Summer Camp 2023 – #INTENTS# Thriftwood

With ourselves enjoying at last year’s #InTents# at Thriftwood so much we rebooked again for this year. Having great memories of last year’s hot summer, we were over optimistic investing in an inflatable pool and new BBQs in preparation, which now seems a good future investment for the group’s events. With six leaders and 24 Scouts and Explorers fully prepared and roaring to go with our new site #4 which has an electrical hook up and adjacent to the archery field, close to the action.

Saturday 5th August

Approaching the site, the heavens opened, with us arriving at our pitch with newly formed ponds and attributes flowing to the nearby river on which was a previous grass camping field, making for an easy decision of an early lunch sitting in our vehicles waiting for the weather to break. A break did eventually come mid-afternoon allowing us to pitch camp whilst avoiding the standing water! Dinner was a typical Scouts dinner of sausage, mash and beans . Once again the rain descended and set in for the night, with the opening ceremony rearranged indoors at Oak Lodge, not being as it could have been, but the best mitigation that could have been arranged. As with camping in the rain, an early night, resting up for the next day’s activities is often the best option.

Sunday 6th August

Breakfast – Of course porridge to fortify the brave, otherwise cereals, followed by bacon sandwiches.

Morning – Orienteering course as to familiarise all with the camp site, Cordage making from natural materials and then preparation and cooking of pigeon breast or bread twist/dampers for those who preferred.

Lunch – As a set theme for all lunches: sandwich, fruit and biscuits were well received as was the blackcurrant and orange squash with some preferring just water, and others mixing a combination of all three making jungle juice!

Afternoon – Water purification by the lake, whittling with knives and then different ways to ignite a fire.

Dinner – The scouts cooking their own meal of sweet and sour chicken and rice in their patrols.

Evening – A wide game hunting the site crew members hiding in the woods, in an endeavour to locate as many as they could find.

Monday 7th August

Breakfast – Cereals, Porridge followed by fried egg sandwiches.

Morning – Hydro Zone – All and everyone down to Sapper Lake for a great event of all things water: Kayaking, Canoeing, Water Rollers, Giant Slide, Bouncy Castles, Washing machine, Slip’n’Slide, Hungry Hippos, Bungee run and Giant paddle boards.

Afternoon – The Chariot competition was held on the main activity field with every group submitting at least one entry and competing in time trials in the arena. With the Scouts valiant efforts with their Mario cart, unfortunately being knocked out in the heats however, the Explorers after three restarts of the final heat, finally won!

Dinner – Spaghetti Bolognese  

Evening – Lip Sync Battle – From the shy and retiring, shrinking violets that our scouts are where seemed to transformed in to mic hungry show biz enthusiastic creatures by the end of the evening.

Tuesday 8th August

Breakfast – Even more porridge being requested with less cereals along with sausage sandwiches

Morning – Tie Dying, Paracord, Glass Etching, Memory Wall, Pyrography.

Afternoon – Challenge – in teams of up to six completing various challenges as set by the service crew located trough the 98 acres of wood land.

Dinner – Curry Night, a choice of Tikka-Masala or the leaders’ favourite of beef Madras with rice, bread, poppadom’s, relishes and chutneys. Now referred to as ‘Curry Night with all the trimmings’

Evening – Fancy Dress Disco for the Scouts and Explorers with the leaders coming in second place in the quiz night, losing out by just one point.

Wednesday 9th August

Breakfast – An early start of cereals and bread & jam, along with an assembled packed lunch.

All Day – Southend, Adventure Island – With an all-inclusive ride pass and a packed lunch, with all the fun of the fair, running between the rides, squashed sandwiches, fizzing drinks and candyfloss the day was quickly gone. For the leaders a lay down in a darkened room after some of the rides was required.

Dinner – Chips from the local takeaway Tommy Tuckers, with chicken nuggets and sausages being cooked in the camp ovens.

Evening – Film Night – Cool Runnings (1993) – A great film that all enjoyed. With the weather improving the leaders enjoying a tradition campfire with the stars coming out from behind the clouds.

Thursday 10th August 

Breakfast – Cereals followed by Eggy Bread with Beans (Don’t worry there was also a porridge option).

Morning – International – African drums, Aboriginal dot painting, highland games, British sports day and Yoga where all tried the sun salutation, and a few achieved the headstand.

Afternoon – Rise Zone: Climbing, Abseiling, Jacob’s ladder, Crate stacking, Sky hi walk, Vertical assault course, Leap of faith, Potsman’s walk, Zip-line & Assault course.

Dinner – Fajitas, sweetcorn & potatoes wedges cooked by the Scouts in their patrols

Evening – TW’s got Talent – Several entries from our team, with Neal providing a start with his joke telling, followed by Dillan’s Spanish melody, M.K. & Ikea rendition of Tequila and many more…

Friday 11th August 

Breakfast – With the last of the porridge being consumed, Cereals, followed by Bacon sandwiches. 

Morning – Target Zone: Archery, Cross-Bows, Nerf Guns, Laser Clays, Axe Throwing, Cats-Splat, Speedshot, Air-Rifles, Clout Archery

Afternoon – Carnival and fun time: For the first hour all folk on the activity field running charity stalls charging 20p for Thriftwood partnered charity. With 5th providing shove ha’penny, drop a coin, and the most successful sponge throwing as organised by Max in his fancy dress which all together raised  £64 in the hour, including a donation of £16 on a pledge for Max to be dunked in the lake.

Followed by all the camps activities being opened for a final have a go session, so that anyone could get a go if they missed out, or another go if they enjoyed it the first time.

Dinner – BBQ of Sausages, Hamburgers, Buffalo wings with a side salad.

Evening – Closing Ceremony where the Ben received a medal for Challenge Tuesday, Dillan a as runner up to the talent show, the Explorers the winner of the Chariot race. Followed by a traditional campfire hosted by Colin and Bradley. With us going back to our own camp fire to enjoy hot chocolate and cake and ceremony burn our chariots with grand plans for our next summer camp being formed.

Saturday 12th August

Brunch was served only after all the Scouts and Explorers had packed their bags, cleaned  and vacated their tents– Cereals, along with bread and jam.

Morning – Strike Camp and go home, leaving only our footprints and good memories.

Afternoon – Wondering why the first day seemed like a weeklong, the week seemed like a lifetime, but all gone all too soon.

A big personal thank you to all of the leadership team who made the camp possible, with its early morning, late nights, long days in both good and bad weather, providing a safe, engaging, experience for all out members. A thank you to the parents who drove the hire van there and back, helping with loading and setting up. As well as our executive members: treasure keeping our books and finances straight, the chairman as always supportive as well as being our home contact, and not to forget my wife putting up with all my antics.

Until the next time

Paul Boreham
Group Scout Leader