On the 4th – 8th August 2013 Market Weighton Scout troop held our annual summer camp at Walesby Scout Activity Centre, Blyth, Nottinghamshire.
The camp was a great success for all those who took part from the scouts and explorers to the leadership team; we all achieve what was set out before us, from climbing walls to the cave maze to abseiling.
The trailer was emptied, the leaders erected the marque and sorted out the kitchen area with cookers, fridges and electricity to power our lights while the scouts and explorers erected their tents and the flag pole, ready for flag break.
We broke flag and John welcomed us all to summer camp. The leaders set on with tea while the scout played games and relaxed after setting up, once tea was eaten we showed the scouts and explorers the plans for the next 4 days of activities and split them into to their groups before sending them out to play games.
Monday morning the scouts & explorers were up, washed and ready for a fun packed day. Breakfast was eaten, the wash up was done, it was time for all of us to head to the low ropes for an hour of walking tight ropes, climbing through cargo nets and negotiated rope ladders.
We then split into our two groups to do the next activities. Group 1 went to the zip wire, were the zipped down a 15m line to a safe landing. Group 2 went to a 25m indoor air rifle range were they took it in turns to see who could A) hit the target, B) score on it. David scored the highest with 45 out of 50 with 5 pellets.
It was now time for dinner back at site with the promise of cave maze, zip wire and leap of faith in the afternoon. We set off together after dinner, with thoughts of who will jump off the leap of faith and who will turn ch-ch-ch-chicken!!
1st stop was the cave maze, a little 6ft x 4ft shed sat on top of a mound of concrete maze with no lights on inside the maze, the kids had to feel their way about in the darkness looking for the exit, as most of them hadn’t found their way out after 30 minutes the instructor put the lights on so they could find the exit and we could move on to our next activity.
Group 1 went to the leap of faith where they all tried to get on to the platform, not all made it, but the ones that did jumped off in hope of catching the ball in front of them. Group 2 went to the zip wire, were the zipped down a 15m line to a safe landing.
The leaders made sure everyone had their feet safely on the ground before heading back to camp to have tea. While tea was being cooked the explorers organised games for the scouts who weren’t busy with either packing for the night’s activity or helping with tea. After tea we all headed to the middle of the campsite where we were going to do water zorbing.
Tuesday morning the scouts & explorers were up, washed and ready for another fun filled day. Breakfast was eaten and the wash up was done, it was time to split into our groups
Group 1 went to Abseil 25ft down a disused electricity pylon in the middle of the campsite, everyone in the group completed the abseil with plenty of encouragement from the other scouts.
Group 2 went to leap of faith. The scouts showed great courage at this activity as it was not in their comfort zone climbing 25ft then jumping of a 2ft x 2ft square in hopes of reaching a ball hung in front of them, they all tried really hard to overcome their fears some made it some didn’t but above all they tried.
When the activity had finished it was time to move on to our next event which for group 1 was air rifles, where group 2 had set the score of 45 to beat. Much to the disappointment and trickery from group 1 they didn’t manage to beat David.
Group 2 went abseiling, were the scouts really enjoyed themselves climbing up the wooden ladder to then abseil back down to earth.
After such a busy morning it was time to head back to camp for some much needed refreshment and a rest before heading back out. Group 1 went to have a go on two quad bikes on the dirt track inside a wooded area.
While group 2 went to play crazy golf, which was not the easiest games of golf we’d ever played as it was all up hill at a 30 degree angle and the balls bounced madly of the concrete blocks. We swapped over activities when our hour was over.
When the hour was up it was time to head back for tea, Emma, John and the explorers had started to prepare the chicken and veg by the time group 2 had walked back from the quad bike track. Then it was time to think about the evening activities of traversing wall and team building exercises.
The traversing wall was enjoyed by all of the kids as it gave them all a challenge as some parts were really easy but some were more tricky and difficult. We then moved onto team building exercises………………
At the start of the team work it was explained they had to work together and not on their own as it wouldn’t be possible to do the challenges in front of them. So to start with there was lots of shouting and individuals doing their own thing as appose to working as a team. We decided on a team captain who listen to everyone’s idea then decided on the best cause of action.
With much surprise to the scouts taking part they suddenly found they could complete the tasks set out for them with the simplest of ease and before there time was up. The explorer scouts had organised an evening of wide games for the scouts while the leaders made supper for everyone before it was time for bed.
Wednesday morning the scouts & explorers were up, washed and ready for a fun filled day. Breakfast was eaten and the wash up was done, it was time to pack our bags for a morning of wetness as we were off raft building on the lake. We all set of following David as he know where the lake was. It turned out to be a 25 minute walk from out camping area as it was right on the edge of Walesby Forest at the bottom.
When we arrived the instructor was waiting for us so he could explain what the task was and what items we could use. He split us into 3 teams, 2 groups of scouts and 1 group of leaders & explorers. Each team had 6 pieces of rope, 4 barrels, 2 long poles and 1 short pole, out of this they had to construct a raft which would take them from the shore to the other side and back to win the race.
All the teams raced over to the container to collect their items to build a raft for their team. The scout teams couldn’t decide how to build their rafts, with lots of shouting and no clear design ideas the instructor when round trying to help them by hinting at the correct way or by showing them the formation of the items. While they were helped the leaders & explorers had talked it over and decided on a design and were busy tying knots to secure it all.
The leaders launched 1st but it all fell apart in the water so we dragged it out and started again with a slightly different design and re-launched just as the 1st scout team launched their attempt at a raft, which surprisingly didn’t fall apart, however the instructor had told them how to build it as they could decide amongst themselves.
As the 2nd team had finally tied their raft together with lots of help from everyone we then raced across the width and length of the lake until our time was up. We then had to bring them ashore and pack it all back into the container ready for his next group. We also washed the sand out of our buoyance aids, shoes, socks and clothes under a steady stream of ice cold water then set of on our trek back to base, where dinner would be waiting for us because the leaders had already prepared it before we left for the activity.
After dinner we trekked back down to the lake in the afternoon to do body boarding in to the lake from the hill side. The body boarding track was a long sheet of plastic from a lorry trailer laid flat on the ground while the instructor sprayed it with a fireman’s hose to keep it wet while the scouts were going down the sheet. One by one they finally got the hang of it. They raced against the clock to see who was fastest and they also measure who went the furthest out in the lake.
Everyone headed back to site in need of a shower and clean clothes before the next activity which was building a giant catapult while the leaders prepared and cooked tea. They set of in wondering what they would be firing, whether they would build 2 and if they could fire at each other.
When they arrived at the giant catapult activity they started to unload the gear out of a hut and construct 1 catapult from the items. Just as they were getting ready to attached the elastics to make it spring up they noticed they weren’t there, unfortunately the elastics had gone missing from last time it was out so the instructor had to call an end to the project and decided to let them use the low ropes for last 30 minute after they had dismantled and put away the catapult bits.
The instructor came back with our group to explain what had happened at the giant catapult. It was now tea time with the promise of they got their site jobs done they could go to the disco as it was our last night.
Thursday morning the scouts & explorers were up, washed. Breakfast was eaten and the wash up was done, it was time to pack our bags for the finial time as were packing away this morning with activities to be done in the afternoon.
We did one last tent inspection before we started to strike camp. The scouts packed their bags and put them in to the cars and dropping their tents while the leaders started to pack away the kitchen and dining area before we dropped the marquee. We all assembled around the flag pole for John to close camp and have diner before we headed out to our final activities of circus skills and 45ft climb. Group 1 went to the climbing and group 2 went to circus skills for an hour then we swapped over.
From the circus skills area we could see group 1 members going up to the top of the 45ft climbing wall, they looked like a tiny little blob at the top of the pylon then they quickly abseiled down.
The instructor was showing us all how to use a diablo but I don’t think any of us master it beyond the point of starting it up and getting it off the ground and we certainly couldn’t throw it up and catch the diablo. We swapped over so everyone had chance to climb the 45ft pylon and look at the view from the top. All of the scouts attempted the climb some made it a few feet and other made it right to the top to be safely lowered down to the ground.
Once we had all had a go it was time to head to the car park and think about heading home. When everyone had arrived back at the scout hut we unpacked the trailer, putting all our camping gear away for the next camp.
I would like to thank all the leaders for all their hard work and participation in our summer camp at Walesby Forest!