our social business – we make this clear on all materials and in our presentations to parents. We are exceptionally proud of what we do and achieve as a company and therefore have no reason to not want to shout about it from the rooftops.
With regards to how and where we spend the money we receive; the funds are used to enable hundreds of life-changing projects to be undertaken each year. Through these we deliver real and sustainable change around the world. We promise that every project we start we finish, without compromise.
We also provide extensive pre-expedition support for anything up to 2 years before departure for all our volunteers.
We hope this answers you questions and should you have any further comments, please contact us directly to see how we may be able to help.
Posted 8 months ago
Just over two months ago I got back from my trip to Borneo as part of team Jati. I can't put into words just how unbelievable those 4 weeks were, it was the most amazing experience of my life and I made the most amazing friends with everyone from my group. I would just like to thank Camps International because this trip changed my life for the better. I really hope to come back soon ???? Thank you Camps ????????
school expedition-Borneo 2016- Team Bajau!
About two months ago I got back from an expedition volunteering in Borneo for a month. Going on this trip was the best decision I've made in my life so far.
The whole experience was amazing and I can't thank the people that I went with and who shared this experience with me enough for being so supportive and also completely hilarious!
I loved going to each of the different camps and meeting the staff and locals out there. It was amazing to be able to learn about their culture and way of life. One thing that really stood out to me was the ability that the people out there had to always be positive and to see the best in everything. It was also amazing to be welcomed so warmly by all of the locals and staff and to feel a part of this huge family.
The places that we visited were so beautiful and I feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity. I loved getting stuck into the project work such as painting, building, beach cleans, planting, and so much more! It was a pleasure to meet every person out there and I would thank them all again for giving me such a wonderful experience if I could.
Going to Borneo was also such a massive and life changing experience for me as I learnt things about myself and realised the person that I want to be, it has also given me the courage to believe in myself and the determination to overcome barriers that may have been holding me back in the past.
Camps international were brilliant! I can't thank my team leader Sarah enough for being such a massive support and for giving me the experience of a lifetime!! she brought so much positivity to the team and I couldn't have asked for a better team leader!
I can't wait to see where my next adventure takes me.
thank you so much camps international for an experience that I will never forget!
Amazing, trust-worthy company and would happily go again!
I had the most amazing experience in Uganda this year. It was so eye-opening and I really appreciate all the work and organisation Tony, Steph and Grace did for us during the month we were there. I met so many extraordinary people and had loads of fun. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I'll never forget. Thank you!
This experience changed my life. Before going I was shy, insecure and scared of what was coming next. But now I am way more confident and eager to do more things, travel more, and change the world. This really was life changing for me. Thank you Camps International.
It was the best 4 weeks of my life so far! Couldn't fault any of it. Tony and Stef from camp Uganda coordinated our trip exceptionally well and I was very sad to be leaving at the end. It was an experience I will never forget and it was really nice to see the end results of our project work.
It was an incredible eye-opening experience.
They sufficed, as an organising company
An incredible month in Ecuador. Overlooking the UK staff, The Camp Ecuador team were some of the most friendly and helpful people I have ever met, and played a massive part in making the month as amazing as it was! The projects were relevant to the people in the communities, who seemed honoured to have volunteers like us (especially in the new camp - Camp Esmeraldas). Definitely worth all the hard work fundraising, as the life experiences gained from this expedition are far more valuable than the £4000 price tag. Thank you for the amazing opportunity - I would love to go on another adventure with Camps International in the future!
Borneo Island Trip – 2016
I had an absolutely awesome time on my Expedition to Borneo, I only came back last week and I am dying to go back. All of the staff both in the UK and in country are extremely helpful and accommodating, they helped with every little thing we needed which meant that everyone got what they wanted from the experience. Borneo itself is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to, the people are very friendly despite my bad attempts at speaking Malay! The project work was varied and rewarding. Mantanani island is exactly how you imagine and along with the beautiful scenery, it has a very relaxed vibe. Narawang was a brand new camp, my group were the first people to have visited, I can’t speak highly enough of the team and the people there, they went out of their way to make us welcome and I felt like I really got to immerse myself in the culture of the area! Plus, waking up to the view of mount Kinabalu it was hard not to have a permanent grin on your face. In terms of food, I am still dreaming of my 4 o’clock snacks and If you like rice and noodles it is the place for you. It hard to pick a highlight but kayaking to see the sunrise and seeing turtles are definitely up there! Overall it was an incredible trip and I can’t wait to book my 3rd Camps trip.
Borneo Scuba school expedition summer 2015
The most breathtaking , life changing and beautiful month of my life.The staff at each camp as well as in England are all a credit to the company, both being friendly and accommodating to different peoples needs. We were able to experience different cultural activities such as local dances , bracelet making , climbing coconut trees amongst many other activities like Scuba Diving.As well as experiencing a range of work which was a great privilege to be able to help those less fortunate than ourselves.Our work mainly consisted of Gravity Water feeds , as well as beach cleans, cementing , carpentry work and building a reception hall. What each camp had to offer was also amazing , Batu Puteh (the jungle) put us out of our comfort zones but allowed our inner adventurous side to come out. Tinagol allowed us to first hand see the lives we would be changing , with s being able to play activites such as rounders , water balloon flights and piggy back races each lunch time with village children. Manternani was the tropical beach we had all dreamed of visiting , which allowed us to see spectacular views as well as having a bit more relaxation time to experience different activities , like swimming in crystal blue sea. Kota Kinabalu (KK) the capital of Sabah , showed us the city life and allowed us to buy presents for our friends and family with the beautiful market (particularly the night market). Utan paradise, again allowed us to experience the jungle life where the conditions were slightly cooler and we got to go on jungle treks to see the amazing jungle wildlife and nature.Finally Gaya island meant we were able to do water sports such as Scuba Diving and Kayaking as well as zip lining between 2 islands.Sadly we weren't able to finish our Padi course due to the weather conditions not being the best however this didn't affect just how amazing the trip was.Not only did camps allow us to meet friends for life but also gave us memories that will last forever. Due to my trip being so amazing I've decided to travel again with Camps for my Gap Year :)
I went on the 2015 Expedition to Borneo and it crosses my mind everyday. It was such a beautiful experience and Camps' relaxed approached was why we all loved it. TEAM ORANGUTAN!