The Team

Who we are

We are a wonderful collection of former primary teachers, workshop leaders, artists, dramatists, musicians and chefs! With what in common? The aim to reconnect children with their environment, enabling them to relate to it, learn from it, respect it, but most importantly enjoy it!


Justin Baker

Founder & Creative Director

Justin, a passionate and thoughtful educator with a love for the outdoors, cooking and folk art. He taught English as a foreign language abroad in various exotic countries, worked at many a summer camp and finally washed up back in London about 6 years ago. He was fortunate enough to have the chance to teach English at the French Lycée. There he spent many a happy day creating lively lessons with a strong emphasis on song, drama, poetry and play for young French folk. Whilst teaching he set up First Hand Education which has now grown into First Hand Experiences.

How we met

"I loved my time teaching in schools. I was afforded great freedom and creativity. However, I soon realised through various school trips how starved of nature and genuine experiences these children were. The more I delved into outdoor learning the more I felt I had to be a part of it. So here I am."


Louisa Gilman

Founder, Wonder Woman & Head of Programming

From a long line of educators, Louisa believes teaching is in her blood. With over 12 years of previous experience in primary and secondary settings, Louisa's background was specialising in the design of creative curriculums as well as co-ordinating the teaching of Literacy across schools. She now uses her talents behind the scenes creating the camp programmes, recruiting the fantastic team and keeping those admin tasks under control!

Louisa loves to share her own original songs that celebrate the children's natural experiences on camp. Her First Hand creations will have you humming the tune for days to come!

How we met

"I had always tried to bring imagination and care to my roles in primary education, from writing school plays to creating theatrical pieces designed to spark creative writing. Justin and I both realised that not only was experience key to telling a good story but some stories just weren't being told.

I've an obsession with history and all things vintage so when I am designing the programmes there is definitely an echo of a time when the natural world was children's main inspiration and most children's memories were anchored in genuine experiences. Seeing children sing about how they've been 'trying their hand at archeology' or 'making potions from fungi and seeds' at the end of the week always gives me a thrill."

"Wow, an amazing summer camp with a fantastic team of very talented people ... Hector is so excited to go every morning!
Very happy child = very happy mum!"

Anna Thom

Join the team ...

Always on the look out for good folk

If you have experience in an education or pastoral childcare setting then get in touch.

Looking for an experience?

Are you looking to get experience with children in a different setting? Do you have an up to date DBS and a willingness to learn quickly? Then get in touch.​

contact us

A secret agent?

Excited by what we have to offer? Would you like to help us spread the word far and wide? Get in touch to discuss how you can become a First Hand Experiences friend.