So how do you keep 59 children entertained, fed and happy over a weekend? Send them to camp, of course!
Each September, the leaders from 1st Littleport Scout Group organise a camp for all the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts in Littleport to give the children a taste of life under canvas and parents a welldeserved break.
This year, 59 children ranging in age from six to thirteen headed to Copley Wood Scout camp in St Ives for two days of fun, friendship and badge work. Julie Double, Beaver and Scout leader, was the main organiser. “Camps take a lot of organisation – pretty much a whole year! But it is always worth it as we have such a good time and the children love them,” she said.
The camps are based around a theme: recent ones have included Harry Potter and Ronald Dahl. This year, it was the turn of circus skills.
Activities on offer included juggling, Lego walking, fewer risk assessments than fire walking! And balloon modelling.
“I liked the circus skills the best” said Isaac, a Cub Scout. “Now I can juggle!”
There was also the chance to have a go at archery, make a nightlight and cook some yummy treats over a campfire.
“I really liked archery as I’ve not used the proper bows and arrows before,” said Ella, a Scout. Archery was one of Cub Scout Charlie’s top activities, too: “I loved it” he said.
Food glorious food
Feeding 59 children and all the adult helpers is no mean feat, so the brilliant camp cooks were kept busy providing breakfast, lunch and tea, plus several refreshment breaks to ensure everyone had plenty of energy to enjoy everything on offer. The children made sausage rolls for tea to go with their jacket potatoes and baked beans, which was followed by apple pie and custard.
After doing their washing up, everyone headed to the campfire circle. “The children and adults alike all really enjoy the campfire” says Julie. “Nothing beats sitting around the fire and singing songs to round off a busy, but fun day.
Hikes, badges and home-time
How much sleep the children get is questionable (often they are talking in their tents into the small hours) but on Sunday they were up early to take down the tents. They then went on a short hike to the local nature reserve and invested five new members to join the Scouting family.
“Activities at camp go towards badges the children work for” says Julie. “For example, we have a Nights Away badge – as staying away from home can be a big deal for some children, so it helps to recognise this. We also have a hikes badge, and a joining in badge. There is a circus badge for the Scouts, but maybe we should suggest there needs to be one for the Beavers and Cubs too!”
Parents arrived after lunch to take their exhausted, slightly grubby but very happy children home. Everyone had a great time – young and slightly older – so a big thanks to all the leaders and helpers for making it such a great weekend. For quite a few of the children, it was their first weekend away with the Scout group, and it got the thumbs up from them all.
“It was my first Scout camp and I’ve really enjoyed it” said Cassie, a Scout. “I can’t wait until the next one!”
If you have a child who would like to join the Scouting adventure, or if you are a
young person or adult who wants to get involved, we’d love to hear from you.
We are always on the lookout for more help, be it a one-off or a regular thing.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org