Truly an inspired suggestion from Paddy, who trains with Sensei Paul White, Sayer's Croft had virtually everything going for it as a venue for summer camp.
Training was as usual excellent, although the conditions (since we all had to be indoors) were fairly cramped - even though because of hall size, the numbers had been limited to 120 places. And in the evening, marvellous entertainment i.e. music and traditional (!?) dance from the Scots, a rendition of that classic song "Summer Camp" from Brixton dojo and "Nori's Magic Show".
Mizuno sensei has "requested" the Scots and Nori to repeat their acts at next year's Martial Aid, for all those who missed this delight first time round.
The copious ("anyone want any seconds?") and palatable food made a change from Summer Camps past and a separate room for coffee provided a place to rest up between training.
Sleeping was dorm style, which meant that the women did very well and the men faced a nightmare scenario if one of their number was a confirmed snorer. However, we now know who these people are, and it's rumoured they may all be made to sleep together in a separate dormitory next year.
All this provided a good backdrop for the messages provided by Sensei Aosaka in the two Howas sessions to make sense. These messages were about how valuable training together at Summer Camp is for forming new friendships which go beyond the dojo floor and about the need for Kenshi to make their best contribution to the situations they see around them.
Next year's Summer Camp will be in late June, again at Sayer's Croft, which opens up the possibility of training outdoors and hopefully takes away the pressure on training space.
It will also make the idea of a swim in the outdoor pool (braved by a hardy/foolish few) at last Summer Camp a much more pleasant idea.
Finally, thanks to those who organised Summer Camp 1992 - especially Sensei Paul White, and to Sensei Aosaka and Sensei Mizuno among others.
Since this article was written the date for 1993's Summer Camp has been confirmed as 25th-27th June at Sayer's Croft. See Year Plan for other dates.
This article first appeared in the February 1993 edition of Gassho.