Thursday 30 May 2024

Cycling Scout Camp

It's fair to say that since joining Scouts some 7 or 8 years ago it has become a constant in our lives. I help out in all sections when I can and I'm now moving from Beavers to Scouts (more on that in another post). 

This weekend just gone we had a scout camp. It was for their expedition badge. So they had to plan a route using their bikes from the scout hut to the local scout camp (which is 14 acres and an incredible space). 

Although my Middlest isn't quite old enough to be a scout, she's on the cusp of joining properly and as I'm a leader I said that if I was to come she should as well. Turned out to be a really good thing as my girls were the only girls out of the scouts so they could share a tent (especially important with the eldest's diabetes).

I didn't bike the ten miles. Instead I drove my truck with all their bags. We only had 9 scouts sleeping over, with 4 leaders it made for a really nice time. The truck was great as well as otherwise we would have had to carry stuff a long way! 

Setting up camp. My tent was already put up to store some of the gear so saved me a job

The girls got up early and baked a ginger cake for the camp before we left - enjoyed by all!

Our plan with this camp was to let them have plenty of time to just "be". It really worked. We had an activity planned and some cooking. They spent 3 hours trying to get pine cones out of a tree, which they all loved and laughed and joked about constantly, so sometimes we can over think things. They had their bikes as well so messed about on them also. 

Pete had welded up some little fires baskets, so the scouts split into small groups to cook their (and our) tea. burgers and hot dogs, followed by bananas with chocolate chips cooked on the coals and heated up apple pies. Perfect scout food. 

With my Middlest being the youngest there I was a little worried how she'd be, but I shouldn't ever worry about that girl. She is straight in there, getting stuck in. 
The one lad had a puncture when they got there and asked if I could fix his bike. I was a little mean and said no. We'd done a lesson on it the other week and they should do it themselves. It was lovely to watch four of them (my Middlest included) get stuck in and fix the bike together without our help. 

The one activity we did do (besides the one young leader taking them off for night games in the next field) was to make Dutch arrows. I only had a little saw and a Stanley knife, but it was enough to make a load of arrows. Simple to make and kept us all entertained for hours. 

The distance we could get with these arrows was mad. And they'd stick in the ground 4 inches! 

It was great fun as something we could all do together, us leaders need fun activities as well! 

It did rain, and heavy, but luckily it came at about 11 at night. that meant that all the scouts ran off to their tents and went to bed! It was perfectly timed really! 

The only negative came a few hours into the night with a little tentative knock on the flap of my tent. I was just drifting off and the heavy rain was almost therapeutic, then "Daddy?"
I stirred. 
"Yeah? What's the matter?" 
"We've both been sick..."
"Both of you?"

Argh! What a thing to deal with. Our Middlest is sick a lot (when she was younger she was even worse), and she had been sick in the tent. The eldest then went to get me to help. But got up, smelt it and that triggered her to be sick as well. She didn't quite get her head out the tent and puked all in the porch area. 
Of course being diabetic being sick can have issues with blood glucose levels, so as I poked my head into their stinking tent she was sucking back a tube of glucose to stop herself going low. I then had to scoop up handfuls in the pouring rainstorm, I was soaked through by the time I was finished! Took me ages to get to sleep afterwards I can tell you! 

The next morning was really chilled out, we ended up having breakfast and all sat around talking. The subject of diabetes came up and we had a great chat about that where they could ask my Eldest and me questions. Then it was a case of getting the tents down and getting rid of the scouts. 

My girls have to suffer the fate of a scout leaders children and helped us get everything back into the scout hut. We also had the worst job which is to hang all the tents up to dry. Next scout session they'll be cleaning them and putting them away! 

What good luck to be a scout really. Great fun and a great weekend. I'm sure if I'd been at home then the weekend could have blurred into any other weekend, this way it creates memories (for the kids and me) and helps them all develop skills. 

What's your favourite things to do on a camp?


  1. Brings back a lot of fond memories of my scouting days. Our campouts were less organized than you. We did a lot of sitting around the fire swapping stories and cooking our meals. When it got dark, we always took the newest members "snipe" hunting. There is a real snipe bird but not here in the Midwest. The main goal was to just get them out into the dark woods, leave them real fast and then try to scare them silly as they made their way back to camp. We did have an annual scouting jamboree every year where dozens of troupes got together which was well organized with things to do all week long.

  2. Sounds like (overall) a great time, Kev. And certainly a lot of memories (good and a little less good) made.

  3. Good for you doing the leadership for the kids!!! And kudos for the eldest helping for sure! I didn't like girl scouts, in my time (1970's)they cooked, knitted, sewed, canned and such. I wanted to camp, hunt and tan hides and etc... So 4H horse and vet science was my thing and became my career. Retired somewhat now and trying to figure how to get into helping as I can... In a society gone mad it seems....

  4. I am sixty and I still go camping and hiking and to rock festivals. It's a very cheap way of getting about with not much to pay for accommodation.


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