Carlton camp Romanian style

A LONG-ESTABLISHED outdoor activity centre is to be copied in a deprived region of Romania.

Carlton Outdoor Education centre, which caters for young school children has been visited by two Romanian women who aim to create a similar centre in their homeland.

The two visitors joined a party of Hartlepool schoolchildren on their trip to the centre on a fact-finding mission.

The visit was arranged by Hartlepool businessman Michael Sumpter, who welcomed the eastern European visitors as part of an exchange initiative.

Mr Sumpter, from MKM building supplies in Burn Road, Hartlepool has been involved with the charity ECHO (European Childrens Help Organisation) since 1985.

He recently welcomed the Romanian visitors who spent the week at Carlton with ten children from Stranton Primary School.

The visit was to gain understanding and get some tips about outward bound centres so that when they return to Romania they can use their knowledge to turn an old farm on the outskirts of a town called Pascani into a centre like Carlton Camp.

The women will be organising the activities and running the project.

Corina Rotaru, one of the women who visited the camp, said: "Visiting Carlton Camp was an extraordinary experience, we see nothing like that in Romania.

"One of the best things I learned was to see the way in which the teachers from Stranton school interacted with the children. The school is amazing."

Mr Sumpter said: "The staff at Carlton were as keen as mustard to get involved and we are hoping that they can bring some of their experience and get involved with the Romanian camp."

In May of this Year 10 children from Stranton primary school will visit the Romanian camp.

Lots of children have already indicated their interest in the trip to Romania and the teachers will select the lucky 10 soon out of those who have been attending the weekly Romanian club.

The chidren hope to visit the camp to see how their ideas and suggestions have been used.

They have been communicating with a Romanian school near to the farm site by email and letters.