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Thread: The annual "How did summer camp go?" thread

  1. #16
    Senior Member oneiros's Avatar
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    Four days at Pikes Pool, part of the Blackwell Adventure group. Took eighteen Scouts and accommodated them, by popular demand (#youthshapedscouting), in two-man expedition tents rather than our four Patrol tents. Although we do assign the Scouts to camp Patrols, it's pretty much just to rota the central cooking/washing/chores so having them split over a number of tents wasn't too much of a problem; they (and therefore, we) certainly got more sleep than last year.

    Activities-wise we made full use of the eponymous pool and did kayaking and raft-building; both were really well received. Didn't have the budget for much else so did pioneering, a hike (guaranteed to generate a few moans and groans), orienteering, wide games and a couple of campfires - all free of charge. On the final morning we had a Scouts Own atop the Caspidge trig point, so we discussed the Retriangulation of Great Britain (1935-1962) and how GPS works in a vaguely similar way - sometimes I bore even myself.

    No one was sent home; no one visited A&E; no one seemed to fall out badly with their mates - all in all it felt like a pretty successful camp (even if the weather wasn't as good as we'd wish for in the last week in July).

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  3. #17
    ESL Whitewall Explorers EwanBlair's Avatar
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    CambridgeSkip , we are off to Toronto next year
    Any useful advice , activity ideas , nugets of wisdom , would be gratefully received
    Feel free to send me a private message
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    Ewan
    Explorer Scout Leader
    www.sherstonscouts.org.uk

  4. #18
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Scout Summer Camp was a week in Cornworthy, Devon - at a beautiful green-field fronting onto a creek of the river Dart (Bow Creek)

    Activities included:
    - Living and cooking in patrols
    - "Orienteering hike" around the local area (went pretty badly - we were late starting due to a trip to hospital for a Scout, and the Scouts got a bit lost!)
    - "Transport Hike" - get to dartmouth and back using a combination of bus, 3 ferries, steam train and foot with patrols being given money and timetables and leaders watching from riverfront tearooms
    - Swimming at Dartmouth outdoor pool
    - Assault course
    - Canadian Canoeing
    - Beach afternoon and beach BBQ

    Despite the poor weather camp was good. It was hard work as there were a lot of inexperienced scouts and only the 2 PLs had ever done a summer camp before (long story) so everything was a lot harder than usual. By the end of teh week most of them had made us very proud.
    Dan Spencer

    Group Scout Leader 66th Bath
    Deputy District Commissioner (Programme) - City of Bath District
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  5. #19
    Senior Member oneiros's Avatar
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    Fair play to all you guys doing week-long Summer Camps; I can't even contemplate doing that with our lot at the moment.

  6. #20
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    i have not been on an annual summer camp for years. in my last group (?) we held long weekend camps either side of summer and with many kids disappearing off on family holidays almost as soon as school term ended there was never a big demand for one. furthermore, in a small group with a small leader team with everyone doing multiple jobs and much more than the normal 2h a week, most leaders wanted a break from scouting to enjoy some time with their families. that's notwithstanding the fact that some people expected you to be on call 24/7 replying to calls or letters or emails within 24h even if on holiday.

    this year swmbo and me escaped a few miles south to see number one son who's at a posh 30k a year school there set up by some bloke called eddie six. we then went to catch the slow train but found we had missed it by quite a few years. we finished off by spending some time on the downs and then went west and had a good walk from neptune, up staple hill, through the tunnel and on past the railway that still runs, then over halfpenny bridge, past deep lock and on to the coal place. if i was any good at reading a map i'd tell you more but it's all a mystery. thankfully (?) didn't see any scouts while away. swmbo still had to report in to local scouting when back. as i said, sometimes you need a break from the 24/7!

    TM
    retired 21 March 2017

  7. #21
    Scout Leader bellshillscouts's Avatar
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    Our summer camp was amazing!
    10 days taking in London (mainly) and Brownsea Island for a weekend camp.
    We stayed at Scout Park, which is central enough to London (30/40 minutes on the tube) and we did everything the scouts (and leaders) had asked to do.
    The weather was glorious, for scouts from Scotland, it can make all the difference. We had one day of rain but it gave us a chance to show off our donated Tunnocks Tea Cake ponchos and get a photo for their publicity.

    We went to Legoland (and saw changing of the guard twice).
    We spent the weekend on Brownsea Island, which may be a day trip for locals but a weekend was perfect for us. We even invested a scout at the stone, where better?
    We went to Harry Potter World, we did a bus tour, most of us did the orbital slide, we went to Aladdin and we finished with Kip on a Ship on HMS Belfast (that's possibly better than Brownsea Island for an investiture but Liam picked).
    We were in Leicester Square on the night of the Dunkirk Premiere (purely by chance) and witnessed a couple of our girls crying as they glimpsed Harry Styles from afar.

    We had a fantastic guide (Gary from 22nd Hampstead Sea Scouts).
    It was great, the kids loved it and I'm pretty sure I loved it more.

    Neil

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  9. #22
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    i have not been on an annual summer camp for years. in my last group (?) we held long weekend camps either side of summer and with many kids disappearing off on family holidays almost as soon as school term ended there was never a big demand for one. furthermore, in a small group with a small leader team with everyone doing multiple jobs and much more than the normal 2h a week, most leaders wanted a break from scouting to enjoy some time with their families. that's notwithstanding the fact that some people expected you to be on call 24/7 replying to calls or letters or emails within 24h even if on holiday.

    this year swmbo and me escaped a few miles south to see number one son who's at a posh 30k a year school there set up by some bloke called eddie six. we then went to catch the slow train but found we had missed it by quite a few years. we finished off by spending some time on the downs and then went west and had a good walk from neptune, up staple hill, through the tunnel and on past the railway that still runs, then over halfpenny bridge, past deep lock and on to the coal place. if i was any good at reading a map i'd tell you more but it's all a mystery. thankfully (?) didn't see any scouts while away. swmbo still had to report in to local scouting when back. as i said, sometimes you need a break from the 24/7!

    TM
    Next time you pass over the Ha'penny bridge, we'll makes sure some Scouts are there to charge you the toll!
    Dan Spencer

    Group Scout Leader 66th Bath
    Deputy District Commissioner (Programme) - City of Bath District
    Nights Away Adviser and member of District Executive Committee - City of Bath District
    Member of Avon County Appointments Advisory Committee
    Event organiser "Be Prepared" Resilience Events
    Formerly CSL, SL, ASL and Jamboree Communications Lead

    Web designer


    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

  10. #23
    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    Week at Poacher which the Scouts really enjoyed, even got an award from the sub camp staff as our Scouts were so well behaved and worked as a team so myself and other leader rather chuffed.

    Week after we back I receive an email from a parent about bullying at camp and they want to move their son to another troop. So looks like I'm going to have to ban 3 Scouts from the first meetings of the term. Why can't Scouts mention it when it happens, then we can deal with it on the spot. Had a really bad summer camp a couple of years ago where we should have sent the troublemaker home on day 3. If the kid doesn't want to be on camp why do parents send them? Sometimes I do wonder why I take them away for a week.

  11. #24
    AESL & AGSL shiftypete's Avatar
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    If the kid doesn't want to be on camp why do parents send them?
    We have had an Explorer in this situation, he specifically said one camp he was only there because his parents made him come. Hoever I know the exact reason the parents do make him come and its because their child has issues socializing and the parents know that our Unit is a safe environment where the other kids will all make an effort to include them and encourage them to get involved so helping their child to devlop some social skills

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Assistant Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  12. #25
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Week after we back I receive an email from a parent about bullying at camp and they want to move their son to another troop. So looks like I'm going to have to ban 3 Scouts from the first meetings of the term.
    Not sure I'd take what the parent has been told by their kid at face value here. I'd want to talk to the parties involved first hand before I do anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Why can't Scouts mention it when it happens, then we can deal with it on the spot.
    100% this. Explorers do the same, they let things fester and get worse and worse until it's a big problem, instead of trying to nip it in the bud.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Had a really bad summer camp a couple of years ago where we should have sent the troublemaker home on day 3. If the kid doesn't want to be on camp why do parents send them?
    I don't know but it doesn't make life any easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Sometimes I do wonder why I take them away for a week.
    I'll refer you back to your first sentence..."Week at Poacher which the Scouts really enjoyed, even got an award from the sub camp staff as our Scouts were so well behaved and worked as a team so myself and other leader rather chuffed."

    It does rather take the wind out of your sails when things come out the woodwork afterwards though.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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  13. #26
    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Not sure I'd take what the parent has been told by their kid at face value here. I'd want to talk to the parties involved first hand before I do anything.
    Unfortunately this isn't the first incident involving these particular Scouts, I have had other complains about these particular individuals by other parents. So I'm inclined to believe what I have heard.

  14. #27
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    5 days at Pinsent near Winchester. Only 13 Scouts, but it meant we only needed the one minibus to get about on days out.

    A nice quiet woodland site, with plenty of room for both tents and hammocks (we had 9 of the 13 Scouts sleeping in the trees by the end of the week). Used their on-site pioneering equipment (which was excellent) and participated in an instructor-led tomahawk throwing session that everyone enjoyed immensely.

    Spent a day on Brownsea Island, where the YP seemed to enjoy themselves. Finished the day with fish and chips on the beach at Alum Chine, while the Red Arrows put on a display for us. Apparently the Air Festival just along the coast at Bournemouth caught some of it as well...

    No major dramas and thankfully we didn't get anywhere near as much rain as other areas of the country last week, and got all the kit home dry on Saturday.
    Last edited by CliveS; 04-09-2017 at 09:25 AM.

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  16. #28
    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Unfortunately this isn't the first incident involving these particular Scouts, I have had other complains about these particular individuals by other parents. So I'm inclined to believe what I have heard.
    RANT/ Sent out emails banning 3 Scouts for Bullying for between 1 and 3 weeks. Normally I end up with mortified parents that are very apologetic for their son's behavior, not this time "Oh it couldn't be Smithy, he would never do something like that. I asked him and he says he didn't do it." Sorry parents your son is a bully, this isn't the first complaint we have had and he was witnessed by other Scouts, unfortunately all too scared of the bullies to report the incident at the time.

    Just in the process of compiling an email to explain to the parents that we are volunteers, took a week off work to take their children away on camp, in my case I'm self employed so if I don't work I don't get paid. To top it all off it was my Silver Wedding Anniversary whilst I was on camp and my wife stayed at home. Really don't know why I do this at times. /RANT

    Have to keep remembering events like Fundays, Gilwell 24 and Intense where I run activities and the participants have a go and then go out of their way to thank you for running the activities.

  17. #29
    Senior Member Ihatecamping's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    i have not been on an annual summer camp for years. in my last group (?) we held long weekend camps either side of summer and with many kids disappearing off on family holidays almost as soon as school term ended there was never a big demand for one. furthermore, in a small group with a small leader team with everyone doing multiple jobs and much more than the normal 2h a week, most leaders wanted a break from scouting to enjoy some time with their families. that's notwithstanding the fact that some people expected you to be on call 24/7 replying to calls or letters or emails within 24h even if on holiday.
    We tend to do the same. Ours is this weekend. I'm dreading it.
    Specialisation is for insects.

  18. #30
    Senior Member Rikki01's Avatar
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    Had our first Group Camp.

    The divide between the Sections was ridiculous.

    Answers on a postcard on how to solve this issue.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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