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Mother & Son/Daughter Camp 2013 : Stonor Park, Stonor, Nr. Henley : 13th.To 15th.September, 2013

03 November, 2013 by webmaster

The weather forecast leading up to the camp predicted storms with high winds and torrential rain, but that would not deter us - ‘we laugh at the weather’. So Thursday evening came and the time to set up camp, it was a beautiful evening but unfortunately few turned up to help set up the camp. Consequently not all the tents needed for the camp for the 40 Mums, Wolf Cubs, Scouts and Senior Scouts were pitched (definitely a rota needed for the next camp). Needless to say, Friday night it rained quite considerably. We had to fight to get all the tents pitched before it was dark, so some tents were not pitched to our usual required high standards.

The rain and wind continued through the night, and some tents because they were not pitched well allowed rain to come in onto the groundsheets, so as well as campers being wet so was some of their kit. Saturday morning came and it was drizzling on and off; more on than off. Some of the Mums and Wolf Cubs kit were found to be wet and coats also soaked, but it appeared to be brightening up. Alas, after great consideration, it was decided that the Mums wished to call it time, along with some of the Wolf Cubs. Some Wolf Cubs wanted to stay on but their kit were wet and so were very disappointed that they had to leave; one Wolf Cub Molly did stay as she had shared the Girl Scouts tent and her kit was dry and two Mum also stayed.

The Mums (referred to as Rover Scouts at this camp), the Wolf Cubs and the Scouts were divided into Patrols for the camp: Lion, Falcon and Seagull. Each Scout Patrol had their own Patrol Tent, Wolf Cubs in their tents, and Mums (Rover Scouts) slept 5 to 6 to a Patrol Tent named after Senior Scout Patrol names: Sir Francis Vane and Percy Herbert Pooley.

Saturday mid-morning we attempted to implement the camp programme, before the Mums left, the Wolf Cubs with some of the Rover Scouts were challenged to produce the most appetising looking and delicious trifle. The results were fantastic and the camp spirit lifted. Skip had to judge the three enormous trifles, they were all so good that he declared a draw for all three, then came the tasting after lunch, the enormous portions clearly showed that the trifles were very delicious. This was followed by a great short comical play involving and acted by a Mum and a Scout and their ‘tongue in cheek’ different views on Scout Camping that also lifted the spirits. Then the Patrols, Mums, Wolf Cubs and Scouts took a short hike around Stonor Park to see the historic house and the two large deer herds that live in the park.
The Mums and the Wolf Cubs then left camp at just after midday, once lunch was over, just as the weather began to brighten up, with no signs of the forecast and threatened storms over the whole weekend. The sun broke through and the Scouts continued with the set camp programme that comprised each Patrol building a ‘Big Boy’s Catapult’ from pioneering equipment to see which Patrol could fire a rubber ball the furthest; then into the evening, games of ‘Non Stop Cricket’ and with dark descending a Scout favourite ‘Manhunt’. Then it was all gather around the Camp Fire for a great sing song, all agreed that it had turned out to be a great afternoon and evening.

Sunday morning, it was up with the lark, no rain instead quite warm and bright, a good breakfast on the go, including large portions of the trifle that still remained. Tidy up of tents ready for these to be taken down when the canvas was fully dry. A few Mums returned to join in the ‘Wide Game’ set to start at 9.30am that comprised each Patrol hiking a short distance into Henley-on-Thames, then with 14 photographs of feature to be found in the town, e.g. singer Dusty Springfield’s grave; small features on shops and other buildings; monuments; and small street feature details, etc. all requiring a great deal of searching out. The Patrols all returned by the time set and all managed to find the features and to write a little of the history of these, so very well done all three Patrols.

Whilst the Scouts were out on the ‘Wide Game’ the tents were declared dry and with the assistance of a few parents, the tents were taken down and loaded into the Scout Group van. Then with everyone returned, lunch was served, some Scouts still asking for trifle but this had now all gone. Remainder of the camp was then struck, site cleared and then with all the parents arriving to collect the Scouts, one final long line litter pick was made to ensure that we left the site in the condition it was found or better.

Each camp involving parents, Skip presents the ‘Yellow Necker’ to the most deserving Mum or Dad in camp. To be awarded this it takes a lot of creeping and sucking up to Skip to demonstrate one’s camping prowess (ha-ha!), there is always great competition for this honour. This year the ‘Yellow Necker’ is awarded to Rover Scout (Mum) Sophie Warren for camping endurance under extreme condition. Well done Sophie. Runners up were Fi Thatcher who persevered and remained in camp despite an extreme earache and Linda Bowen for assistance in setting up and striking the camp. Who will be next year’s awardee.

Lord and Lady Camoy and their family; and their site administrator were thanked for allowing the Scout Group to camp in their beautiful parklands by a ‘Thank You’ cards signed by all the campers.

What a great camp it turned out to be, despite the dreadful weather cast that fortunately did not fully materialise.

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