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!
At the start of October a combined group of both scout troops (plus a couple of guest cubs) cycled from Groombridge, just round the corner from Adamswell Scout Camp, all the way to the outskirts of Crawley.
On the way we took a detour to Hammerwood Scout Camp, where we made use of their superb supply of trees for a whole-troop hammock camp for the first time.
After ‘pitching’ their hammocks, a healthy mountain of stew and some pancakes, the scouts went off in the woods for a wide game before returning for some marshmallows.
We awoke after a slightly chilly night’s sleep to egg and bacon butties prepared by the overworked leaders before heading off for day two on the bikes.
All in all it worked very well – definitely the lightest-weight camp we have tried with such a large number of people – there were 35 of us in total. We have just got to find a suitable location for us to try it again!
Thanks to everyone involved (leaders, young people, accompanying parents) but Rob in particular – it was his first time as Event Leader!
After we arrived at Frylands, found our accommodation and put the Christmas decorations up, the scouts went out for a wide game before hot-dogs and bed. True to form, they all were far too excited to sleep quickly and ended up getting to sleep late.
However, next morning we were surprised to find team on breakfast duty up half an hour early!
Our morning’s activities were traversing where we also managed to invest our newest scouts Olga and Henry
Our next activity was exploring the Frylands tunnel system and playing a few games including hunt-the-leader. One of the visiting leader’s from another group, Ellie, proved to be a star and avoided detection completely.
Our morning session finished with a new activity for us, “earth-ball”. The game was a hit and it is definitely something we would look to acquire for the group at some point.
The afternoon session was run by Richard Chipperfield and the Kent County Space Team. The scouts learned how to carefully construct a rocket, before going out to the field to fly them. They started with a low-power ‘A’ rocket engine, and built up to the most powerful ‘C’ engine. The B and C engines went a lot further, and only one rocket survived the whole afternoon session intact and in our possession! A huge thank-you to Richard and his team for giving up their afternoon for us.
By the end of the rocket session everyone was getting a bit chilly, so we retired for a hot chocolate before attacking the veg prep for dinner. It wasn’t long before the scouts were outside again playing Laser Tag, working up an appetite before dinner.
An enormous Christmas dinner (the works: turkey, roasties, sprouts, carrots, beans, peas, parsnips, cranberry sauce and gravy, followed by Christmas pudding – a first for many of the scouts) was followed by the inevitable washing-up marathon (well done Team C).
By 19:30 we were outside, passed a pair of Swedish candles (first time we had tried them) for the Christmas Carol-fire and Donald’s investiture as a group sectional assistant
The scouts slept a lot more soundly and for substantially longer, so much so that breakfast was half an hour late on Sunday.
After we had packed and cleaned, our Sunday activities were indoor archery, and ‘team challenges’. The team challenges consisted of games of minefield (the team had to navigate across a minefield, learning from their colleague’s untimely deaths to reach safety), towers of hanoi and crossing spider’s web. Theo and Anthony tried the unorthadox approach of throwing themselves horizontally through the spider’s web. They both had a greater respect for movie stunt-people afterwards!
After a lunch of turkey sandwiches, we finished the camp with few parachute games before heading home to say goodbye to another year of scouting!
The scouts have returned from their summer camp at the Burnbake Campsite near Corfe Castle in Dorset.
The journey down there went without incident, save the traffic jam near Ringwood, with us arriving just after 14:00. At one point we thought that the Tesco deliveryman was going to be there before us!
After unloading the trailer, the scouts set about pitching camp and then set about cooking dinner.
Saturday was spent getting things straight while the leaders cooked the traditional roast beef & yorkshire puds. In the afternoon we took a dip in the sea in Studland village to cool off.
Sunday saw us set out on a bike ride from the cycle hire shop at Norden Station, right up into Shell Bay in Studland at lunch time, before cycling to the ridge above Corfe Castle itself and enjoying a tremendous panorama over the escarpment on either side.
On Monday, after some navigational challenges in the minibus, we walked part of the South Dorset Coastal Path from the great globe in Durlston Head Country Park to the coastal observation station at Aldhelm’s Head. It was another scorching day up to the point we got completely soaked by a heavy shower near the end of our walk. We took shelter in the coastal observation station where the very nice NCI watchkeepers explained what they did and allowed the scouts to take a look at the shipping through their super binoculars. Thank you very much!
We were back to the same shore line the next day after a morning’s archery session at Burnbake. We abseiled down the cliff at Dancing Ledge, before climbing up again (several times). All of the scouts did really well, with all of them going over the edge. Thank you to Tom at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre for taking care of us.
Wednesday saw us in next to Wareham Quay. In the morning we built ‘traditional rafts’ and paddled them upstream under the bridge. In the afternoon Brenscombe Outdoors took us kayaking further upstream (Kelly and Aiden this time). The damp environment meant I only took a few photos of the morning session.
We finished the day on Wednesday with the Camp Cooking Competition. Both teams produced good meals – Foxes’ meal was significantly more timely but Bulldog’s meal was judged by our neighbouring Guide Leaders to be the tastiest.
We took the ferry from Poole to Brownsea Island on Thursday, to visit the spiritual home of Scouting. Highlights of the trip included the tree climbing trail, paddling on the beach, the trading post and BP’s statue. The programme for the first camp on the island made interesting reading – including the 1 hr 15 mins of silent rest after lunch…
We left Burnbake neat and tidy a little later than planned and got back to the scout hut in time for dinner.
Thank you everyone for making the summer camp such a success again this year and Sheila in particular for all her organisation.
We will be holding our second Family Camp at the scout hut 27th-29th of September. The programme will be similar to the July Group Camp; pitching camp Friday evening from 18:30 and flag down midday on Sunday morning.