On the 26th May 15 Scouts, 4 Venturers, 5 Leaders, 1 Beaver and 1 Adult Help went on the group annual camp to Hawkhirst (Kielder)
We met at Grove Road at 9am to pack the van. We then set off on the long journey to Kielder at about 10am and we arrived just in time for lunch. After a long search of the camp site for Clive we found him on a site nearly 1 mile away from the entrance and toilet block!
On arriving we put up the tents and started making the dagets for the patrol tents, The group was splut into three patrols; H20, Sharks and Piranhas. Each patrol was assigned it’s own tent and they had to make their own benches, tables and storage equipment.
With such a long way to go to the toilets, we errected our own toilet tents on the camp.
After breakfast we had to finish organising the patrol tents. In the afternoon we went in the boats. We were split into two groups. One group went in the Canadian Canoes and the other half were in Kayaks. Later we swapped to allowed each Scout a chance in both types of boat. The group in Kayaks were being taught by sisters Karen and Gillian Hainge, two of our Venture Scouts. All the Scouts were taught how to escape a capsized boat safely which Ben and Emily put to good use throughout the week!
Our honorary Scouts, Beaver Natalie, who came along with our adult help Sue also took part in the water activities under close supervision from our “experts”
First thing on Monday morning we continued our water activities. In the afternoon we split into three groups. The first group was the experience cyclists who were led by Assistant Scout Leader John on a testing cycle route. The second group of cyclists went on a slightly less challenging route led by Richard along the cycle paths of Kielder Forest. The third group stayed at camp to build a monkey bridge under the supervision of Clive
All three groups were hindered by the torrential rain adding to the challenge, though Ben and Emily were probably less wet than on other days!
Today the older Scouts had some fun washing the toilet block. When they got back we started the pioneering, building an assault course which provided to be far too much like hard work for Ollie. He just had to take a nap while the other fitter one’s in the group did all the work!
The assault course proved to be difficult for some with the challenge of sticking their head in a bucket of cold water to pick up a spoon at the end. Sophie found it particularly difficult with her brace!
The questions remains, did Ollie ever find enough energy to complete the assault course? Nobody seems to remember seeing him do it!
In the morning we made an assortment of swings including a tyre swing, a plain wooden one and a two seater swinging boat. In the afternoon we went to the bird of prey centre at Leaplish waterside park where everyone got to hold a bird. When we had finished there people who rode there rode back to the camp site and the people who went in the car walked back via a cycle path. That night we played rounders
On Thursday morning we headed down to the water for the final session of water activities before the BCU (British Canoe Union) tests. All afternoon we were out looking for fire wood. That evening we did a backwoods meal (sausage and kebabs on home made kebab sticks, then we had sweet and sour sauce with noodles cooked inside cabbage leaves and cake mixture inside an orange for pudding)
On Friday we did an orienteering course which the PLs set up the previous night. We had lunch and went, for the final time, down to the water for the BCU tests. Everybody who attempted passed. Afterwards, we took out the two Bell Boats and had a water fight. Orders were to see how wet we could get Clive. During this Ollie nearly fell in but unfortunately Louise caught him. That night we lit fires to stay warm. This was the coldest night of the week
For once the weather was kind to us and let us pack up camp with no rain, then it was time to go home. The journey home was fairly uneventful with all cars taking a near enough direct rout home, this time! Lynn’s map reading skills were much improved from the start of the week, when she came home from Kielder via Scotland!