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Scouts & Explorers: Summer Camp 2015 - Like a Room Without a Roof

posted 5 Aug 2015, 13:31 by Stephen Harrison
Massive adventures, unforgettable experiences and friendships that will go on and on, it's what Summer Camp 2015 is all about and it certainly did not disappoint as the biggest event of the year for the 58 scouts, explorer scouts and adult leaders who spent the week in Appletreewick, Yorkshire.

It was like a dream arriving on the campsite, with the views stretching out down to the river and along the valley, sheep peacefully roaming alongside the water and the area of grass that we were to call home for the week was completely empty. As our van packed with camping equipment drove onto the site, younger scouts were a little apprehensive about building camp.

The first challenge was for scouts to get to know the other members of their patrol so they could work together to turn the empty field into a campsite for the week, working hard to get their patrol site ready, pitching tents, making patrols boundaries and connecting stoves. The main challenge for explorers was to work out how to pitch their new tents. Scouts worked well together and in what seemed like no time at all, tents were up and camp was established.

Sunday was spent getting to know each other a little bit more, with several teamwork challenges as well as archery and shooting on site. The final challenges of the day took scouts into the river, which gave them the chance to cool off and also to have a go on our huge water slide. It was great fun splashing about!

Monday was our first big activity day as everyone headed off site to How Stean Gorge, scouts spent the day caving and gorge walking, while explorers swapped the caves for canoes. The awesome gorge walk started with a 40 foot vertical abseil from the bride to the water below, which certainly got the adrenalin pumping. Some scouts had to dig deep to overcome their fears, supported by adult leaders, to successfully complete the challenge. Once in the water, scouts and explorers overcame waterfalls and were able to enjoy the plunge pools of How Stean. Scouts spend the other half of their day caving, exploring Goydon Pot with experienced instructors who led them in a circular route deep underground through the caverns and via the Smarties Tube, so named because it's a very narrow tubular section of the cave.

Tuesday took scouts and explorers out to Grassington for a day walk and an ice cream reward. Scouts and explorers took in the sights of the dale along the way, crossing the Hebdon suspension bridge and stepping stones as well as passing by the Linton Falls on the way into the town. Everyone worked extremely hard and the walking distance for the day was around 9 miles.

Wednesday was one of the most thrilling days of camp as the group headed to Light Water Valley for rides and roller coasters. Scouts were free to make the most of their day and go on as many rides as possible, from the swan pedalos to the Ultimate roller coaster. One of the highlights of the day was undoubtedly scouts our afternoon trip on the Ultimate where we filled an entire train. The Eagle's Claw and Whirlwind also provided a huge amount of stomach churning!

The venue for Thursday's activity was incredible, the group spent the day in the grounds of the rather grand Ripley Castle, taking on a leap of faith, orienteering course, team building, and the definite favourite of the day; body zorbing. The instructors played a few different games with us, although the first challenge was simply to get inside the zorb. A body zorb covers over your head and down to your waist, so you can still stand up and run... and bump into things. In the zorb arena, scouts and explorers played bull dog and last man standing, where the idea of the game was not to get knocked over.

The last day of camp was much more chilled with scouts spending the morning in Ilkley, buying presents to take home and exploring the historic town, before heading to Ilkley Lido to cool off in the afternoon. After the Lido came the traditional huge end of camp BBQ and campfire, before scouts spent the night sleeping under the stars.

Scouts left the site on Saturday with so many new memories and new experiences, with highlights including everything from our day at the gorge, to having an awesome time with new friends, to the Sunday morning jog and dip into the river, to cooking a meal for themselves for the first time. Scouts formed memories which will live on with them for years to come!

You can check out photos from our week long adventure in the photos zone.

Summer Camp 2015 was made possible by adult volunteers and young leaders offering their spare time to support the event, working as a team to plan and run the camp. Find out about how you can become one of the growing number of adults who give some of their spare time support scouting in Washington. You don't have to make a weekly commitment, but a couple of hours a month can go a long way to making a difference to the lives of young people in the area.