It was our Scout Group camp this weekend. Sixty Scouts, Cubs and Beavers from Wakefield getting together at Hesley Wood Scout Activity Centre near Sheffield for the weekend. Huge amount of fun, despite the torrential rain on Saturday!
A few things I learned whilst at Scout Camp:
Scout leaders run on tea
Tea is brilliant. Ok, we knew this already. But a nice hot mug of tea in the great outdoors which, and this is the important bit, someone else has made for you, is at least 25% more brilliant. True fact.
First rule of scout camp: Scout leaders (and their assistant adult helpers, ie. me) run on tea. If you see an adult without tea, then chances are high that they need some tea. Make them a brew. Bonus points if you can train a scout to do it.
Inspired by our scout leader, I got myself one of these:
It’s a Lifeventure thermal mug, cost £11 and is absolutely superb at keeping your tea hot – essential when you’re trying to wrangle scouts doing activities. Keeps tea hot for ages. And I mean properly hot. I went for the matt green option (as you can tell) as it’s a bit more grippy than the shiny ones. Already love it.
You can put the world to rights at 2am
Once the scouts are in bed (or at least in their tents, being relatively quiet), the kettle goes on (again), the chairs come out and the world is put to rights.
Bacon sets you up for the day
Scouts have a virtually limitless capacity for bacon, and don’t really care how burned it is. Some of them actively prefer the more… crispy bits.
Which is handy.
Scouts love something to do
Scouts are great. They’re pretty self-organising if left to their own devices in a wood and will spend ages finding sticks/mud/water. You can keep a scout amused for a surprisingly long time by looking pointedly at a campfire and saying that it needs more firewood.
Campfires are great
Campfires are brilliant. Another thing we all know. But! Did you know that you can make bread (or cake!) on a campfire? Take a Dutch oven (big cast iron pot), pop it on the fire to get nice and hot, put an upturned bowl at the bottom, bread dough or cake mixture in a metal tray/bowl on top, lid on and whoosh. Campfire bread.
A good knife is essential
Something always needs cutting up, be it vegetables, bits of string or just opening packets of something. Mine’s an Opinel No. 6 knife, is ridiculously sharp and is brilliant. I’ve added a bit of sugru (the black stuff) around the locking collar as it can get a bit slippery.
Sporks are great
I love my spork. Some scouts turn up with a range of utensils, but I’ve yet to come across anything at camp that requires anything other than a spork. Mine even matches my new mug. How fancy is that?
I’m terrible at remembering names
I’ve pretty much got the names of all of our scouts now (only taken 2 years), but when faced with an assortment of cubs and beavers, I’m lost. However, cubs and beavers find it hilarious that you can’t remember their names. I’ll resort to pointing at them and just running through random names until either I get it right or they tell me. They’re even more thrilled when you remember next time!
Slugs are horrible, icky things
Slugs are horrible. Here’s a valuable tip: ALWAYS (and I mean always) check the inside of your boots before putting them on. That squishy lump isn’t mud. And it’s not pleasant to have to clean partially squished slug out of your boots. Or off your socks.
Trust me on this.
Helping out is fun
A recent study suggests that volunteering is good for your health. Certainly on camp you get plenty of fresh air and exercise! It’s also great to give something back – I was in the cubs and scouts when I was younger and had a great time. All of the people running the camp are volunteers, and without them, it wouldn’t happen. Which would be sad. And, many hands make light work.
Fancy getting involved?