The scout troops held their Christmas ‘Chiller’ Camp at Cudham Shaws Scout Campsite at the weekend.
This year it really was a chiller camp, with cold weather all weekend – getting as low as -4 C on Saturday night.
As usual, we pitched camp on Friday evening, after getting all the tents up we erected the Christmas tree and tucked into a sausage-in-a-bun. In a foretaste of what was to come, there was definitely a nip in the air as we sat down to eat.
Entertainment for the remainder of the evening was decorating the mess tent and the traditional Christmas Quiz. In a shock, hopefully never-to-be-repeated turn of events, the scouts beat the leaders!
We woke up after a chilly first night to find everything covered in a heavy frost: coffee was frozen in cups and some items we’re even frozen to the ground!
By the time the scouts had emerged, breakfast was well on the way – everyone more optimistic after a good helping of cooked breakfast with a porridge chaser.
After flag break, the morning’s activities consisted of rotating between grass sledging, rope swing, elevenses, and two inter-patrol challenges; orienteering and photography.
Lunch was a giant billy of homemade tomato soup care of our volunteer lunch chef Tom.
The afternoon was left as more unstructured time – there was football, Christmas craft, panto practise and the most important bit, preparing our Christmas dinner.
The leaders prepared a full Christmas dinner, complete with spit-roasted turkey, roast potatoes and stuffing. It was a really impressive spread in any setting, in the middle of a field in December, it was amazing!
After yule log and custard, we retired to the fire to sing some Christmas carols and seasonal songs.
Then the camp patrols each performed a sketch, this year they were mostly musical. Videos of sketches are available to parents only – check you email
We rounded the evening off with a silent disco, which was really good fun. With three different channels of music available, there was definitely a generational divide in place during some parts of the evening.
Sunday was even colder than Saturday and we woke up to a spectacularly crispy morning with clear blue skies.
Sunday breakfast was eggy-bread with mushrooms, bacon, sausage and haloumi followed by porridge.
After breakfast we struck camp and packed the trailer (thank you to the parents who arrived early to help).
The last thing we did at the end of the camp before flag down, was to announce the winning camp patrol. This year it was Nightmare Before Christmas. Well done.
Thank you to all the scouts for coming along and giving the leaders and parent helpers an excuse to spend the weekend in a frozen field.
A quick mention of the two young people for whom this was their introduction to camping with scouts, and to Emily as this was her first one as Camp Leader.