Walesby 2004

On the weekend of 17th to 19th September, we took 23 Scouts from 16th and a total of 18 Cubs from 16th and 23rd Harrogate, on an activity weekend camp at Walesby Forest in Nottinghamshire.

With the hectic programme planned for the weekend, everyone had to pull together to keep to the times allotted for each activity, and I’m please to say we managed to keep the whole weekend running like clockwork.

Clive, Nigel and Ollie set off at 1pm to get down to Walesby early so that we could have the whole central area and as many other tents pitched as possible before daylight faded. When the rest of the group arrived at around 7:15pm, there were just a few hike tents to pitch, and these were all done fairly quickly.

Once everyone had their tents, and had put their gear away, we got everyone together, splig them into four patrol and had Flag Break with a prayer for the weekend. The Patrols were then given the task of coming up with a name for themselves, based on the theme “Dinosaurs”, then designing and colouring their own shield.

Hot dofs and drinks were followed by a wide game:

This is actually a variation of this game, and has to be played in the dark.We split into two groups of equal size. One group defends a roped off area in the woods, the other team attack the area. The defending team are armed with torches but keep them turned off. They have to listen for movements in the woods and shine their torch where they hear a noise. If they pick out someone with their torch the have to shout out their name. The attacking team simply have to get into the roped off area without being caught. We usually allow a fixed amount of time to get as many people as possible into the area. This is a great game for encouraging a group to lean everyone’s name.

We finally got everyone to bed around midnight

Saturday morning began with games of rounders and footbal shortly after breakfast. Saturday was to be our only full day on camp, and this is the day we had set aside for organised activities. Everyone was given the opportunity to take part in rafting, archery, air rifles, climbing and abseiling. Almost everyone took part in all the activities. For a large number of people in the group this was the first time they had attempted some of these activities.

Following the activities, the group were split up. The Cubs all worked on the Naturalist badge with Sue and Suzanne, whilst the Scouts were sent orienteering, with the APLs leading the group. The PLs were left behind to assist with setting up for wide games and Sunday’s activities

After dinner we played two more wide games:

Capture the Flag
Again we have our variation on this game. Instead of a flag we normally us a basin of water, however on this occasion we left the basin’s empty as most people were running out of dry clothes.

The group is divided into two equal teams. An area is marked out using ropes to show the boundaries, the dividing line and an area for the basin and an area for the jail. Each team goes to their own side of the playing field. Once the game begins, the teams are free to go at the others basin. If a team member is caught on the other teams side, (to be caught you must be “tagged” by a player on the opposite side on his own territory), he will be sent to jail. This player must sit in jail until either the game ends or he is freed by a member of his own team. To be freed, you have to be touched by a “free” member of his own team. The freed player gets a free walk to his own side of the playing field. The person freeing the player is on his own, he may still be tagged and put in jail. To win the game you must capture the other team’s basin and return it to your own side without being captured.

Balloon Chase
Best played entirely in darkness without the use of torches. We us a large roped off area with a leader in the area to help monitor the game. The roped off area is the goal area with a goal in the middle – we us a large bin liner.

The players are divided into two equal teams – one defending and one attacking. The attackers have to carry a filled balloon to the goal without being caught. The defenders must stay outside the area and prevent the attackers reaching their goal. If they catch a player with a balloon, the attacker must then return to the start point, blow up another balloon and start again. We allow 15 minutes for each side to get as many balloons into their goal as possible.

Sunday morning was filled with activity bases.

Each Patrol was divided in half. The PLs and APLs each led a team of 5 around the 8 bases and then the scores were added together for a Patrol score.
The bases were:

  • Fitness Challenge
  • Water Measure Challenge
  • Picture Observation Test
  • Flying Kim’s Game
  • Water Pistol Challenge
  • Funny Face Drawing
  • Stretcher Building
  • Feely Game

These bases were followed by a general knowledge quiz in which each member of the patrol answered 4 questions on a different subject each. These scores were also added to the scores for the day and the winning patrol was declared the Comets.

After changing back into uniform, packing bags and having lunch we invested 5 Scouts – Leon, Louis, Jack, Liam and Chris, before Flag Down and a final prayer/

We finished breaking camp and were all ready to go exactly on the scheduled time.