The scouts held their Scouting Winter Olympics last night.
– Biathlon (more of a jog followed by a high speed bit of air rifle shooting)
– Ice hockey (we finally made use of the indoor hockey set we got from Activekids )
– Toboggan (put it this way, the pushing phase went on for 99% of the time)
– Curling – with scout sized curling stones … 🙂
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!
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 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 took a trip to Lower Grange Farm to try out their climbing wall. We were really impressed with the wall and the welcoming expert staff. They are open to youth groups and members of the public. Find out more at www.lowergrangefarm.co.uk
Updated 21/02/2015: More photos added
Providing fun and adventure for boys and girls 6 years old and up.