1st Crookham Beavers Spring Camp Damboree

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So, we thought ‘lets do a two night camp, how hard can it be, and the second night is supposed to be easier’ (so everyone says). Planning started, dates were set.

Then it dawned on us….

…..it was Brexit weekend, the clocks go forward and the Sunday is Mothers’ Day. Great planning! Still, we ploughed on, sent out invitations and awaited the responses. We expected to get around 30 of our 60 children saying they would come, and then we anticipated a fall out rate when parents realised it was Mothers’ day. Oh no, not our Beavers! 49 signed up and only one backed out the day before camp. We also had two Cubs come along to ‘help’ with their Leader parents.

Many e mails to parents later and the day arrived.  Beavers were deposited by nervous parents (the children were fine) and tents were erected, beds were ‘made’ and kit was everywhere.  There were excited squeals all around the compound. The children were rounded up and fed a BBQ of burgers and sausages and then sent out into the wilds of the adjoining woods for a hike followed by a play in the park in the dark. Back to the compound/camp site for a camp fire and songs, hot chocolate and bed. They were all asleep by 10.30 (it was a Friday after school so no surprises they were tired). And then, at 05.10 the following morning………..THEY WERE ALL AWAKE!

So, the grown-ups gave in after half an hour and everyone got up, had strong coffee and got on with the day.

Archery, shooting and first aid as well as an hour hike along the canal to the local nature reserve for a scavenger hunt followed by an hour hike back again. It was a warm Saturday and all the children managed to complete all the activities. In the evening they all cooked spaghetti Bolognese and the biggest mystery of the camp was how identical ingredients can result in ten very different looking pans of pasta sauce! Another trip to the dark park whilst the outdoor cinema was set up and then the adults had an hour and half of peace whilst they all watched a movie, ate popcorn and drank hot chocolate and marshmallows. They were all in bed and asleep by 9.30. Sunday morning and we actually had to wake some of them up around 07.30. The clocks changing meant we had an hours less sleep but this was fine as they had all gone to bed so early. Breakfast, pack up kit, break camp and swimming up ceremony for those leaving Beavers. Home for 11.30.

Lessons Learned

Two nights are probably easier than one as you get a longer camp experience and some sleep.

Have a meeting with parents prior to camp, we didn’t and it would probably have cut out about 100 e mails from parents asking questions that had already been answered in the camp info sent out.

Try not to camp near woods…..the dawn chorus was deafening!

Thanks to Fiona for sharing their #Damboree Adventure

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