SUMMER CAMP 2011 – BRANTHWAITE
The Lake District was the chosen base for our 2011 summer camp. 32 young people took part, supported by a team of 27 helpers and 15 leaders.
What follows is a summary of the camp as written by the young people in their Patrol Log each night.
DAY 1: ARRIVING AT BRANTHWAITE
In the morning, everyone met at Ashcraig school. Soon after this, we separated into our buses for the long journey down to England.
We arrived at the campsite in the afternoon and, straight after unpacking, we explored the site. We then began our camp skills sessions.
We learned how to track, leave signals and to make our own patrol compass routes using bearings and distances. Dr Who arrived for the first time in his tardis. The day finished with a murder mystery game and a campfire.
DAY 2: CAMP SKILLS
We were rudely awoken by the sound of Gordon playing the bagpipes! But the sausage rolls made up for it. MMMM!!!! Straight after this, we had a full kit inspection. David Hamilton then led us in a Scouts’ Own where we sang songs, prayed and reflected on how we should never think too much about changing ourselves as we should like the way we are.
Following this, we built our patrol sites and designed a number of camp gadgets for use both at the tent and around the campsite. After lunch, we learnt how to make camp ovens and how to start a fire using traditional methods.
We also met Dr Who for a second time. He sent us to find the Wright brothers and once we had retrieved the blueprints, we built planes around our Patrol Leaders which were raced in “The First Flight”.
In the evening we had our campfire which included a thunderous rendition of Auck Olaylay.
DAY 3: WATER ROCKETS
We had a rushed morning today as we prepared for our first day off-site. We went to a local school in Workington to build water rockets with people from Sellafield Power Station.
We spent a bit of time learning about what makes a good rocket and what makes one fly really high into the air and then set about designing our own using bottles, water, cardboard and lots of other science stuff.
The rockets went really really really high as the water pressure sent them into space at 30G!!! We had some time to change our rocket designs before firing them off again.
After a quick lunch we headed to Workington for swimming at the local pool. It was good to finally have a shower! Again we finished another great day with a campfire, hot chocolate and biscuits.
DAY 4: DAY HIKE
HIKE DAY!!! After a high energy breakfast of cereal and bacon, we headed off for Lake Windermere. We split into Patrols and were given a map and a compass so we (hopefully!) wouldn’t get lost.
We set off going south along the lake side. During the hike we took two different ferries. One got us from one side of the Lake to the other where we stopped to have lunch. The other ferry we got from there up the Lake and it was an old steamer. The hike was over by then so we were able to relax!
The route was hard work and involved a steep climb and rough ground but we eventually got back to the buses. On our return to the campsite we had American Bean Pie for dinner – a camp favourite!!! We thoroughly enjoyed getting into bed after a tiring but excellent day!
We slept very well tonight after all that fresh air and were so tired we didn’t even have the energy for our traditional campfire!
DAY 5: JAMES LAWRIE SHIELD DAY
The main focus of today was the annual James Lawrie Shield competition. This is an important day and is an outdoor skills competition in memory of one of our leaders who died a few years ago. It tests our
scouting skills thoroughly.
We had to build shelters, maintain a fire and cook our own lunch. On top of this we had a number of additional challenges testing us on the camp skills we’d been learning so far at camp.
As usual this was one of the highlights of camp and we had an external panel of judges awarding the points.
Windermere Patrol, led by Scott Maguire, won the shield but everyone enjoyed the competition.
In the evening, we held a Burns’ Supper with some girls from Workington Girl Guides. Some of the boys gave some speeches and after we had eaten loads of haggis, neeps and tatties and drank loads of Irn-Bru we taught them how to do some traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing.
Once the girls left the men then had a Highland Games and we got a good laugh as the helpers beat the Scouters at tug of war.
DAY 6: THEME DAY – WELCOME DOCTOR WHO!
Today was Theme Day! This was a shame because we were all really looking forward to nail painting with Douglas which had been promised in the programme. NOT!!!! Dr Who arrived again and took us back in time in his tardis to the Roman era. We weren’t sure if we were going to make it at first, but then we all got sent back in time together.
We dressed up as Romans, made mosaics and flags. We also searched for reactors and isotopes to power the tardis. We also received a coded message telling us that there were aliens about. We hunted them down and vanquished them by drenching them with water. There was a lot of screaming at this point!
After dinner we played a game of rounders and had a campfire before returning to our own time for hot chocolate and bed. Another tiring day (time travel really takes it out of you) but great fun!
DAY 7: DAY OUT (PERTH)
Today was our final full day of camp and was our third day off-site. The first activity of the day was canoeing. This was great fun and we had to work very hard to make sure the canoe was balanced and moving in the right direction. We even had to wear a life jacket in case we fell in!
Once we finished canoeing we all headed up to the swimming pool in Keswick. Our last shower was on Monday so it was great to be clean once again.
Afterwards, we all headed into Keswick to see the town, do some souvenir shopping and buy a chippy for tea. We managed to haggle down the price of a snow globe fridge magnet!
After a great day out, we boarded the buses to take us back to the campsite. There, we had our final campfire which we finished down in the field by letting off sky lanterns. Time for our last night’s sleep at camp!
DAY 8: HOME TIME
This morning was hectic. We had to pack all of our gear away before breakfast. Then, once we had eaten, we had Merry Fun Time while all of the tents were being taken down. This included the tuck shop drop!!!
Finally, just before we left the campsite, the points were announced and it was revealed that Ullswater, led by Kurtis Peachy, was the winning patrol.
All that remained was to lower the camp flag, board the buses for our return trip to Glasgow and warm up our voices for singing Flower of Scotland as we crossed back over the border.
It has been a fantastic week but we are also all shattered and looking forward to seeing our families again and having a great night’s sleep back in a proper bed!