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Thread: Best organised scout summer camp (not a mini jamboree) - ideas please

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Best organised scout summer camp (not a mini jamboree) - ideas please

    Am in a new group. It's going well. This has been a good 12 months since we moved.

    This year we go to wales for our own week-long summer camp. 10 or so kids. (From tiny acorns etc)
    2021 we will be going to Poacher as that is what the group does. (i'm very very meh about this)

    2020 - We have very few leaders for the summer. I need to find a really good week-long summer camp idea.

    This will most likely be an organised camp like Come To Tolmers or Blow Your Socks Off at Paccar.

    I know CTT well. BYSO offers a catered option that really appeals. Right now, it is probably going to be a 3 person leadership team and i'd like to see about 20 scouts plus YLs.

    I have not got time to do much of planning and my family will be going too (a 9 year old and a 3 year old) so we will not be doing a train and hike type thing.

    I can't justify £450 on PGL or venture abroad etc (weak activities in nice places). I could justify £450 for something amazing. (Maybe there is a scottish camp that does some real outward bound stuff in the mountains and does all the planning etc for me?)

    We are doing poacher, we don't need another one of those.

    What would you do?
    Last edited by big chris; 04-07-2019 at 10:32 PM.

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    I’ve been in the same position as you. Our default camp if we couldn’t get enough leaders to sign up was CTT.

    You’ve been before so you already know how well the scouts are looked after by the sub-camp teams and the events are always brilliant.

    Of course, it’s Tolmers, so there’s always the mud to contend with if(when) it rains, but I love it !!!

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garethhowell View Post
    I’ve been in the same position as you. Our default camp if we couldn’t get enough leaders to sign up was CTT.

    You’ve been before so you already know how well the scouts are looked after by the sub-camp teams and the events are always brilliant.

    Of course, it’s Tolmers, so there’s always the mud to contend with if(when) it rains, but I love it !!!

    my last group went to CTT 2 years ago and I had a sense of it being a little past its best. I was comparing it to 10 or 15 yrs ago and there are fewer kids and fewer activities. There used to be a whole bunch of offsite activities, for example but it is much more site-based now with rather tamer stuff.

    I want to look carefully at the paccar offering but happy to take other thoughts.

    I spent a large chunk of last night looking at boy scout reservations in america that run activity weeks and wishing we could find similar... that got me to thinking we could do a BSA summer camp in 2022. The cogs are whirring

    this is one that is 90 minutes from our twinned town in the usa - i would love to find that in the UK. click here for a 11mb pdf download to make a uk scout leader swoon
    Last edited by big chris; 05-07-2019 at 09:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    my last group went to CTT 2 years ago and I had a sense of it being a little past its best. I was comparing it to 10 or 15 yrs ago and there are fewer kids and fewer activities. There used to be a whole bunch of offsite activities, for example but it is much more site-based now with rather tamer stuff.
    OK, that's more recent than me. I've not been a SL for 10 years, and I'm talking about 10-15 years ago, so I guess I'm a bit out of touch. Shame about the off-site activities.

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    You could look at Lochearnhead Station.

    I haven't been myself but I know several Groups that have and all seemed to have a good time.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Scout Adventures Holiday Club at Fordell Firs?

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    Wee bit of info about Scottish options...

    Fordell is decent, good on site activities, well ran. They've expanded a good bit recently, so have a massive swing thing that children seem to like. Site can be damp though, camp near the top of the hill if you can. Usual daft rules about dropping kit off on the field - they insisted we off load everything from our trailer/van on to their (presumably special) trailer and van because it had magic tires that wouldn't hurt the grass like ours would. (Pet peeve of mine.) The distance was just too long to man (or scout) handle everything...

    Auchengillan was good when we went, it has some different activities to do. It's a much bigger site and when we were there, the staff were good. It's a much bigger site - and you can drive to where your camping to dump stuff. I haven't been there for a while.

    Haven't been to Lochearnhead station, I didn't think it was staffed...

    My recommendation would be Lochgoilhead for an all singing all dancing camp. It'll be indoors (although groups have camped, but their field is notoriously bad for drainage.) Activities on the water and on land are good and the staff are decent too (not too patronising). It's also fully catered.

    Ummm... There are private outfits around, but they're insanely expensive and tend not to offer camping... Just over the border is Keilder, we had a blast when we were there last time round. Big site, they do a catered option I think and I think they have indoor space. It's mostly water-based stuff on site, or that's what we took advantage off... Bring magic tires though...

    Bonaly might be an option. It being right on our doorstep - as you might imagine - we hardly ever go. But it's also expanded a fair bit with new on site stuff (Jacobs Ladder, Pizza box (great fun that...)). Good walking in the Pentland Hills too - and Edinburgh with all it's tourist fancy dressings...

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    Lochgoilhead looks amazing and runs an activity week



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    I have the default fall back position of if we don;t have enough Leaders or transport to make our normal greenfield camping feasible of going to Walesby Forest and just booking them to run a load of on site activities for us. Its not the cheapest but the site is massive so you shouldn't have to camp cramped up to other people and the activities are usually good and there are loads and loads availble to do (we have never actually camped there, we have stayed in a building there a couple of times and our District Explorers have camped there twice).
    Last edited by shiftypete; 05-07-2019 at 04:22 PM.

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    I have seen that some the Scout Adventure centres (Gilwell etc) are now doing camping packages. You pay per place and they will put on so many activities per day for you and you can have catering
    https://www.scoutadventures.org.uk/s...GES%202019.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by chubbchubb View Post
    I have seen that some the Scout Adventure centres (Gilwell etc) are now doing camping packages. You pay per place and they will put on so many activities per day for you and you can have catering
    https://www.scoutadventures.org.uk/s...GES%202019.pdf
    That's where I've ended up after the Scottish ideas. It looks ideal. Just need to choose a centre!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Rush View Post
    You could look at Lochearnhead Station.

    I haven't been myself but I know several Groups that have and all seemed to have a good time.
    Lochearnhead is a fantastic base for the southern highlands, but it’s not a traditional campsite. There’s no staff, other than a local warden, and you are entirely on your own.
    It’s used by Hertfordshire every week during the summer break. Each District gets a turn to go there, generally every 4 years. It’s available outside of that but is used for mountaineering courses over Easter and Christmas breaks.

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    We've done CTT in 2012, 2014, and 2018, and i would still recommend it .
    This summer, we are off to Holland for the Haarlem jamborette, and next year we are looking at Peak 2020 (Derbyshire County international) although there is currently a small deabte on CTT vs County international ( the county international will be roughly £100 more than CTT per Scout)

    Summer wise so far we have done:

    2007 Haarlem Jamborette Holland,
    2008 Poacher ( lincolnshire international)
    2009 - Norway camping at a Norwegian scout groups own small site
    2010 - Peak 2010 ( derbyshire Scouts international)
    2011 - Haarlem Jamborette
    2012 - Come to Tolmers
    2013 - Stavanger , Norwegian international Jamboree
    2014 - CTT
    2015 - Haarlem Jamborette
    2016 - CTT
    2017 - Denmark Spejdernes Lejr 2017 Big national/international jamboree just over 37,000 Scouts, cooking on fires etc etc
    2018 - CTT
    2019 Haarlem Jamborette
    2020 Peak 2020? haven't done a county international for a while or CTT again still just as good, but is it worth giving it a break??, plus we have teamed up with another Scout group at other CTT's who arent going in 2020 due to other commitments

    As for Tolmers, take a look at the website, my only comment is that a lot of the activitiys seem to be based around giant inflatables, or mobile commercial amusement park type set ups, such as
    Trampolene
    Aeroball
    Bungee run
    Coconut tree climb ( similar to an auto belay portable trailer mounted climbing tower)
    Giant slide
    High ropes
    inflatable assault course
    high ropes
    mobile zip line
    rope a phobia
    vertical wall ( auto belay portable )
    water wars ( steel structure for firing water balloons at people)
    https://www.tolmers.org.uk/activities

    So if you've done CTT beofre, you should know what to expect.
    If you havent, despite the minor grumble at some of the activitys above, its an exceptionally well put together camp, there is a mid week break with an incident hike, or do your own thing, although personally I would recommend the hike.
    There are also a few pubs along the hike route that do good food, which gives the leadership team a chance for a lunch out and a few ( non alcoholic for drivers/leaders in charge) drinks while watching the scouts trudge past

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard T View Post
    We've done CTT in 2012, 2014, and 2018, and i would still recommend it .
    This summer, we are off to Holland for the Haarlem jamborette, and next year we are looking at Peak 2020 (Derbyshire County international) although there is currently a small deabte on CTT vs County international ( the county international will be roughly £100 more than CTT per Scout)

    Summer wise so far we have done:

    2007 Haarlem Jamborette Holland,
    2008 Poacher ( lincolnshire international)
    2009 - Norway camping at a Norwegian scout groups own small site
    2010 - Peak 2010 ( derbyshire Scouts international)
    2011 - Haarlem Jamborette
    2012 - Come to Tolmers
    2013 - Stavanger , Norwegian international Jamboree
    2014 - CTT
    2015 - Haarlem Jamborette
    2016 - CTT
    2017 - Denmark Spejdernes Lejr 2017 Big national/international jamboree just over 37,000 Scouts, cooking on fires etc etc
    2018 - CTT
    2019 Haarlem Jamborette
    2020 Peak 2020? haven't done a county international for a while or CTT again still just as good, but is it worth giving it a break??, plus we have teamed up with another Scout group at other CTT's who arent going in 2020 due to other commitments

    As for Tolmers, take a look at the website, my only comment is that a lot of the activitiys seem to be based around giant inflatables, or mobile commercial amusement park type set ups, such as
    Trampolene
    Aeroball
    Bungee run
    Coconut tree climb ( similar to an auto belay portable trailer mounted climbing tower)
    Giant slide
    High ropes
    inflatable assault course
    high ropes
    mobile zip line
    rope a phobia
    vertical wall ( auto belay portable )
    water wars ( steel structure for firing water balloons at people)
    https://www.tolmers.org.uk/activities

    So if you've done CTT beofre, you should know what to expect.
    If you havent, despite the minor grumble at some of the activitys above, its an exceptionally well put together camp, there is a mid week break with an incident hike, or do your own thing, although personally I would recommend the hike.
    There are also a few pubs along the hike route that do good food, which gives the leadership team a chance for a lunch out and a few ( non alcoholic for drivers/leaders in charge) drinks while watching the scouts trudge past
    Thank you. I'll take that on board. I know CTT very well. 2000 to 2007 was spent at CTT! Plus we went back in 2017 which was when I noticed the nature of it all had changed a bit and it felt slightly lacklustre.

    The biggest sell was always the disco. The kids go home high as kites and raving about the week but I always felt there was an awful lot of downtime as kids gave up queuing or just wandered off after 15 minutes of a 90 minutes session.

    We will be doing poacher 2021 so I'm looking to fill 2020 and to convince other leaders of a good plan for 2022.


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    Ive noticed that some CTTS have a different feel to others the only thing that that can be put down to is the number of Scouts/Guides booked in for that week , more generally = more activities being laid on to accommodate them ( including off site)
    the Mix of Scouts in your group, sometimes you get Scouts who wont queue for anything, give up, and wander round, and others who will happily wait in line.

    If you want a good plan for 2022, on the experience of Denmark 2017 i would recommend the next big international in that series, spejdernes lejr 2022, some of the highlights of that were:

    They team you up with a Danish buddy group, with whom you camp alongside, or with ( and can share with the cooking etc)

    Food ( ingredients and menu with choices set before you go) is provided by the camp, you just have to prepare it and cook it ( on an open fire) meaning no shopping for food is required

    Tents can be hired for the camp , you dont need to bring your own tents and transport them there and back

    Patrol boxes can be hired with cooking equipment, axes, saws etc, meaning you dont need to bring anything except for personal kit

    The Camp was cashless, with money being stored on a wristband, the parents created an online account linked to the Scouts camper ID number, and wristband number parents could top their wristband up as required, control spending, set daily spending limits and so on ( authorised leaders could also access this system) the camp wristband payment also worked off site in quite a few of the shops etc in Sonderborg making camp bank somewhat easier

    Activities were listed via a web app, and were signed up for that way, we had a cheap amazon fire tablet to enable this ( as most of our scouts didnt have a smartphone they wished to take at their own risk)

    You will need to make sure that your Scouts have done some axe work, including the safe use of axes, as the Danish ( and other scandinavians) dont appear to use the traditional chopping square, instead the chopping area could be anywhere, plus pioneering knowledge would be incredibly useful, if not vital.
    pioneering poles are almost always rough cut logs, and can be cut up/trimmed to suit with the offcuts used for firewood, or even a whole pole can be cut into logs, then split - remember to tell your Scouts not to do this at a UK site when back home

    Website for the 2017 camp is here ( with english option) https://spejderneslejr.dk/en
    2022 camp here ( danish ) https://spejderne.dk/projekter/spejd...nes-lejr-2022/

    And our Video from 2017 here

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard T View Post
    Ive noticed that some CTTS have a different feel to others the only thing that that can be put down to is the number of Scouts/Guides booked in for that week , more generally = more activities being laid on to accommodate them ( including off site)
    the Mix of Scouts in your group, sometimes you get Scouts who wont queue for anything, give up, and wander round, and others who will happily wait in line.

    If you want a good plan for 2022, on the experience of Denmark 2017 i would recommend the next big international in that series, spejdernes lejr 2022, some of the highlights of that were:

    They team you up with a Danish buddy group, with whom you camp alongside, or with ( and can share with the cooking etc)

    Food ( ingredients and menu with choices set before you go) is provided by the camp, you just have to prepare it and cook it ( on an open fire) meaning no shopping for food is required

    Tents can be hired for the camp , you dont need to bring your own tents and transport them there and back

    Patrol boxes can be hired with cooking equipment, axes, saws etc, meaning you dont need to bring anything except for personal kit

    The Camp was cashless, with money being stored on a wristband, the parents created an online account linked to the Scouts camper ID number, and wristband number parents could top their wristband up as required, control spending, set daily spending limits and so on ( authorised leaders could also access this system) the camp wristband payment also worked off site in quite a few of the shops etc in Sonderborg making camp bank somewhat easier

    Activities were listed via a web app, and were signed up for that way, we had a cheap amazon fire tablet to enable this ( as most of our scouts didnt have a smartphone they wished to take at their own risk)

    You will need to make sure that your Scouts have done some axe work, including the safe use of axes, as the Danish ( and other scandinavians) dont appear to use the traditional chopping square, instead the chopping area could be anywhere, plus pioneering knowledge would be incredibly useful, if not vital.
    pioneering poles are almost always rough cut logs, and can be cut up/trimmed to suit with the offcuts used for firewood, or even a whole pole can be cut into logs, then split - remember to tell your Scouts not to do this at a UK site when back home

    Website for the 2017 camp is here ( with english option) https://spejderneslejr.dk/en
    2022 camp here ( danish ) https://spejderne.dk/projekter/spejd...nes-lejr-2022/

    And our Video from 2017 here
    That's a quality tip. Thank you

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