2017 – BARRWOOD

SUMMER CAMP 2017 – BARRWOOD, STIRLING

From 1st to 8th July 2017 our summer adventure took us to Barrwood near Stirling. 34 Scouts supported by 48 volunteers camped for a week, taking part in a huge range of activities.

Each day at camp the young people write a Patrol Log of what they’ve got up to, and below you can read some excerpts – in their own words – of their memories of camp.

You can see lots more photos on our Flickr page here.

DAY 1 – ARRIVING AT BARRWOOD AND TRADING FOR SUPERHERO PARTS

We met up in Glasgow with all the other Scouts and found out what Patrols we’ll be in for the week. We met our helpers too. Then we got on the minibuses and headed for Barrwood, which is near Stirling. Our minibus had some ‘classic rock anthems’ – we enjoyed singing out loud to ‘Eye of the Tiger’.

Soup and sausage rolls were ready for us when we arrived on the campsite – a strong start from the cook team. After lunch and breaking the flag we set about setting up our own swap shop to buy parts to build a superhero. We had to win in the auction to get stuff like Hulk hands, tridents, swords and armour then we had to trade with other Patrols so we had enough.

Then it was time for dinner, which was also nice.

After dinner and our first round of doing the dishes we did some Patrol challenges, which made us work together as a team to solve problems. We had to fish for mousetraps and move radioactive logs safely without touching them and move across a maze without getting caught out.

Then we sang our hearts out at our first campfire. Douglas had already started to lose his voice. Then it was time for bed – we were already tired after a full day in camp. Roll on Sunday!

Post script: This blog was adapted from five out of the six Patrol logs. The sixth Patrol log was a bit light on detail, but was amusing, so here it is in full:

  • Got on the bus, Capital was on the radio
  • Arrived at campsite
  • Had sausage thing for lunch
  • Bought some superhero stuff
  • Had dinner
  • Went to bed

DAY 2 – BADGES AND A SUPERHERO PARTY

We woke up to the glorious sound of Chaz on the bagpipes. Most of us had been awake for ages actually because it was so sunny and we are in a tent!

Breakfast was eaten with only a brief evacuation indoors to avoid the Barrwood drizzle. We were joined by some Belgian Scouts who were camping on the same campsite.

Then a full kit inspection to make sure we had everything we needed for the week. We didn’t come first but we didn’t come last either so we’re all winners. 180 points on the board.

Straight into badge work. We got to vote on what badge we wanted to do with the choices of chef, astronautics, circus skills and craft. It was a tough decision!

At the circus skills badge we got to spin plates around and juggle hoops – both a lot harder than they look at first. Wallop! Bang! Sore head. Try again! Spin! The juggling was even more difficult.

Meanwhile the craft extraordinaires were making fancy tiles with Barrwood written on them, the astronautics were learning about space (obviously) and the chefs were building a fire to make (burn) some French Toast.

After lunch we went on a scavenger hunt with a long list of things to get photographed next to across the campsite and things to bring back. We had no idea one campsite could have so many campfire circles!

After circumnavigating the campsite about a zillion times, it was time for more food, DINNER to be precise! We had to be speedy because after that we were setting up the barn for our superhero party, where we were inviting the Belgians back to join us.

We had loads of party games – soaking the Patrol Scouters was a favourite, nerf gun target practice, Hulk Smash, Superhero muscle tester, Captain America shield training, TUCK SHOP (not really superhero themed but tasty) and of course the programme team in gold shorts (no photos allowed).

After the party – you guessed it – campfire time! Then bed. Sunday – DONE!

Post script: one Patrol did a cartoon for their Patrol log today and it was so excellent we’ve included it here. Well done!

DAY 3 – BOAT RACES AND REACHING THE PEAK

We awoke from our deep slumber. What day is it? Where are we? Bagpipes, tents, sunshine – must still be at Summer Camp!

We brushed our teeth and had brekkie. It was scrummy. [We didn’t make up that description, nor the bit about brushing teeth, honest]

After flag break we headed to Barrwood’s very own reservoir to make rafts for our superhero characters. They had to be strong enough to keep our superheroes safe, but not massive so that they could win the race. We had to remember our knots, although sometimes it was easier just to tie the rope round and round and round until it didn’t fall off. We added some ferns and other greenery to make it look spectacular.

Then Douglas and Chaz took to the water in their canoes and set up the race. Each Patrol battled it out against another until the grand finale. Shenanigans ensued. Our marvellous raft instantly submerged (not part of the plan) which led to the brief drowning of Captain America.

It’s fair to say of the rest some floated better than others. Some sank better than others. In the grand final it was Wayne Patrol v Parker Patrol. Spiderman’s boat mysteriously sank to the depths of the deep blue. But Wayne Patrol insist: “nothing to do with us. #howmysterious”

There could only be one winner – the now legendary “BatmiBoat”.

We headed back to our campsite for lunch and then back onto the buses to go for our first outing of the week. We were off to the Peak!

At the Peak we got to play some sports in a huge games hall while others had a go on the rock climbing wall. It looked quite high up from the bottom but was even scarier half way up. We were all very brave!

Then it was off for some swimming. We took over an entire pool for all 70 of us! Poor folk who had to come in after us…

Back to camp for dinner – the one, the only, American Bean Pie!

In the evening we did a little bit more badgework and then prepared our sketches for campfire.

DAY 4 AND 5 – CASTLES, CANALS AND KELPIES

There’s no point pretending this morning was anything other than… minging. It was raining, there were midges everywhere and we were not in our usual high spirits! So we hatched a plan and escaped the Barrwood for nearby Stirling. Things were looking up!

We arrived at Stirling Castle which was mobbed. Took us ages to get up the esplanade to the actual castle! Then we went exploring – first to the Great Hall where we discovered the Queen was having a banquet tonight. We were told we couldn’t hang around until then.

We went under the castle to find out what it was like to live there in the days of old, and some of us got to try on some medieval dresses and smell some of the foods from the time. Then it was back on the cobbles (they clearly didn’t have wheelchairs back in the day) and into the kitchens and then, of course, the shop!

One Patrol drew a picture of the Castle for their Patrol Log today:

Next it was down the massive big hill to the bottom of Stirling for lunch – McDonalds! After setting a new world record for the number of McNuggets consumed in an hour we went off shopping – with one objective in mind – what was the tackiest thing we could find? It wasn’t too difficult…

Then it was back to camp as the sun had come back. Before bed we split into different bases to hone our Scouting skills ahead of day hike day tomorrow.

Wednesday

We had a lie in this morning – bliss! Then it was up, packed and off to the Kelpies to begin our day hike. It was when we arrived at the Kelpies only to find that the Queen had been there moments before that we realised – she was following us! We just caught a glimpse of her helicopter taking off – she must not have fancied any of our picnic!

The Kelpies were amazing! We also got to see two real life massive horses from Glasgow – Spencer and Harry. Then we were off down (up? along?) the canal towards the Falkirk Wheel. We all walked 500 miles (3.8 to be precise).

At the Falkirk Wheel we basked in the sunshine then boarded a boat to go on a tour of the wheel itself. It didn’t whizz round quite as fast as we hoped but it was cool. DID YOU KNOW it only takes the power of 8 kettles to turn? We all did!

When we got back down we went back to camp for a pasta dinner with a caramelly sugary biscuity treat for desert. Then some chill out / tuck shop time in the Barn with Douglas DJing (don’t give up the day job). At campfire we got the instruments out so it was a very tuneful and noisy sing song!

FINAL DAYS AT SUMMER CAMP

Thursday

How many kettles boiling is the same as the Falkirk Wheel? We tried to remember yesterday’s fact. Eight! Anyway, to the day ahead! We had breakfast then some more of our badgework sessions then it was into the competition of the century (or since last year) – the James Lawrie Shield! Reputations were on the line. Records were there to be torn up. The competition was fierce.

Over the course of the day, and under the watchful eye of the judges, we lit a fire, practised first aid, built a shelter and sent messages via semaphore. Or tried to!

After totting up all the points the eventual winners were Rogers Patrol – well done Jordan, Craig, Jamie, Ross, Greg and Aaron!

Back at our own campsites it was time for dinner then another go at Super Hero Top Trumps and then campfire before bed.

Friday

Last proper day in camp – and we’re going off site to Bannockburn! Breakfast was amazing – french toast and leftover apple crumble. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

At Bannockburn we dressed up in some armour and had a go at holding some of the weapons from the time of the battle. They were very, very heavy!

Then we learned all about the history of the battle, and took part in a simulation exercise where we were in command of the English and Scottish armies! In one simulation despite wiping out the entire army, the English triumphed, but when it mattered most, King Kurtis – playing the part of Robert the Bruce himself won the day – go Scotland!

We walked out onto the actual battle site where Ross gave us an interesting talk about the battle and about what happened afterwards. We got our photo next to the giant Bruce!

After Bannockburn we went back to the Peak for a swim and then banquet time back at camp. This is one of our favourite meals – three courses of deliciousness. The DAFTIEs followed – our regular awards for all round amazing chat, impressions, dancing technique and lookalikes.

Then it was our final campfire. We were joined by local Scouts who had come to Barrwood to help us take down all our tents. They taught us a few new songs and we taught them a few Glasgow classics! We also said goodbye to Cody and Conner who were heading home early.

Our Patrol Leaders had a chance to reflect on the week and all their Patrols had achieved. Pats on the backs all round. Then bed. For the last time! (#sadface)

Saturday

Up, up and away. Well awake and take down camp at least. Saturday is always a sad day in camp, but after a mighty fine breakfast of crepes and chocolate, then a nail-biting final inspection, we had some Merry Fun Time and badgework while the tents got taken down.

Then it was award ceremony time – a certificate for each of us for taking part and badges for all the work we’d completed during the week. But most importantly of all… drum roll…. was the hotly anticipated and cliffhanger reveal of the inter-Patrol points competition!

After much suspension and fairly dodgy arithmetic from the programme team it was announced – Wayne Patrol were the victors! Patrol Leader Owen led his team on a victory lap. Job done.

Then we lowered the flag and it was time to jump on the buses. Glasgow bound and home.

Better go… they’re shouting us.

Parker Patrol, Kent Patrol, Banner Patrol, Stark Patrol, Wayne Patrol and Rogers Patrol – over and out.

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