After a two-year hiatus a good many of our members were able to proudly parade our colours with other groups from the district. Meeting smartly at the hall, we paraded down West Hill and through the town centre, without impaling any shop signs or pedestrians, before joining the district and taking our place by the bandstand. The weather was very kind to us and after the formalities, we joined the parade around the park, receiving the grateful applause of flag waving parents and public; something our young folk have missed out on.
Having booked this camp for Easter 2020, it was a matter of changing the list of attendees and a new risk assessment. 7 leaders arrived at camp @13:00 to get set up and shop for the food, with 35 Explorers and Scouts arriving from 6pm to the first supper of 1/4lb burgers, followed later by cake and hot chocolate. Saturday morning started early with porridge, cereal and bacon sandwiches, followed with 3hours of crate stacking, leap of faith and zip wire activities before a lunch of sandwiches, soup, crisps and fruit. After lunch everyone went on a pre-planned hike in groups, which took @3hrs. Saturday’s evening meal consisted of Spaghetti Bolognaise and garlic bread. Temperatures plummeted on Saturday night, so it was good forethought that we had booked ‘The Village’ at Thriftwood, which consists of heated huts and a fully equipped tented kitchen and dining area, although 8 Explorers and 5 leaders still preferred being under canvas, but everyone arose well slept, even the explorers who had spent most of the night at around the campfire. Breakfast on Sunday was again cereals followed by a cooked breakfast of sausages, baked beans and eggy bread, which went down very well. Activities on Sunday consisted of fields games, rounders, an Easter egg hunt and the all-important trip to the providor to load upon confectionary and camp souvenirs. At the end of camp, we awarded some prizes for various activities and issued everyone with a camp badge for their camp blanket and dismissed promptly at 15:00. Despite the weather being fresh, we were lucky to escape rain and saw much blue sky; looking forward to the next camp already…..
Meeting at the hall at 10:00, 42 of our Young People and leaders paraded our colours to the Spital Street Methodist Church to attend our Group’s 105th Birthday Service. Five of our young folk did readings and others assisted with the offertory. Group Scout Leader, Paul, presented some leadership awards and spoke of the troubled couple of years we’d had and thanked everyone for their efforts in keeping Scouting going. After enjoying some refreshments and biscuits with members of the church we returned to the hall and dismissed for lunch. The celebrations continued in the afternoon at Gravity, Bluewater, where we enjoyed a session of trampolining.
With the revision of COVID restriction and guidance on Scouting activities we managed to arrange at short notice a Hammock Camp at Thriftwood Scout Camp Site.
Friday – Setting up camp was certainly different without tents, with a shelter and parachuter camp fire area already on site it only involved rigging 20 plus hammocks and setting up the kitchen which seem to take the same time as a normal camp! With the Scouts exploring their new surroundings, collecting wood and fetching water the adventure begun with a BBQ feast of sausages, burgers and corn on the cob, it was pretty impressive how much smoke a parachute can contain, let alone Tim’s laser show to entertain us. And what do all Scouts of all ages enjoy after supper and in the dark, Wide-Games of course, with a hide and seek game as we paraded through the camp sites, along with a night time navigation snippets whilst we were in the clearings identifying: The Plough, North Star and Jupiter rising in the West. With the day finishing with Hot Chocolate and biscuits around a blazing log fire.
Saturday – Starting the day with Paul’s world-famous Porridge which always sets you up for a day at camp, even if it was made with white pepper (it looked the same as salt container!). The Scouts prepared themselves a breakfast of Bacon, Eggs and Beans before the morning activities of wood carving with a few good tent pegs being created as well as a hamster chew sticks and other creations, with the Explorers fabricating camp seating. The Kayak session was great fun, with the leaders seeming to fall in much easier and more often than any of the younger members especially when the games of had and little fishy being played. After hot showers a lunch of ham & cheese or even cheese & ham sandwiches was quickly devoured, followed by field games before the trip to the ‘Providore’ to stock on sweets and drinks. The rest of the afternoon was taken up with collecting wood and preparing the chickens for supper cooked in Dutch ovens as a one pot meal, surprisingly there was very little left overs as compared to the breakfast porridge.
Another fine evening enabled more wide games to be played, followed by the traditional Hot Chocolate around the camp fire.
Sunday – Pancakes proved to be very popular, with the predictable flipping competition. Following breakfast, the Scouts walked the camp site collecting an array of different leaves from the trees and identifying the various wildlife as well as sampling the plentiful blackberries. All participated in a Scout Own reflecting on Scout and Scouting focusing on how we as individuals can achieve so much working with other scouts. The walk ended up at the assault course where the cargo net proved the most popular obstacle. With lunch devoured the last few field games were played out, with a flag down ceremony where all Scouts were presented with a Thriftwood ‘Intents’ Camping badge to close down the camp.
With this years summer cap plans to return to Gravelines not be possible, Kevin and Sean quickly arranged an alternative expedition camp to the south coast at Kingsdown Camp Site near Deal via public transport.
Friday 26th July: With rain clouds approaching Dartford, we meet at the train station at 10am checking people in with their run-sacs and bags. Boarding the half past train heading to Walmer away from the rain, arriving two hours later, where we shouldered our bags and headed to the coast path via Walmer castle. It was not long before bags were adjusted and trades made helping each other out as we hiked the 4 miles to the camp site.
A week earlier than we usually camp for Easter, and we paid for it with a bitter chill in the air, but for the 19 Scouts, 4 Explorers and 9 leaders who ventured to Downe Scout Activity Centre on the … Continue reading →
I would like to thank all the leaders involved volunteering their time, giving up a week of work, as well as the camp site team at Linnet Clough making our camp a truly enjoyable one, and not to forget our youth members good behavior and keen spirits which was a great combination for a safe, enjoyable, memorable group summer camp. A Summer Camp without tents!
Once again the 5th had been invited by Kent County Scouts to provide archery and target shooting activities for the County Air Activities camp at Old Hay Airfield, Tonbridge, and by doing so securing a number of places for our Scouts to participate in numerous air themed activities, including piloting microlight aircraft and rocket building/launching.This gave us the oppertunity to get many, if not all of our participants through the bulk of the staged Air Activities badge, which we will look to conclude and present during the next term.
Please click here to view the Kent Scouts web page with more details and pictures from the weekend.
With the advance forecast looking somewhat inclement, it was decided that we would switch from our usual pitch at Thriftwood to ‘The Village’, comprising of a large permanent marquee with refrigeration, gas range, lighting and running water, together with 5 x 6 person bunk sheds and 1 x 4 person, the extra cost was well within contingency and given that it included all the gas we needed and saved us the fuel to transport all the tentage, tables, benches etc., was money well spent. The bunk rooms accommodated the Scouts, leaders and for the first time, 4 selected cubs from the Phillips Pack. The Explorers braved the elements in their tents, but with the experience they have gained from years of camping, they were snug as a bug.
Activities included a pioneering project, raft building (and piloting) and fishing on the well stocked lake. All the young people, Cubs included, cooked a Friday evening meal of sausages, mash and beans, Saturday morning, again cooked by the YP was an ‘English Breakfast’, lunch was prepared centrally between activities and in the evening everyone cooked Paella, with homemade garlic bread done in the ovens. Everyone ate their fill and the meal was a great success.
With a pirate theme for the camp, there were frequent shouts of ‘Arrrggghhh’ at roll call etc.
Alas not too many photo’s taken, but a few to get the flavor of the camp. However, everyone had a good camp, made even better with a swift strike and very little wet kit to unload and hang out back at base.
37 hardened adventures from the 5th Dartford Scout Group’s Johnston ESU, Earley & Burne Scouts descended on Gilwell Park to attend the 2018 Winter Camp. Amongst our number were 6 leaders and two Ventures, Tara & Nora, from Dublin, who had linked up with us in a joint venture with Scouting Ireland. All the young people had a great time and new friendships were formed, which we hope will see a trip to Dublin in the not too distant future.