A MILITARY-themed summer activity scheme in Woodbridge, Suffolk, has brought young people together to develop new skills.

Operation Camouflage has seen more than 80 young people, half from military families based at Colchester, Wattisham and Woodbridge, take part in four action-packed days of craft and sport activities at the town’s Rock Barracks.

The programme, organised by Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Army Welfare Service (AWS), aims to allow young people from different backgrounds to challenge themselves and develop new skills.

Activities ranged from graffiti art and t-shirt making to an assault course and bush craft lessons run by soldiers from the town’s 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment. Young people also enjoyed sports including archery and zorb football.

AWS community support senior development worker Claire Lowe said: “Operation Camouflage is all about the mixture – we mix young people from military and civilian backgrounds together for a varied mix of craft and sporting activities.

“At the end of each day everyone has gone home tired and happy, but also developed their confidence and learnt a lot about teamwork. This is one of the highlights of the year for me because young people get so much out of it.”

Among the young people taking part was 10-year-old Grace Garcia. She said: “My dad’s in the Army and we moved to Woodbridge this year, so this is my first time at Operation Camouflage. I’ve really enjoyed it because we’ve done lots of different activities and I’ve made lots of new friends.”

Suffolk Coastal’s active communities officer Sarah Shinnie said: “This is Operation Camouflage’s ninth year and it’s gone from strength to strength. Some of the young people here have come from difficult backgrounds and it’s a great way to positively engage with them in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.”

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