On Saturday 24th July, 51 Scouts, Leaders and Explorers from the 5th Dartford Scout Group boarded three mini-busses, flanked by the group van and two other vehicles and headed off to Corf Scout Camp on the west side of the Isle Of Wight, near Shalfleet. Corfecampsite is not the usual open field to which many of us are accustomed, but groups of small pitches in the woodland, which gave us a very secluded and adventurous feeling, with the marque, kitchen and stores in one pitch, the Explorers in another, the scouts in another and the leaders accommodation scattered over a further 3 pitches.
With the weather on our side the scouts spent Sunday climbing and honing their pioneering skills building and floating rafts with varying degrees of success, which was more down to the availability of barrels than their knowledge of lashings.
The new week began with each young person forming a line and choosing which activity they wanted to do first, then re joining the back of the line until the lists were full. For the Explorers there was gliding at Vectis Gliding Club, which was paid for separately and for the group there was Canoeing, Sea Kayaking, Coasteering, Prusiking (Oak Tree Climbing) with Goodleaf.co.uk in a “Top Secret” woodland location, several Mountain biking adventures (depending on ability,) Rifle and Pistol target shooting, Wide games and football, Kite Flying, Crab fishing, Mackerel Fishing aboard the Robert Mark out of Bembridge Harbour – followed by a demonstration by leaders and active participation by the scouts of filleting and cooking the catch.
For the adventurous, there were two overnight camping expeditions – the first party being the Explorers who planned and executed their own hike and camp and the second for the older scouts who were accompanied by leaders and Kay, the first woman in the 5th to have undertaken an overnight expo.
The logistics for such a camp were tight at times, but with the 3 Kent Fleet mini buses and so many Midas certified drivers we pulled it off and got everyone to where they needed to be in order to participate in their chosen activities.
As with all adrenalin filled activities, a good breakfast is essential to ensure attention levels and stamina and to make sure everyone took part in the preparation and serving of the food, the group was divided in to “Duty Patrols” and everyone took their turn in the kitchen, although the washing up fairy godmother took care of the hot chocolate mugs at the end of the day to get bedtime under way with a minimum of fuss.
The camp ended with a good old fashioned campfire with each patrol taking a turn in doing a sketch or a song, which went down famously with everyone.
For many this was their first summer camp, but with the experience and welcoming family feeling of the collective it was very easy for everyone to integrate and enjoy the week. Some young people excelled in their duties and showed many skills and future promise, which we would not necessarily have seen in the regular 2hr troop nights.
All in all this was an excellent camp, with everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves and binging home more than just a kit bag full of muddy damp clothes for a change, but a week of memories, which will be treasured for many years to come.
There are a few photos in the gallery below to demonstrate some of the activities we did, but CD’s containing all of the camp’s memories will be available for all in September for a small donation of just £5.
So where to next year?
Watch this space…….
One of our old Venture Scouts, Jason E, who now assists with Thursday’s Burne Troop, sings of how they used to remember the name of an old colleague to the tune of Wild Thing, which he plays on a banjo constructed by Gary from an empty Quality Street tin, old timber and fishing line. I’ve emailled Quality Street and hope they send us some sweet supplies for future camps – Here’s hoping 😆