Sunshine after the rain

Last weekend Raptor troop spent a weekend on camp at one of our regular haunts, Thriftwood in Essex. In the begining was the plan, and the plan was for a crisp sunny weekend full of beautiful autumn colours….. alas the gulf stream had other ideas! And the troop spent one of the soggiest weekends in living memory as the scouts waded their way through 32 hours of non stop downpour.

True to form though the scouts didn’t seem to even notice and through themselves into high ropes, shooting and archery while one of our newest and youngest scouts was insistent she could get a fire going while at least one adult leader was pondering trying to build an arc…

12th Cambridge Fashion Week 2019!

London? Forget it. Paris? Where? Milan? Never heard of it. The place to be for the best er….. new? looks is none other than the 12th Cambridge Scout HQ!

On a wet and windy thursday night brought together old clothes and make ups along with what our Patrol Leaders had acquired from the local charity shops to see exactly what they could put together with a bit of imagination. The results were…. well…. take a look!

Summer camp 2019 and Canadian Exchange

This year summer camp was something special as the latest leg of our ongoing exchange program with 12th Cambridge Canada took us to the Lake District.

Things kicked off early for our friends from Canada as 18 scouts and leaders from our namesake group flew across the Atlantic to take in the sites of Glasgow and Oxenholme for a few days before joining us. We’re told there were only a few difficulties with the local accents 🙂 All their photos here!

The day of camp itself dawned and the UK contingent set off from Cambridge bright and early with a few bleary eyes, collecting our Canadian contingent on route ready to arrive at an exceptionally wet and soggy Great Tower Campsite. As one wag pointed out, we shouldn’t have been surprised, all those lakes came from somewhere….

After an afternoon of setting up camp and a good night’s sleep Sunday dawned and at last we same something that looked like the sun! It was an action packed day as scouts variously got stuck into rock climbing, kayaking and high ropes either on site or off of it. Tons of photos of all the action here 🙂

  

Monday came and another soggy morning, but there was no time to get wet, it was time to head for the hills! With different hikes offered either up and over Ill Belle or over Wansdale Pike and into Ambleside there was something for everyone. The sun even showed its face during the afternoon. We thought it had got lost! All the photos here.

Summer camp isn’t all about the action and the next couple of days were spent slightly more quietly with scouts getting up to all sorts including first aid training, camp site service, geocaching, orienteering and some general chewing the fat round the fire. Our exalted GSL even brought a pizza oven on to site for a slightly unusual camp dinner. Loads of photos here.

1 August came and with it the birthday of the scout movement as we remembered the camp on Brownsea Island in 1907 that marked its begining. Invited to a celebratory breakfast and promise renewal by our neighbours on camp, 3rd Macclesfield Scouts, before we headed off for another all action day with scouts doing whatever they hadn’t done on day 2. Photos here!

Friday came and with it the big pack up. That wasn’t the end of things though! Our friends from Canada returned to Cambridge with us for a few days of home hospitality as UK families hosted the Canadian scouts to give them a taste of British family life and took them to see the sites of Cambridge.

Being scouts though we couldn’t just leave them to some down time. Stay still? Time off? Not us! So day trips to London and the Harry Potter Studios followed (turns out too much butter beer makes you ill. Who knew?) as our Canadian friends got to see what they’d only seen on TV.

The final day dawned and a flight back from Gatwick to Toronto for our guests from across the Atlantic. Two weeks had flown by, dozens of trans Atlantic friendships had been forged and the count down to our return trip in 2021 had begun.

 

Summer Term 2019

It’s been another busy term for Raptor troop. Whether it’s been first aid training, pioneering or electronics at the HQ, or camps, night hikes and punting away from it it’s been great fun!

Still to come is summer camp but for now here are some of the best bits….

Water Camp 2019

Back in May an intrepid band of scouts headed down to deepest Essex to spend a wet weekend on a lake! Canoeing, rafting, pedlos and a new friend, Trevor the Terrapin were all included. And of course we burned a lot of stuff 🙂

Run for your life!

It’s back! After a year hiatus the annual 12th Cambridge charity night of madness that is The Sun Run is making a grand come back, this year supporting not just one, but two charities….

What is the Sun Run? At exactly sun set, 9.21pm on the evening of Friday 14 June a gang of scouts from both troops will set off from the village of Arrington near Wimpole Hall and attempt to cover the 24KM home to our HQ before sun rises the next morning at 4.37am.

For our scouts it is an extraordinary physical feat and we expect most of them to collapse in a heap at the end, it is though for a fantastic cause. This is what they looked like on the finish line the first year we did it!

This year Wildcat troop have selected MIND and Raptor troop have selected Water Aid (sponsor them via the links!) as their charities of choice. These charities are entirely the choice of our youth members and reflect causes that they are passionate about.

Mind are a national charity who support those with mental health problems, helping them access treatment, whereas Water Aid are an international charity focused on providing clean and safe drinking water to communities in the developing world. Both are brilliant causes.

So if you have a few quid to spare please feel free to throw it in the direction of our scouts. They all made a promise to help others, this is them keeping it.

High Adventure!

As has now become traidition over Easter both scout troops sent a contingent of older scouts to take part in Hertfordshire Scouts initial mountaineering course at their mountaineering centre at Lochearnhead in the Scottish Highlands. There they spent a week of being put through their paces at everything from navigation to rope work on steep ground to wild camping. All taking place against the backdrop of the stunning landscapes offered by the Highlands. Many “munros” were bagged including Ben Vorlich, Ben Glas, Meal-nan-Tarmachan and Ben Lawers.

A new generation of mountaineers now can’t wait to go back next year!

Scouts on the run!

In honour of St George’s day scouts from both troops took part in the first ever Cambridge District Scouts Monopoly Run. Issued with a board of Cambridge land marks our teams set off at a sprint to hit as many as they could while taking their chances with community chest squares… A great fun day out and congratulations to our friends and neighbours at 16th Cambridge Scouts who won, hitting all but two of the locations 🙂

Walking in a (grey and mild) winter wonderland

Early in January scouts from both troops blew off some of the Christmas cobwebs with the annual trip to Gilwell for Winter Camp.

Winter Camp is a national event over two sites, Gilwell Park in Epping Forrest and Hawkhirst in Northumberland. Thousands of scouts and explorers gather for a weekend of everything from tank driving to being a stunt man! Yes we’re quite serious… while the more traditional scout acivities of climbing and pioneering were much in evidence our scouts also got to drive tanks and throw themselves off tall towers as they trained to be stunt scouts 🙂

We’ll be back next year but in the mean time here are the photos…