Farewell Canada, hello Cambridge!

Day 15….. After over two weeks with our friends across the Atlantic it finally came to an end, an expedition that was nearly two years in the planning. It was time to say a sad, and for some (you know who you are) a tearful farewell to knew friends, and in some cases old friends from 2015 and 2013! Two weeks that were a lot of fun and a lot of hard work but thoroughly worth it.

While it was time for a few tears it was also time for some huge thanks as well. We simply wouldn’t have been able to run a trip like this without a friends at 12th Cambridge Scout Group in Ontario. They did an awful lot of work both to get it organised in the first place, hosting us and holding some hands as we headed into country that we simply don’t have here in the UK. So thank you to all the families who hosted us and the leaders who guided us. In particular Katie Havens, Group Commissioner and Shelley Dyet Scout Leader.

It was a time to reflect as well.

As scouts we have the honor of being part of a world wide movement, 40 million young (and some not so young!) people across nearly every country on the planet. It is not often that we get to spend so long in the company of those who are from so far away. To have that opportunity is something we are genuinely blessed with. Long may it continue.

On arrival home after nearly 20 hours travelling there were some very grateful (or not so grateful? 🙂 ) parents waiting for our band of travellers. We would like to thank parents as well for all their help with the planning, the fund raising and simply being willing to send their sons and daughters away with us into bear country.

Only one thing left to say….. the Canadians are planning on heading this way in 2019, they’ve asked us to show them a bit of Scotland….. so see you there?

Back to Civilisation

After a week camping in the kind of wilderness we never get to see back home it’s back to some home comforts before heading off to the UK tomorrow.

Everyone is a little tired but it seems to be the leaders catching more Zs than anybody else…..

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Canada 2017 – Camping in the Wild

Days 8-13

The second half of the trip involved a full week on camp at Halliburton Scout Reserves. 5000 acres of Canadian wilderness complete with some proper wildlife, including bears, wolves and moose! While some of the activities like climbing and archery were familiar to the scouts the way of life on camp definitely wasn’t. No showers, no roads, no plumbing. Transport everywhere was by canoe, something the scouts got very good at over the week.

Most striking of all was the completely different scale to UK scouting, where a campsite of 100 acres would be considered big and where you can normally shout to your neighbours.

Congratulations to 4 of our scouts for making it onto the Haliburton wall of fame for speed climbing!

 

 

Canada 2017 – Camp Prep

Day 6
Our time in Cambridge and with our wonderful host families is coming to an end, the big adventure in the Canadian wilderness is fast approaching! Most of Friday was spent packing and checking kit and all the other prep that goes into summer camp.

The scouts though still found time for a pie eating contest, an attempt at a car theft* and a patrol leader giving a lesson on what happens if you kneel down while a PL is looking for a seat!

Tomorrow it’s off to bear country…….

*not really!

 

Canada 2017- The tour of Cambridge and Shere Khan’s adventures……

Day 5
The scouts were left to their own devices as the Canadian scouts took the Cambridge Scouts for the grand tour of their home town

Meanwhile the leaders got taken on their own tour! Not a huge number of photos from Thursday.

However…. elsewhere in Canada one of our cub leaders Hannah “Shere Khan” Wheatley has been working at another Canadian summer camp and has been sending us photos of all her adventures as well! She’ll have some war stories to tell the Cubs when she gets back but in the mean time……

High Adventure

Over Easter 5 of our intrepid scouts joined our neighbours in Hertfordshire Scouts for initial mountaineering course (IMC) at Lochearnhead Scout Station in the Scottish Highlands. Eight days of learning to take on some of the UK’s highest, most rugged and most beautiful terrain all based out of possibly the country’s most eccentric scout campsite, a disused railway station on the side of a mountain.

For 3 our scouts it was their first time on the course and indeed in terrain like this. For the other two it was a chance to repeat the course and build on what they learned last year. From the dramatic skyline of the Tarmachan ridge to the remote solitude of Inverlochlarig the scouts learned to navigate, camp and climb some of Scotland’s most spectacular mountains.

The week culminated in a 3 day, 2 night expedition, camping wild in the mountains, a far cry from many of the well kept campsites the scouts are used to on many of our camps.

Probably best to stop typing and let the photos do the talking……

Final note…. if you see any of our scouts wearing a red and green tartan necker, that is the necker of the Nicholson clan and can be worn by any scout who has stayed at Lochearnhead. Worn with pride by all our scouts who have completed the course 🙂

As a real final note…. as well as our 5 scouts on the course we have two of our young leader explorer scouts there for the week who volunteered to join all the other staff to cook meals, clean toilets, fix things and all the other glamorous jobs that keep events like this happening. A thank you to them and of course all the instructors, staff, organisers and everyone else at Hertfordshire Scouts for having our contingent as their guests for the week!

Pioneers!

Back in March Raptor Troop spent a weekend at Tolmers scout camp in Hertfordshire for a couple of days of engineering!

Having been newly trained in how to create all kinds of contraptions from logs and ropes the scouts set about building everything from a newly fitted kitchen to giant catapults and culminating in the bridging of Cuffley Brook. Opinions may vary as to exactly how successful that was…..

In between the building of contraptions the scouts also got to have a go at branding (with at least one patrol leader looking menacingly at her patrol!) and tracking the local badger population.

With spring now upon us there should be plenty more camp to come…..

Kicking off the year

What better way to blow off the after Christmas cobwebs than to get straight out there and head to camp? So without further ado scouts from Raptor and Wildcat troop headed to Gilwell Park in Epping Forest with 3000 others to take part in a weekend that included rock climbing, tank driving, falling from great heights and lots and lots of mud…… Continue reading

Clip and Climb

When a new climbing center opens in town it seemed almost rude not to go along and give it a try! A lot of weird and wonderful climbing and a lot of fun 🙂