‘t Strandheem Family Campsite

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Distinctive play opportunities. Family campsite is a great success for growing teenagers.

The Bruinewold family has been running a comfortable family campsite in a unique spot in the North Netherlands for 22 years now. 't Strandheem lies to the west of the Frisian lakes and fields, with the Waddenzee and the famous seal sanctuary at Pieterburen to the north. To the east are the hedgerows of Groningen and you can cycle around the forests of Drenthe to the south. A wonderful environment. But it was important to continue to attract families with growing children, concluded Ms Bruinewold a couple of years ago. "Children between the ages of 12 and 15 still go on holiday with their parents, but there is often very little for them to do." At 't Strandheem these young holidaymakers can go absolutely crazy on the FREEGAME field that was recently installed by the entrance to the campsite. 

Of course there was already a lot for growing teenagers to do at 't Strandheem. "We hold campfire evenings and we organise orienteering drops", says Ms Bruinewold. But there wasn't a place dedicated to this group. The Bruinewold family decided to do something about this. They had already noticed FREEGAME but shied away from the investment necessary to realise their "dream court". When KOMPAN offered to spread the cost, Ms Bruinewold and her family took the plunge and they've not had a moment's regret since. "We posted the news on the internet with photographs of the construction and it reflected immediately in the bookings. A great many people were clearly just waiting for something to come along that offered a little bit extra for their children. What's more, we notice that people who arrive at the campsite often have a football ready for action in the car. The kids are already on the field while the parents are checking in."

 

FREEGAME for everyone

Abiding by the motto "if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right", 't Strandheem opted for the large version of the FREEGAME court. "You can do everything here: football, basketball, volleyball and tennis." The nicest thing is the way in which the children play together on and around the field. "Everything happens at the same time here. On one side there could be a game of basketball and on the other a ball is being kicked around." There are evenings when almost everyone on the campsite gathers around the court for a tournament between teams from different camping fields. "It's very social indeed and our recreation teams make very grateful use of the playground to organise all sorts of things on the campsite, for both young and old."

 

A meeting place

The FREEGAME court has become a true meeting place for everyone on the campsite, which inspired Ms Bruinewold to give the area surrounding the court a bit of a facelift. "We installed benches where the girls now gather to watch the boys playing on the court and to chat. There are also table tennis tables - something for everyone to do. Nor is the court the only place for children to play, as the Bruinewold family, together with KOMPAN, has been busy thoroughly revamping all of the play equipment with Corocord over 7 metres high as the centrepiece. "You usually find slightly younger children here who can't always go to the FREEGAME court, but they feel too old for the small play areas and the covered sand play area by the swimming pool."

The FREEGAME field was officially opened by the "Junior Heroes" of Heerenveen football club in the May holiday in 2007. They are a special youth team who carry out guest training sessions and give demonstrations. "We organised all sorts of activities and games around the field, so that it became a huge party for everyone staying at the campsite." Not least for the football talent from Heerenveen who refuse many invitations as they are so busy. "But it was such a great success that they are returning this year. It's becoming a real tradition!" concludes a proud Ms Bruinewold.

 

Fast facts
Location: Opende, Netherlands

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