District Parent and Child Camp
A group of adventurous Beavers and their dads set off for a weekend of camping at Earlywood for the 43rd Annual Parent and Child Camp: two days of challenges against lots of other Berkshire groups, with games, songs and big fires.
We arrived on Friday evening with beautiful clear skies and the stars starting to twinkle over our campsite. As the darkness fell and the temperature dropped, we managed to keep ourselves warm by the huge fire.
Marshmallows and hot chocolate warmed the Beavers before bedtime, though by the morning a few of them looked a bit chilly (note to all - warmer pyjamas needed for Beavers in the Autumn).
Saturday morning, and the challenges started; the theme set by the organisers being 'Nursery Rhymes'. The Beavers turned out for the fancy dress parade somewhat more eclectically than the other groups, but gave a good rendition of 'Girls and Boys Come Out to Play' for the judges. It was then time for the first challenge from the judges to all the groups: build Old Mother Hubbard's Shoe. The Dads set about this with a vengeance, with wood sourced and 'liberated' from all possible sources. A superb two storey wooden structure was put together: eschewing nails, it was largely self-supporting with complex bracing posts and wooden tensile beams, meaning we could fit all the Beavers in with absolutely no danger at all (we promise, mums). Ours was clearly the best 'shoe' of any group - so we thought - and the Beavers ran amok on, over and in it for the rest of the weekend.
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Saturday afternoon saw a crazy collection of games to play: shaving balloons, hoopla-a-Beaver, blindfolded trails through holly bushes, amongst others. Slightly balmy, but we survived, and even scored a few points. After supper - which saw some inspired and extravagant cooking by some Dads - it was time for the big camp fire gathering with the other groups. Each group had to perform one song and one sketch in front of the others around the campfire, and we had the good fortune to have Adam (George's dad) to write an original script and direct our Beavers ("Once more with feeling, Beavers!"). A totally (un)biased view has to be that we were the best)*: our Beavers sang a great 'Grand Old Duke of York Rap', and then performed their 'Ahmed the Camel Seller' sketch: with all the Beavers confidently delivering their lines in front of a huge gathering of other scouts, cubs and beavers.
Well done all!
After some sleepy Beavers on Sunday morning, and more bacon and sausages for breakfast, the games continued. I think there was little chance of us winning the prize for the more points in the games, but we all had an excellent time; some of those Camp Highlights have to be:
- Sophie's performance as Ahmed
- General George directing the Beavers to defend us from 4th Bracknell
- Oliver's cold face on Saturday morning
- Cole's over-acting as a camel
- Troopers Floyd, Benji, Jonty and Seb who drove away 1st Owlsmoor from stealing our wood
- Ethan's speedy jumping over the horse jumps
- Dominic saying he wasn't tired then promptly collapsing asleep in front of the camp fire
- Mitch, Kallen and Samuel's gathering of bamboo overgrown through the fence from a neighbour's garden, which was then turned into a fantastic woven seat
- And me beating the big tough bloke from 4th Bracknell in the assault course! Hooray!
See you all on the next Beaver camp!
Christian (aka Swallow)
* PS - my rash and biased assessment completely vindicated, since I have found out we did indeed win the prize for the best campfire performance - well done Beavers (and Adam)!