Phasels Wood Group Camp
It was our triennial Group Camp, held at Phasels Wood, near Kings Langley - Beavers, Cubs and Scouts all together. Activities for all, and also a bit of rain evenly shared too.
The Cubs and Scouts arrived Friday evening, plus the helpers and Leaders (yes, us Beaver Leaders also went for that extra night!). After the inevitable run around by the Cubs to explore the woodland, it was time for hot dogs and off for their first activity of the Cresta Run. As night came we then gathered round the Scouts' fire to toast marshmallows and generally interfere with their cooking skills - admiration from the Cubs to the Scouts, though, for the usual Skip and Den set-up of true Scouting camp.
Bed time for the Cubs, but perhaps not sleep for some time. They do chat a lot.
Saturday morning and after the best New York French Toast breakfast you've had, the Cubs went off for a day of activities: archery, air rifle shooting, zip wire, crate stacking, human table football, a hike, I think. Meanwhile, we welcomed the Beavers who came at lunch time. They quickly settled in to their hut and their two dormitories. A tour of the huge Phasels Wood site to see the woods and the cubs doing their stuff. But a huge rainstorm turned it into a welly walk instead. And on return we found some of the Cubs flooded out of their tent. We liked our dry hut...
So what do you do after a huge rainstorm that floods everything and leads to lots of water draining underground? Why, go potholing of course! Our intrepid 10 Beavers set off for the man-made potholing course, which involved crawling through very small pipes completely underground in the dark, with helmets and head torches. They all managed part of it - well done all. Very impressive, as I also went down and could see how cramped and tricky it was. And some of the Beavers loved it so much they went round the long course twice (even though they didn't have to - apparently a first for Phasels Wood that anyone has done that course more than once!).
Supper was an impressive meal cooked on the open fire for all Cubs, Beavers and the Leaders and Helpers too. Eaten with enthusiasm by all. Then off for the Beavers to do the Cresta Run. We were scoring the two teams, and fortunately (and completely fairly, I can confirm) an absolute draw.
Back to the hut and then a big camp fire with the Cubs too. The songs were sung with gusto (I didn't hear any other Groups at the site sing!) and the marshmallow and biscuits were eaten with equal gusto. Off to bed for all, and our Beavers then showed the Cubs how to party - yes, the Cubs were asleep by 10.30pm and didn't wake up until 8am. Let's just say you can add a couple of hours on to the Beavers' sleeping time, and take a couple of hours off from that wake up time.
So Sunday morning, with some sleepy Beavers and Leaders, led to our Aeroball activity - bouncy trampoline/basketball type cross thing. High scores all around, and lots of energy used up. Then off to the climbing wall which, although it looked like a garage door with handholds, was a clever rotating machine for continual climbing. Wow, the Beavers were fast. Even when I put it on to 'North Face of Eiger' or 'K2' setting, it still took some effort to make them fall off (yes, there were crash mats).
Sunday also saw the pedal car challenge, which seemed to turn into a bit of tactical stock car racing after a while. And after that an assault course challenge. Lunch was fitted in somewhere during that time, as well as cups of tea and coffee for the Leaders and Helpers to keep us up with the Beavers' energy.
The final event was the closing ceremony - all the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts came together for that, and we lowered the flag. Another great camp - and thanks again to all the Helpers who came along with us Leaders.
Swallow & Eagle