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Thread: Easter Camp

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Thanked 21 Times in 16 Posts

    Easter Camp

    Sitting here with the sunshine streaming through the window and temperatures at a balmy 16C, last weekend seems a long way away...

    We took 18 Scouts to Downe for our annual Easter Camp, between Thursday and Monday. 5 days of camping in patrol tents (with most of the Leaders in hammocks), cooking on open fires, not one but two hikes out into the surrounding countryside, with the night in between spent in small hike tents cooking on trangias; high ropes, leap of faith and tomahawk throwing activities etc. etc.

    Pretty standard stuff, apart from the temperature. It never crept into double figures and most nights it dropped below freezing. We had -2C at 6am on Sunday morning with a thick layer of frost on everything, and the fires were re-lit for breakfast during freezing rain/hail showers.

    The only activity we weren't able to cover as extensively as we'd have liked was the traditional knife/saw/axe skills training - but numb fingers and very sharp implements do not mix well so we'll do it during this term's Programme instead.

    One minor benefit was that they all took themselves to bed fairly early every night as that was the warmest place to be - and washing up was a preferred activity, as you got to put your hands in warm water!

    However... not once did we have any serious complaints from the YP. They did get cold, they weren't grinning widely all of the time, but they just got on with it and did everything that was asked of them. A great bunch and a pleasure to camp with.

    I would recommend Downe to anyone for a camp (but maybe when it's warmer). Good facilities, very friendly crew, lots of wildlife, and a local Spitfire doing regular circuits from Biggin Hill.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CliveS For This Useful Post:

    ianw (17-04-2019),pa_broon74 (17-04-2019)

  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Thanked 1,341 Times in 961 Posts

    You might had done this a day or two sooner.

    Our Easter camp write up is over in the thread that just won't die... Hold on, I'll copy and paste it over...

    Not last night, but last weekend, or the weekend just there.

    Weekend indoor 'camp', at Strathyre. (Not really worth a new thread...)

    At Strathyre Adventure Centre. I think we're the only outside group who use it other than the organisation who runs it - if you see what I mean. It really needs some investment, but, it's good for us. Only glitch in the weekend was the water supply kept going off - but, we got a massive discount on the price so it evens out. It was just one of those things.

    Main event on Saturday was the boat across Loch Katrine to Stronachlacher then cycling back round to Loch Katrine Pier. 13 miles mostly on tarmac, it was about right for the mixed group we had. A couple struggled, (surprisingly, I found it alright...) Catering was fine, had a bbq for Saturday dinner which went well enough. The rest of it was easy to do, usual breakfast and lunch food. (No sandwiches though, all finger food, we spread out among the kids to carry, then laid it all out to scoff...)

    Only blemish was four scouts decided to stay up all Friday night. They didn't properly settle (or so we thought) till about 2 am (normal for ours really). But to be woken up at 5:30am was, how should I say, not appreciated? I got up, went through to their dorm and was proudly told 'we decided to stay up all night!'

    The first thing we did on arrival was ground rules. I said (because I knew they would) they'd need to be in bed and quiet early-ish (which in my mind meant 2 am at the latest). I told them leaders really needed to sleep because they were driving the following day on bad roads, I'd be driving my bus with 11 passengers - so I really needed to be rested.

    But they totally ignored it. I was, how should I say, quite angry? (Proper 'quiet' angry...)

    The only reason they woke us up was because a couple went to the toilet and were really noisy while they did so. I think I might have been more offended by their inability to figure out they'd wake us up, than their decision to stay up all night. I mean, if they did that quietly, then fair f***s to them - that they couldn't even do that properly? I left them in no doubt, they would be offered no compromise during the day, and if any complained about being tired or not being able to manage the activity - the consequences would be vast.

    They did however, one at a time, very sheepishly apologise. You kind of know when an apology is meant, there's no fanfare to it, it's done very quietly with no audience required. I thawed at that point.

    The rest of the weekend went really well. We had a campfire, during which we welcomed four new scouts and said thanks to the four for whom the weekend was their last scouty activity as scouts - they're now Explorer Scouts staying on. I also thanked my leader team, who are really quite decent. A great mix of people who are all great with the young folk.

    No one died, our chatty kid (who stayed up all Friday night) lost a tooth on the way to the centre, it came out in the van and got dropped on the floor - that was the only blood shed during the weekend. He found the tooth on the Saturday morning - I assume he didn't put it under his pillow because a) he didn't have one (HAHA!) and b) he was one who stayed up all night. (He also lost his voice because he talked to much.)

    I filled out a NAN form, I put most of the leader's names down, but none of their membership numbers because I don't know what they are. It was moot anyway, because we don't really have anyone to send it to anyway, sending it to the CC (who I don't know and doesn't know us) would have been superfluous, and our GSL (who is also the NAA) was along anyway.

    Next time, we'll get the kids to do more in the way of organising food and cooking. With the water being off (mostly) doing dishes was a problem anyway, so duty patrol (sort of) wouldn't have worked. The bbq generated minimal dishes and we bought disposable plates etc while out during Saturday.

    Not a bad weekend. 18 Scouts out of 20 attended, 2 YL's and 6 Leaders. One leader couldn't make it (he's also the ex-chef leader who we could have done with having along).

    That is all.
    (It was in the what we did at scouts last night thingy...)
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 18-04-2019 at 08:17 AM.

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    CliveS (18-04-2019)

  5. #3
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanked 1,271 Times in 844 Posts
    Interesting, about the only time of the year we have never camped or done an indoor trip in our Group is Eastert largely as we are a Church Sponsored Group and in the past most of our Leaders were Church members so wanted to be at Church for Easter.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite -
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Thanked 21 Times in 16 Posts
    Our "Easter Camp" is so named as it's during the Easter school holidays - it's never over the Easter weekend as we would also struggle for attendees I expect; either those going to church or those going away with families for the long weekend - as I did (much, much warmer in Edinburgh than it was in Kent the week before!).

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