This past Tuesday (23rd August) saw the largest Yes Tribe campout to date, under a night sky filled with shooting stars framed by the stunning backdrop of Haleigh Castle. Over 40 friends and strangers, had travelled together in small groups some by bike, others by train to the small seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea. After embracing the old age tradition of fish and chips, we walked the short distance up the hill to where we would be camping that evening. Along the way conversations about our lives, our passions and our shared love of being outdoors took place; a complete norm for a Yes Tribe campout.* There was one part of this campout, however, that was not normal.

In November 2015 Elise Downing set off from London to run around the coast of the UK, and now over 5000 miles later is nearing the end of her journey. Elise (who has been coming to Yes Tribe campouts right from their beginning last summer) has had her fair share of adventures these past few months, sharing them all with humility and much laughter. She quietly inspires, and her astonishing accomplishment is a wonderful slice (she adores cake) of the Yes Tribe. This campout was planned so that in return we could show how much she means to us.

Before settling down in our bivi bags for the night, we all sat together on the hill sharing positive moments, planned trips and in Elise’s honour, cake. As with every Yes Tribe campout new friendships were formed, and new joint adventures planned. The next morning the beautiful sunrise set the perfect scene to head back down the hill to our different homes. The air rang with laughter and ongoing conversations, each person gently encouraging the other to persuade dreams. Elise pulled on her trainers and ran down the hill with others joining her for the day, the very essence of the Yes Tribe – making her life memorable.      

*This campout was just one in the Yes Tribe summer series that has seen dozens of people explore Greater London together, sharing their stories and dreams, and adding to our growing community, you can find out about and sign up to upcoming Yes Tribe campouts and events on Facebook.


Elise finishes her 5000 miles tomorrow (27th September), come and join her for her Run the Coast Finish Line Picnic. 

Catch up on Elise's Run the Coast journey on Facebook


Author: Kate Davis