The troop set off to Chelwood Scout Campsite, near Bath/Bristol for a week of fun and games! The scouts set the camp up in record time on the Sunday afternoon, leaving loads of time for exploring, fires and games. After a decent breakfast on Monday, we headed into Bristol for a bike-ride along the canal. On Tuesday we pioneered a couple of bridges over a stream, cooked pizzas in a cardboard oven (can’t see the flaw in that idea) and cleaned ourselves in a swimming pool! We then went caving in the Cheddar Gorge area on Wednesday, and hiking in the Mendips on Thursday.
Some scouts decided to spend the last night under a bivouac despite the terrible weather forecast – but got off lightly – no rain! We packed camp up on Friday morning and then demonstrated how not to communicate effectively as we attempted to take the group climbing! We split up and I drove the minibus up a recently closed tiny road (thanks SatNav) and did a million point turn in a driveway, then were given directions to the Split Rock by a resident and turned up there to find no other leaders and were told to meet somewhere else – several phonecalls later and many wrong-turns we found the others and followed them to our destination – and no guesses for where we ended up – Split Rock, an hour after we were there before! Anyway, we managed to do some fantastic climbing and scary abseiling, and drove home (without getting lost!)
The camp marked an end of one era and a start of a new one for the scout troop. We said goodbye to several veteran scouts who are moving up to Explorers, and we also kind of said goodbye to Stuart, who handed over the troop to me on the last day so that he could take on the district role of ADC Scouts. The patrol leadership has also changed, with Peter & Thomas continuing to be patrol leaders, joined by Chris and Adam. A new generation of APLs are joining the team – Finn, Michael, Matthew and Nina – congratulations to everyone!
Roll on the winter term – we already have a camp planned, two incident hikes (one overnight), a swimming gala and lots of Friday evening fun!