Why is play important to me?

Play is a necessity in everyone’s life. I see the importance that play has on everyday life whether that be the huge opportunities for development and learning new things to the sheer joy and excitement it brings to all those that take part. I have been lucky to live a life enriched with play but there has been a huge dip in the time we allow for play these days and play itself is becoming something we do more and more through electronic platforms. I strive to encourage more play in the world, play that is social, active and exciting!

Favourite Season?

My favourite season has to be autumn for the array of colours and endless opportunities for creative play. The colours inspire the imagination and give a real warming feel to the forest. My favourite autumn activity is playing conkers.

Favourite Game?

My favourite game without doubt is Capture the Flag, and not the one you play on computer games, the real one outside. There is just something so exciting and rewarding about this game that I thrive on, so watch this space for some Capture the Flag themed events in 2016!

Favourite Tree?

The Horse Chestnut tree is my favourite, or many may recognise it as the conker tree. Aside from providing us with conkers in the Autumn, I also really like this tree for its amazing colours in Spring when it flowers and Autumn when the leaves turn. Its distinctive leaves have provided endless opportunities for natural art in my sessions and I find groups really engage with nature through this tree as many recognise the conkers that it produces.

Favourite Quote

“Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary”

Craig Thomson

Owner/Manager

Craig has spent many years travelling to various places throughout the world and found a real passion for exploring the outdoors and working with children and young people. His passion has seen him work in various places, including summer camps, outdoor education centres, schools, early years and playwork services, youthwork, residential care, to name a few and that has given him an array of experience that he brings to his role at Operation Play Outdoors.
Although born in Glasgow and starting Operation Play Outdoors in Glasgow, Craig has spent many years abroad, working in places like Canada, Australia and New Zealand and has consistently worked within the Outdoor Education and Playwork sectors.
Craig is a qualified level 3 Forest School Leader and Senior Playworker and his passion to bring more play to the communities of Glasgow and Scotland is second to none. Craig has big ambitions to tackle the barriers which currently affect the amount of time we dedicate to play and is inspired to create innovative and exciting play opportunities that challenge the norm.

In his spare time, aside from playing outdoors and climbing trees, Craig enjoys hiking, and generally exploring the outdoors and is always open to trying new things. Craig believes that we don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

Why is play important to me?

Play is a necessity in everyone’s life. I see the importance that play has on everyday life whether that be the huge opportunities for development and learning new things to the sheer joy and excitement it brings to all those that take part. I have been lucky to live a life enriched with play but there has been a huge dip in the time we allow for play these days and play itself is becoming something we do more and more through electronic platforms. I strive to encourage more play in the world, play that is social, active and exciting!

Favourite Season?

My favourite season has to be autumn for the array of colours and endless opportunities for creative play. The colours inspire the imagination and give a real warming feel to the forest. My favourite autumn activity is playing conkers.

Favourite Game?

My favourite game without doubt is Capture the Flag, and not the one you play on computer games, the real one outside. There is just something so exciting and rewarding about this game that I thrive on, so watch this space for some Capture the Flag themed events in 2016!

Favourite Tree?

The Horse Chestnut tree is my favourite, or many may recognise it as the conker tree. Aside from providing us with conkers in the Autumn, I also really like this tree for its amazing colours in Spring when it flowers and Autumn when the leaves turn. Its distinctive leaves have provided endless opportunities for natural art in my sessions and I find groups really engage with nature through this tree as many recognise the conkers that it produces.

Favourite Quote

“Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary”

Alexandra Weir

Play Co-ordinator

My name is Alex and I have been working as part of Operation Play Outdoors for almost two years! Now recently employed as a full-time member, I had previously been working sessional building up my experience with the company.

Similar to Craig, I have done my fair share of travelling around the globe. From the age of 16 I have travelled to places such as Australia, India, Thailand and the U.S.A delivering charity projects, collecting new experiences and making new friendships along the way.

Having studied a variety of subjects ranging from music, art, dance and therapy, I have recently found my passion for working outdoors whilst working with Craig at Op Out as well as studying Countryside Management. I have always had an interest in animals, nature and the general outdoors and have always particularly enjoyed engaging with the public.

Working at Op Out has made me come to realise just how extreme my passion is for working with children and adults, helping to create an interest in the natural environment and to encourage natural play outdoors again. Something in which I feel is extremely important, but has unfortunately been forgotten somewhere along the lines. I am always keen to see what each day brings working at Op Out, there is always new exciting opportunities and challenges (and I love a challenge!). It’s true when they say “every day is a school day”! It has allowed me to express my creative side as well as build my confidence in certain areas. To say it is a fulfilling job would be an understatement.

Why is play important to me?

Play is SO important in all aspects of life! I think its essential to keeping a balanced life, a balanced mind and a happy heart. It is so important not to lose your ‘inner child’ and always have a passion for play, especially outdoors. Keep exploring and having fun, otherwise, life would get a bit boring!

Favourite Season?

My favourite season has to be Autumn. When it’s not too hot, not too cold. The birds are out feasting on the last of the berries preparing for winter. The beautiful colours, crunchy leaves and frosty mornings. Perfect time for a stroll in the woods.

Favourite Game?
My favourite game has to be Camouflage. No matter what age group it as always just so much fun! It is really easy to explain and you can easily adapt the game to suit different themes. It’s also great for exploring the natural space you are working in too. Definitely one of the most popular games I have played with any group, I honestly don’t know anyone that doesn’t like it!
Favourite Tree?
The Rowan tree! Or as some might also know it as the ‘Mountain Ash’.
Identifiable by their colourful red berries in the autumn and white flowers in the spring, they always look so beautiful all year round. I love that they are an extremely hardy tree, growing in many different climates and habitats, even as far up as the arctic circle! They are so important to wildlife, providing berries during the winter months for smaller birds and insects too. A heart-warming and magical tree. The first tree I was able to identify independently as a child and ironically, my birth-tree as well…
Favourite Quote
“The Earth has music for those who listen” – William Shakespeare

Sessional Staff

We have sessional opportunities available throughout the year! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates on current vacancies!

Volunteers

If you are interested in volunteering with us and learning more about the work we do, please get in touch with us at info@opout.co.uk. We would be happy to speak further about any opportunities to get involved!

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Operation Play Outdoors
Glasgow, UK

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