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Scouts: Egg-cellent Easter Adventure

posted 13 Apr 2012, 14:55 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 21 Aug 2013, 15:01 ]
Serving Chicken Stew
Easter camp always promises to be one of the highlights of the year and last weekend was no exception. A programme filled with archery, shooting, ballista making and wood fire cooking was the plan, and it it’s didn’t disappoint for the 65 young people and adults in camp.

Having arrived at Dilston, near Hexham on Good Friday morning, scouts worked as patrols to pitch tents and set up camp. There were many first time campers among the group and patrol leaders made them welcome at camp and helped them become part of the team despite the fact that tent pitching can some like a foreign language – would you know your dollies from your brailings?

Pitching tents isn’t the only challenge for first time campers, soon after setting up patrol sites it was time for tea and a whole new set of skills was required as scouts cooked for their patrols for the first time in the weekend. There were no major disasters and we now have 65 experts in peeling potatoes.

Saturday saw patrols try their hands at archery, well done to those scouts who hit a gold with their first set of arrows and shooting too. In the afternoon scouts cooked pancakes on a wood fire (after an awesome lunch of homemade burgers) and started preparations for the big event of the day.

The highlight of the day of course was the egg firing ballistas, when else would you have the chance to have a free shot at the leader team? Scouts worked hard to make their ballistas as effective as possible, building a variety of designs from staves, sisal and any cookware they could find spare. The most effective machines proved to be the ones with the strongest lashings. When it came to firing time, it’s fair to say the leader team were worried. Patrols lined up anticipating some big scalps, and came pretty close, but no egg on the faces of the leader team. Had it not been for a mischievous Shane planting an egg on Jonathan’s head after the event, we would have stayed yolk-free.

Patrol line up with their ballista
After dark, a group of scouts headed out to explore the woods in the dark and it was amazing to appreciate how much you could see without torches, despite being miles from the bright lights of the city. Heading back from the woods, it was time for supper and bed.

Waking up the next day, there was the wonderful smell of bacon in the air and patrols were keen to head off site for a morning walk. Scouts tackled a pirate themed challenges as they headed out to Corbridge along the riverbank, walking the plank, hunting for treasure and defending their pirate ship at various checkpoints.

After lunch we were off to the pool for a splash about, then back to camp for an evening of big field games followed by a traditional campfire with everyone taking part in the singing and patrols even getting up to lead a song each.

By Monday we were all a little worn out, but it was the hardest day of camp as we raced the weather to take all of the tents down dry before heading back to Washington. The result was in our favour – Scouts 1, Weather 0.

You can check out the photos from the event in our gallery.

Scouts from 3rd Washington regularly camp throughout the year and many scouts have achieved more than 50 nights away from home in their time with the troop. Easter camp is the first such camp of the season and is followed by patrol camps, troop camps and then a week-long summer camp adventure in the Scottish borders.