The scouts went camping at Old Hay Airstrip at the weekend. It is tucked away down some very narrow roads about 10mins from Paddock Wood in Kent.
On arriving, it took everyone right until late supper to get the tents up, but there was a wonderful moon as we all retired to a well-deserved night’s sleep (all I can say is the leaders slept well).
This was the first greenfield camp that many of the scouts had done, so there was lots of basics to cover (pitching tents, altar fires, wet pits, chemical loos, cooking for themselves, washing up).
Apart from the basics, we managed to cover knife skills – the scouts (and the cub and beaver) produced many good tent pegs and some fair attempts at cutlery. We all had an archery session c/o Carl and an enormous camp fire c/o Donald, complete with s’mores.
The catering worked out well this camp; the menu included a traditional scouting breakfast, hearty chicken stew, chocolate cake and custard, pancakes and lots of hot chocolate.
The main event was microlighting. As usual when doing anything to do with flight, we spent the whole weekend looking at the weather. On Saturday only three scouts got to fly before it was blown out, but on Sunday they managed to get all the scouts apart from the last three up in the air. Overall though we had some great weather (too much sun was a problem rather than too little), it was just a bit blowy.
After a surprisingly short journey squashed into the minibus, we arrived at Bears Wood campsite on the outskirts of Croydon on a chilly Friday evening.
There was some initial shock at just how cold it was inside the hut during flag-break and investitures, but the scouts warmed up after they explored the whole site with a game of capture the flag. They were welcomed back to much warmer hall by a roaring fire and mugs of hot chocolate.
One good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast later, we faced the outside. I think they describe the weather on Saturday as ‘wintery’ – waterproofs were going to be required!
First two activities were mini quads and bungee-run.
After lunch, the scouts tried the trust wall – where one scout traversed each side of a climbing wall, where each ‘hold’ could only be used on one side of the wall at a time; the assault course and the blind trail (one scout attached to a guide rope, the others blindfolded carrying cups of water).
The whole group played laser-tag until it got dark, before retreating to the hut for some impromptu fort-building in the hall and sock-drying in front of the fire.
Christmas dinner for 23
We held a Camp Carol-fire round their splendid terraced camp fire circle before topping-up with mince pies and hot chocolate.
Sunday arrived with brilliant blue skies, so after breakfast we went out for a mini orienteering course before even more mince pies, silly games, secret santa and striking camp.
Providing fun and adventure for boys and girls 6 years old and up.