Scouts before locating mud
Scouts before locating mud

For our first camp in ages we went to Gilwell Park for ScareFest at Halloween. Our miniature contingent of 3 Scouts teamed up with 1st Burnham, led by Simone (now SimOne) and their even smaller contingent of 1 Scout for the event.

We actually arrived early but still had to set up camp in the dark. Thank goodness we had practiced so there was rather less wailing and gnashing of teeth than might have been the case. The first disaster (broken tent pole) was neatly side stepped as we brought a spare! ("Be Prepared" does work you know...)

Having dealt with the mundane camp chores and fed the ravenous beasts we headed off to explore the site. The evening found us playing dodgems in the dark, juggling with fire, making new friends and eating chips. Hmmm...not in the plan but nothing like chips to unite scouts!

Flagpole with Gargoyle
Flagpole with Gargoyle

We retired exhausted to bed sometime after 10pm and with only a brief growl-at-maliciously-laughing-scout moment at 3am (yes Max you know who that was), calm reigned until morning.

Our first job of the day was to demolish breakfast which was done rapidly and in some style. First Burnham (ok Charlie) managed a whole extra breakfast through devious means although he paid the price later in the day! Then we headed off to build our flag pole. Take one pile of wood, a pile of cord and a pile of scouts, stir vigorously and prod until completed, hey presto a flagpole with the head of an unlucky scout on top. All those pioneering knots paid off (It's a clove hitch, boys). The gargoyle was named variously little Bob, little Jim and little Richard.

Demon Dodgems
Demon Dodgems

On to the activities proper and we spent the day on dodgems, sweeper, making dough twists, more dodgems, archery, fire juggling, apple bobbing, even more dodgems, making new friends and...chips (sorry, we did try not to, honest). First Burnham (ok, Charlie) set the bar in food and drink consumption but this was an event with only one competitor and a predictable outcome in the form of an "unwell" Scout!

In the early evening the Scouts suddenly flagged and we were forced to retire, defeated, before the fireworks and laser show. All repaired to bed properly exhausted, until the 3am call of the toilet woke the scouts rather more than was entirely desirable. Another, rather louder, growl-at-maliciously-laughing-scout moment (yes Max you know who that was) and we made it to Sunday.

Human Fly
Human Fly

Carefully laid plans for Sunday were hampered by a later start than we had intended. Breakfast was still hoovered up by the two legged eating machines who went on to complete the ceremonial dismantling of the camp flag pole and starting to pack. Having said goodbye to 1st Burnham and their leader SimOne we returned to the fray.

Sunday morning activities saw Scouts ascending the climbing wall, shooting air rifles and climbing the wobbly ladder (much harder than it sounds). Having completed most of what was on offer, we reluctantly headed back to camp. Packing required only the lightest application of horse whip, cattle prod and verbal encouragement. Eventually everything was back in

What on earth...?
What on earth...?

the van and Scouts delivered home via the evils of the "Golden Arches".

Overall declared a successful camp by Scouts, leaders were just happy it was all safely over until next time. Especial thanks to SimOne, leader in charge!

The full story in pictures is in our ScareFest Gallery