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The Father & Son/Daughter Weekend Camp May 2013 : Hammonds Farm, Checkendon

14 June, 2013 by webmaster

The weather was very unsettled and very cold for this time of the year, with regular and very heavy rain showers, but then we laugh at the weather, it will never spoil our Scout fun. As B-P believed that anyone can camp in fine weather but Scouts need to be able to camp in comfort in any weather and that is exactly what we do in the 2nd. Goring & Streatley.

The Scouts pitched the tent on Tuesday evening, because two were brand new and needed weathering in. Thursday evening, Scouts and dads arrived at the camp site to fully set up the camp ready for the Friday start. This year Senior Scout PL Jack as part of his Senior Scout 'Camp Warden' badge took on the role of Camp Chief.

The Scouts, Wolf Cubs and fathers (called Rovers for the weekend) arrived at 6.00pm on the Friday for flag break and the start of the camp, followed by the allocation of tents, the fathers camp in patrols the same as the Scouts, so each 14' patrol tent held six fathers, the en-suite facility being a hole across the field in a canvas toilet screen. Skip then introduced Jack to the camp and handed the Camp Chief duties to him. Once everyone had set out their kit in their tents and supper had been served the heavens opened, so it was decided that everyone should take shelter in their tents and get ready for bed. From the chatter from the fathers on the first night clearly they were all settling in and enjoining themselves; mind you they were not the only ones making a noise on the first night.

Saturday started off with fine weather, so it was exercises, then wash, with Scouts and Fathers preparing the breakfast in their patrols. A waist up uniform inspection was held at 9.15am of tents, cookhouses and to ensure campers had washed. After the Wolf Cubs activity was fire lighting, followed by tracking and Kim's Game (part of their 'Observer' badge) leading to them passing their tests. Whilst the Scouts and fathers activity was pioneering ~ making the 'Swing Boat' and the 'Hourglass Lookout Tower' these were all constructed very quickly and very well built. Skip set up the 'Chocolate Tree' that drew great interest with the mention of chocolate, the Wolf Cubs let their imagination run wide what this might turn out to be, particularly when Felix hide some chocolate éclairs in the grass under the chocolate tree, once one was found there was a mass search, and imaginations went even wilder, what this structure was going to be all about.

After dinner, the Camp Chief organised one of our favourite games of 'Danish Boy Scout Long Ball' that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Also we had not seen any rain either, great! In the evening parents, family and friends arrived to join us in the Camp Fire, we started the Camp Fire as the rain started, the fire burnt well, and the rain got heavier and heavier, clearly it was not going to stop soon, so unfortunately for the first time in the 30 year history of the Scout Group, the Camp Fire was cancelled and everyone ran for cover. Luckily we had, had supper so it was off to bed again early and the evening game was also not possible to play as the rain lashed across the field with very high winds, the tree screen to the side of the camp gave us a little protection. But at least that night the tired campers feel straight off to sleep and not a sound was heard from any tent.

Sunday morning arrived again with a bright sky and not so cold, so again exercise instruction given by the Camp Chief, wash and prepare breakfast. The quality of the cooking was very high and everyone clearly enjoyed this as there were none left over. Flag Break and prayers at 8.45am, followed by a full inspection at 9.00am, so everyone had to get a move on to be ready for inspection, again the standards were very high. Fully uniformed the patrols comprising the Wolf Cubs, Scouts and Fathers set off on the 'Patrol Competition Hike' that this year, because the Wolf Cubs were doing their 'Observer' badge at camp, comprised of a hike to the village of Woodcote and finding unusual items and features around the village that Skip had previously photographed, the patrols had to find the features and take exactly the same angle of photograph that Skip had taken. The patrols did very well with the Lion Patrol winning by one point, well done to them. After dinner the camp was struck just in time to save the canvas getting wet, because at just gone 2.00pm the rain started again. So Flag Down, prayers and camp closure was brought forward a little, it was agreed that despite the weather everyone had had a great time. Senior scout PL Jack handed the role of Camp Chief back to Skip and everyone agreed that Jack had done a great job as Camp Chief and well deserved passing that requirement in the 'Camp Warden' badge. Other Scouts passed parts of their 'Cooks' and 'Pioneering' badges during the weekend. So very well done to all the Scouts, Wolf Cubs and Rovers (Fathers) who took part.

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