Postcards from the Land of Nod – Summer Camp 2012

Friday 20th July

Hoorah. I’ve finished work, and now that Summer seems to have started, I’m really looking forward to the week.
What I hadn’t bargained for, however, was the state of the minibus when I picked it up (late) at 8:30pm.
I had to spend an hour on my knees cleaning it out, just so that I can check what mess the Scouts make, but even they won’t be this bad.

Saturday 21st July

20:10

An excellent day so far. Scouts well organised at the scout hut when getting kit out and were in good spirits on the way to the camp site with the traditional scout music – Status Quo.

A bit disorganised getting their tents up, but they now look reasonable and should survive the night.

We have a visit from our host, Major Whittaker who has managed to impress us with his ability to real off pie (that’s the mathematical formula) to 35 points, and he told us that he has only ever once used it in all his 77 years.

Lovely meal of spaghetti bolognaise followed by banoffee pie.

Scouts have found two dens at opposite ends of the campsite in the woods and have come up with a brand new game – capture the bookshelf. I’m not going to elaborate anymore, other to say that the leaders are planning their own capture involving some ropes and a tree.

Sunday 22nd July

17:30

What a lovely day. Breakfast at eight and then we spent the rest of the morning (not intended) doing a full kit inspection followed by an Olympic themed Scout’s Own.

After lunch, the scouts were tasked with building some gamp gadgets. These ranged from a simple washing line (Archie, Zoe and George) to an elaborate shower cubicle in the woods (The Merrymen – otherwise known as Sam, Will and Tom D). We haven’t decided who out of Nick or Tony is going to be brave enough to try it first!

Lots of points have been awarded and we are now catching the last of the sun before dinner before venturing out on a night hike. We should have had a siesta sometime during the day though!

23:50

Just returned from a lovely night hike. I was glad that I walked the route just after evening meal as well, because there were some very interesting points, including where the footpath went through someone’s back garden. 6km in 1.5 hours.

All the scouts have now gone to bed, and Tony L is having a horlicks!

Having a lie in tomorrow morning, if there is such a thing at camp, followed by a full English breakfast.

Monday 23rd July

18:40

Had a really lazy day today as several scouts are quite tired from last nights hike. It has also been very hot today.

Full cooked breakfast at 09:00 which meant we didn’t start activities until 10:30′
I took The Merrymen plus Thomas and guided them through the procedures to make a rope bridge. Part outside the wood and part inside (over the stinging nettles) the scouts were soon eager to try their luck. Meanwhile Tony taught the rest some basic axe and saw safety and had them cutting up wood for the fire.

A late lunch at 13:00 when we briefly thought about poor Kate who had to return for the last school day in Hampshire (what was the council thinking when they set the term dates!

The rest of the afternoon we just allowed the scouts to relax playing volleyball or table tennis etc although we have set up the dpc for the water slide after dinner.

Tobie has just arrived. Now time for the other leaders to have a rest and let him do some of the work!

Dinner tonight is sausage mash and (Tobies favourite)’ monster blurb.

Decision taken after dinner not to run the water slide. By the time all the washing up was done, it was getting close to 9pm and there as a nip in the air.

Early to bed instead!

Tuesday 24th July

15:00

Early breakfast then it as off the Hewshott Farm Stables for a riding experience. Split into three groups, one had a riding lesson in the arena whilst the other two groups learnt to look after the horses. Each group had a turn at riding and at the end of the session, we had a series a races down the arena, and rosettes were awarded.

Hot and sweaty, we decided to return to the camp site for lunch and an afternoon relaxing, and water slide.

19:30

What fun the scouts (and Tony T) had on the water slide. Several of them went straight off the end and ended up in a muddy puddle. A lot of laughter, mud, baby lotion and three barrels of water later, the scouts emerged from the woods to wash themselves off under the camp shower, which had now ran ferried itself into the middle of the field with no tarpaulin.

It was 17:00 by the time scouts started to light their fires and start preparing their evening meal. 2.5 hours later, the leaders are sitting back relaxing having had their main course, whilst only one patrol have managed to suitably cook their meal. Sam, Will, William and Matthew still have cole water in their individual billy cans. There’s a lot of hungry (but happy) scouts sitting in the woods waiting for their meal to cook.

Five hours after we started, we finally got to have pudding. So what have we learned? It takes a long time to boil water on a fire, and even longer to cook chip sized potatoes (they should have been diced).

Wednesday 25th July

20:00

Nick had lost his shorts, therefore a half kit inspection was needed – and they were found in “the Bed Bugs” tent having been taken off the line and mistaken for someone else’s.

Porridge for breakfast and then we started our “Top Secret Mission” to transport a secretive toxic plasma from one point to the containment centre at “The Great Pond”. Having received their coded instructions from Agent X, they started their walk, avoiding any contact with “the enemy”. Arriving at “The Great Pond”, the agents had one more task to successfully complete their mission. Sadly, one group didn’t complete the containment in the specified time and were sucked into oblivion in a toxic cloud. (I,m taking this far too seriously you know!).

After refreshments, some scouts decided to have a dip in the refreshing waters of the pond, while the rest returned to camp, stopping by at a co-op on the way to get some well deserved ice creams.

When all scouts were back, we surprised them with a full kit and tent inspection – just what Tom D wanted specially as he as leaving us later.

To end the evening, we had a fish and chip supper, and were then presented with a chocolate yule log from the next door cub camp. They are on a themed camp, travelling between each theme in a tardis, complete with sound effects. Todays theme was “A Victorian Christmas”, complete with Father Christmas, roast turkey and a christmas tree.

The scouts have been offered a “ride” in the tardis tomorrow morning.

Thursday 26th July

20:50

The scouts had a trip in the tradis this morning, much to the amusement of the cubs and all the leaders. We managed to get all twelve scouts in it, but that is hardly surprising as we all know the tardis is a lot bigger on the inside!

The morning was spent creating obstacles in the woods.

The bookshelf has finally been hoisted into the trees, and we attempted to put a puzzle book on the shelf, but we were spotted.

After lunch we did the obstacle races. Thomas was the fastest with a time of 2min 20secs, despite incurring a 10sec penalty for not going around the blue cone. Tobie then proved it could be done faster by doing the course in 1min 50sec.

After a short break, we then held the table tennis competition. Matthew was overly competitive and for a time was level pegging with his opponent, but he eventually managed to win his round, and eventually win the whole competition.

We had fajitas and tacos for dinner, followed by chocolate fondue with marsh mallows and fruit.

We finished the evening with some hearty singing around the camp fire.

Friday 27th July

17:30

The threat of overnight rain never materialised overnight, although it was somewhat overcast in the morning and we had a very light sprinkling of rain.

We had eggy bread for breakfast followed by a quick tent inspection, then we went off to the Guildford Spectrum for swimming and bowling.

Tony L impressed us with his swan dive from the top level of the diving board (we are not sure whether he had a permission letter from his Mum to do it though!)

We arrived back on the camp site just in time to watch the Cubs Olympics whilst we waited for parents to arrive for the evening BBQ.

21:10

It was great to see several parents and siblings at our evening BBQ tonight, one of whom had even cycled most of the way. Everyone seemed impressed with the campsite and the layout. Glad to hear that the postcards are going down well.

I have just received a cryptic message from Elliot …… “don’t fall asleep until at least half past ten”. I wonder what that could mean? I guess I’ll have to wait and find out and I will tell you tomorrow! No doubt there will be some last night antics! The cubs are certainly being noisy at the moment.

Saturday 28th July

19:30

It has been a long day but the scouts have worked hard in striking camp.

We returned to the scout hut to the sounds of Queen and We Are the Champions.
The kit was unpacked and put away within 30mins – I think this is the fastest I have seen this done.

At the final flag down ceremony,the following awards were made:

Patrol of Camp
The Bed Bugs – 276 Points
The PC Plods – 239 Points
The Knights – 236 Points

Scout of Camp – Zoe

Mums Cake of Camp
Claire’s Rocky Road – 171 Points
Nicola’s Lemon Drizzle Cake – 169 Points
Sue’s Flap Jack – 168 Points

And finally – I am sure you are interested as to what happened at 10:30 last night!
It was, in fact, a misunderstanding by the Scouts who had been chatting with a couple of girls who had been bouncing on a trampoline in a nearby garden. The girls reappeared at 10:30 THIS MORNING!

There will be some pictures in the next couple of days in this diary, so keep checking, but until then, sleep well and have a great summer holiday.