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Scouts: Cracking Adventure at Easter Camp

posted 21 Apr 2014, 12:53 by Stephen Harrison
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 35 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?

Scouts worked extremely hard to get their patrol site ready, which meant that there was plenty of time to cool off in the river, enjoying a splash about in the bracing water. Some scouts were quite mischievous, taking the opportunity to seek out leaders and soak them with their water pistols.

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 35 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. Scouts also tried their hand at wood fire cooking, making caramelised apples with marshmallows and chocolate, which were extremely tasty.

After dark, it was time for a widegame, where scouts collected Pennes which enabled them to buy the parts to build a fuel cell for the rocket (avoiding rogue leaders trying to stop them).

One of the highlights of the day of course was the egg firing ballistas, which scouts built on Sunday morning, 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 indeed scored a couple of hits. Matty came off the worst as he flinched avoiding taking a hit, this meant that the patrol leader who fired it got to break an egg over his head. After 3 eggs each, the leaders unveiled "the equaliser" and lined up patrol leaders, taking revenge themselves.

After lunch we were off to the Devil's Water on a walk for a splash about, scouts enjoyed the afternoon walk in the woods and dip into the chilly river. We even took marshmallows to toast on a riverside fire! Back at camp, it was time for a hearty stew and then the traditional end of camp campfire which was huge fun. Scouts enjoying singing at the top of their voices!

Scouts who enjoyed Easter Camp can look out for information for Summer Camp which will be available soon. The event takes place in the first week of the summer holidays in Appletreewick (19th to 27th July 2014), Yorkshire and offers a huge range of incredible activities for scouts.
Scouts camp in patrols at camp, which allows them to take responsibility for the way they live, to look after each other and to discover ways to work as a team, developing under the leadership of their patrol leader.