Frosty Camp 2005... or was that 'windy'!

posted 6 Oct 2016, 08:20 by Dave Tomlin

I'm not sure that 'frosty camp' was the right description, 'very windy camp' may have been more appropriate. Actually the weather was remarkably kind considering I'd been woken by my alarm on Saturday morning at 5:45 to the sound of a howling wind and rain lashing against my window..."oh no!" Good start to the day?!!!

Next thing, my car wouldn't start when we were trying to hitch the trailer... things could only get better...

...and they did...!

Dave and I had arrived at Horley Scout Camp site by 7:40am, to find John (QM) already unloading food from his car into the hut. We just had time for a quick recce to decide where everything was going to be put. We were shortly followed by most of the rest of the leader team... quick briefing... and it was no time at all before the trailer was unloaded and the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers were checking in and pitching their tents. The leaders, with the help of some handy parents, pitched the mess tents and set up their bases.

There were eight bases: fire lighting and backwoods cooking (run by explorers), archery and shooting (run by leaders from Banbury District and Nick, the DC from Kenilworth), pioneering (run by Andy, SL from 3rd Warwick), climbing and abseiling, Dutch arrow making, hiking and map making, assault course and zip wire and finally a collage craft activity all run by leaders, with the help of explorers, from 2nd Warwick.

After morning colours (during which several hats blew off) the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts were put into mixed 'patrols' of 11 or 12. They were named after British wild animals: Adder, Badger, Dormouse, Fox, Hedgehog, Mole, Squirrel and Rabbit.

Throughout the rest of Saturday the patrols visited five of the bases in turn, stopping only for hot drinks and lunch, provided by a hardworking team of parents and co-ordinated by Akela. It was dark by 4:30 when the final base for the day had been visited and the Senior Patrol Leaders organised some 'keeping warm games' for everyone to join in with. Dinner followed, with the Beavers and Cubs eating in the hut and the scouts eating in the warm mess tents. More games were followed by a campfire, ably (and loudly!) led by Rich and Whitie...

... everywhere we go, (everywhere we go), people always ask us, (people always ask us)...

Those staying only for the day left at 8:30pm with their parents. Time for a calming down activity for the 65 Cubs and Scouts who were staying overnight. Dave and I set off around the site with them all to do some badger watching. The scouts were very quiet and it wasn't long before someone thought they'd seen a badger... so we all went and looked. Hmmm! I'm sure it was the same cub who asked me shortly afterwards "What does a badger look like?" A bit of star gazing followed, it was such a lovely clear night, and we used Ursa Major to find the north star, drew Cassiopeia and found Orion and Gemini. Then a little voice pleaded "Can we go to bed now?" - 9.30pm - I call that a brilliant day!

Some of the scouts started to stir at about 5:30am on Sunday morning. It's much warmer to stay in your sleeping bag you know! Everyone started to emerge into the gloom of a cloudy winters morning, but at least it was dry.

More of our lovely parents arrived early to cook us all breakfast... and a few strong, hot coffees later the leader team and scouts were all ready for another fun packed day.

Morning colours were followed by two more sessions at the activities. There was no archery or craft today but the groups were smaller as some had gone home so everything went fine. It was lunch-time before we knew it and then time to start packing away, which didn't take long with everyone working together.

There was time for half an hour of tug-o-war (otherwise know and falling over and being dragged through the mud), finishing with the cubs and scouts against the leaders and explorers... well we were severely out numbered... yep, they thrashed us!

All that was left was the final colours and announcement of the results of the competitions that had run throughout the weekend. Well done to Squirrel patrol, lead by Polly.

I hope everyone had as much fun as we did! Many thanks to all the leaders, explorers and parents who helped and most of all, a big 'thank you' to all the beavers, cubs and scouts for your excellent behaviour and smiley faces throughout the weekend.

I hope you enjoy the attached pictures.

Sally, Scout Leader, Vanguard (2005)