Once again, this year’s Group Camp attracted large numbers of Scouts, Cubs and Beavers. In each of the sections there were members who had never camped with us before. It didn’t show though as all the newcomers took to it like ducks to water and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Unfortunately, the stressful exam season meant that most of our young leaders were unable to attend this time. So, to entertain the Cubs & Beavers and help manage the camp, the Scouts stepped up to the mark and did us proud. They got involved in every aspect of what was going on, including preparing food in the kitchen, organising games on the field, providing unique campfire entertainment and chaperoning the Beavers on their hike. This revealed and developed leadership skills in some of the Scouts that were previously unseen.
Additionally, some willing parents also stepped in to lend a hand at the busiest times and our thanks goes to them for helping us make it a special time for the young members taking part.
When the Scouts did have some downtime, they relaxed in their sub-camp with their own kitchen and dining area, which they had to look after themselves. Their reward however was a plentiful supply of tea and additional choice in food. Firm favourites from their kitchen were French Toast for breakfast, Corn Dogs at dinner and a sophisticated evening of cheese and crackers!
For the Beavers, they enjoyed a day of a mini-adventure. This began with a look around the campsite to learn how about how a camp worked and later a ramble around the village. It was a beautiful day and they got to see nature at its finest. Along their way, they by chance happened to find a former Longham Scout who was a member in 1961! He was as astonished as us when he he realised who we were. It was such a coincidence as he was only passing through on a visit from the Midlands at the very same time as our Beavers were on their walk.
Aside from games, mini-activities and learning, the Cubs went to town in teams to build the best possible den. Each went for quite a different approach. One even decided to make theirs an artistic take of a shipwreck on a desert island and purposely tried to distress it to make it more authentic!
The highlight of the camp though, particularly for the Cubs, was a huge obstacle course that the Scouts set up and ran for them. It was designed as a team challenge with a series of zones. The first was based in the field and included several challenges including a rope swing, colour run and finding items in a huge pile of grass clippings. Things then got harder as they entered the woods and at speed had to navigate a winding course, traverse mud and use another rope swing. The final part was the return journey where they got extra wet by having to descend a slip & slide and try to dodge getting squirted by the Scouts’ water pistols! The Cubs were delighted with how mucky they got!
We will need some more thinking caps to figure out how to better it for next year!