2008 – Camp at Danemead

The Danemead Camp – October 2008

We arrived at Danemead on the Saturday and the first thing we saw were a group of people dragging a van up the track. We were about to offer them some help when we realised they were Police Cadets and that it was actually a training exercise!!! They weren’t the only cadets on site either; we were also sharing the campsite with Army cadets (who spent most of that Saturday jogging and marching through our campsite!) and a group of sea cadets.

It took us about an hour to pitch camp, three times as long as it should have taken us, according to Skip (but it was our first time so he “let us off”), which made lunch a bit late! The afternoon was spent sorting patrols, setting up tents, getting to know the campsite and playing games. We made dinner and then we sat around the campfire, talking, joking and singing and afterwards we played several wide games; one of which was a version of manhunt. We were in bed by ten thirty and “quiet” by eleven.
Our next day (Sunday, Skip’s Birthday) was spent hiking; we woke around seven thirty and were ready to leave (breakfast eaten, faces washed(!), lunches packed, and clean socks donned, well, everyone except one boy… not naming names!!!) at eleven, roughly an hour behind schedule. We walked about halfway, roughly three and a half miles, to Brickendon where we ate lunch in a play park. (here I changed my socks again!) As we were preparing to leave we had a surprise; the year six teacher from the local Primary school lived close by and invited us in for a drink! We spent half
an hour or so with her and her family before we “marched on”. Most of the second part of the hike was done in “Scout pace” which is done by walking for a set distance and then running for a set distance and repeating the process a number of times. This pace is used to get somewhere quicker than walking, but it also reduces the likelihood of an injury, so it can be used in emergency. We arrived back at camp and had our own surprise for Skip; birthday cards, presents and party poppers! The evening was filled with another campfire, more jokes and stories followed by yet more wide games and then a de-briefing and bed, silence by eleven thirty, we were so tired.

Monday morning, we woke up late; and spent the morning on a conker championship (at which I was terrible!). I’m not sure who won in the end… Afterwards we had to gather wood and start a fire on which we had to cook lunch for the patrol. This took a lot longer than expected and we didn’t eat lunch until after half past three! We spent the afternoon playing games such as forty- forty home and generally getting ready for the campfire that evening. We also carved pumpkins and then one boy (not naming anyone in particular!) walked around with his on his head saying “Hello, my name is Lindsay Lohan!” At the campfire that evening, we all totally embarrassed ourselves at the campfire with “The Enlarging Machine” and the “Ugliest Face in the World” stunts, especially Prof. Bingbong! This was followed up by chants, songs and hot chocolate, with most lof the boys falling asleep before dinner was ready. We were all in bed and asleep by eleven that night.

Tuesday was spent striking camp and drying out canvases back at the Scout Hut, when we got home, we spent a LOT of time sleeping!