Tuesday 13 February 2024

Winter Scout Camp

 Scout Camp At Cranham 2024

For me this picture above sums up what children need more of. A camp fire, some hearty food, a bit of company and a few sticks to poke in the embers. 

This weekend just gone was hard work. I went as an extra leader for the scouts as normally I'm in Beavers. But it shows how long I've been a leader now as many of these scouts were my beavers some seven years ago! 

I went with three other leaders, Heidi, Angus and Pete, who had organised it all. I was lucky and just had to turn up and do my thing! We had hired the bunk house so didn't need to camp out in the rain (both nights it rained but we were lucky with the day weather). We took 19 scouts and 3 young leaders as well (from explorers). 

The first night was about settling in, and although they had planned to do some outdoor games it was raining so heavily we decided that everyone was having plenty of fun in the centre. I played card games with a small group and taught them my rules (the best rules) to sh!thead, the best card game going. I think I must have taught hundreds of people these rules now as I've travelled and met people. 

The next day one group of scouts cooked a big fry up an then they went off to do a challenging quiz around the village where we were staying. 

Me and angus got the fire going to cook lunch and got set up. We even made a tripod with hanger for the pots. 

Lunch was to be flat breads, cooked by the scouts and a hearty chicken and vegetable soup to go with it. The kids prepped all the veg whilst I tried to keep things cooking. 

Angus kneaded some dough to make another bread as he was keen to use the dutch ovens the scouts had invested in. 

I cooked it and was so careful not to burn it. It could have done with a second proving but we didn't really have the time. 

I had a couple of the scouts tell me it was the best soup they'd ever had, but I did tell them that hunger was the best sauce (one scout walked 30,000 steps that day according to her watch, to give an idea of how active they were). 

the bread turned out great and not burnt at all. I'd really like to cook some more bread in my dutch oven and get it perfected for the next camp! 

The site is quite big, with an area down by a stream which they all loved playing in. 

But as it got dark we played some "wide games" which was mainly capture the flag. Some of them put so much effort into this! Running their hearts out! Torches were banned while the game was played, so just the starlight to try and find each other. 

That night they had burger and chips. With only 4 leaders it was tough as we all had to do everything with no downtime, when Angus and I came in from the wide games Pete and Heidi had been dealing with other scouting problems so it was all hands to the pump to get them fed again! The kids all pitch in when asked though. 

They do need nagging a bit to keep their rooms clean though!

Such a full on weekend. None of the children go to bed easily, the first night I dread to think how late they went to bed in their dorms (even after we told them off lots of times), the second night they did quiet down a lot faster! 

Lots of memories made I hope. I might have missed out on scouting when I was a child, but I'm glad I have done a bit in the last few years. 

Angus said to me that a lot of scouting is "type 2 fun", like at the time you question why you're even doing it, but when you look back you somehow think it's was a really good time. 


  1. Looks like such fun. Is there an age limit?...I might join you all next time, haha!

  2. That brings back some memories. What a weekend for you all. Here is a scout camp bread recipe for you from one of my scout leader cousins (no kneading required)
    Howard's Kaimanawa Bread
    500g wholemeal flour
    500g white flour
    a bit of salt
    1 large dessertspoon of honey
    1 large dessert spoon of golden syrup or treacle
    1.5 dsp of dried yeast
    dissolve the honey and golden syrup in boiling water and add enough to make it up to about 1.25 to 1.5 pints (umm 750ml to about a litre). Sprinkle in the yeast whisk and leave until bubbly.
    Put flour and salt in a large bowl. Add liquid. Mix until the stuff just flows. Pour into 2 well greased baking tins (or Dutch ovens) and leave in a warm place until risen. Bake about 40 minutes.
    (He used to cook this in an old wood burning stove/oven at the outdoor education place where he worked.)

  3. I have lots of scouting memories from my youth. It would be neat to relive them as a assistant leader.

  4. Bunk houses are great. Much better than sleeping in a cold and soggy tent in February. Great photos.

  5. I've needed the term "type 2 fun" so many times - thank you both for the useful vocab!


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