Beaver Camp - Bears Rails (April 13)
The Beavers' latest camp - and what a great one it was! This was our back-to-basics traditional scouting camp with parents, with outdoor challenges and fires, and it was enjoyed by all.
The venue was the beautiful Bears Rails Camp, which is hidden away in a secret corner of Windsor Great Park. Surrounded by ancient oaks and the deer, it's a place which has stood in for Sherwood Forest and Harry Potter mystical woods in film sets, and you can see why when you're there (though possibly not the kitchen block - can't remember Harry P in there).
We set up the tents on a blustery afternoon, missing most of the showers, and then started the challenges. Split into two teams, one was faced with fiendish mental puzzles whilst the other had to build a rope bridge across a raging torrent. Alright, a muddy stream, but just as bad to fall into that... The resulting structures were sturdy, until the adults tried them out, with Steve missing a muddy bath by inches.
Supper - and it was amazingly cooked entirely over the fire by Hilary! Yes, catering for around 30, and what a great meal it was too (Rupert is still talking about it!). A Big Hand for that! Puddings were then prepared - to be cooked over the fire again - and whilst those were baking we went off into the trees for a great, quiet wide game through the forest as the sun was setting. Then back to the camp for baked apples, bananas and oranges. With lots of sugar.
Camp fire! And we had The Man With The Movie Trailer Voice, Matt, starting the fire in spectacular special effects way - chemical trickery straight from the movie set to turn the fire blue. After that, The Man With The Very Loud Voice, James, led us all in the singing. Beavers went to bed and were asleep in about 2 minutes.
The night was cold. Oh yes, it was.
Sunday morning, and a breakfast bigger than you've ever seen, which warmed us up and got us ready for our hike. The hike had a bit of trail following, a bit of blind-folded rope trail, and even a bit of tree hugging and the retelling of the Herne the Hunter legend around Herne's Oak (hey, I used to drive a 2CV, OK?). We managed to get the Beavers all the way to the top of the Copper Horse, where we could see the City of London, and Joel gave the adults a Brian Cant-esque lesson about what shape an arch was.
Back to camp and lunch time. Then we had our making boats challenge - take a potato down the stream on a boat made from natural materials. It was a close-run thing. Possibly a draw. Yes, let's say that.
A final salute to the flag, and we all went home. A wonderful camp! And if you want your Beaver to join in the next camp, then have a look at the Phasels Wood page - sign up now!