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…

 

 

Scouts autum camp – November 2018

Back in November scouts from both troop spent a weekend at one of our regular haunts, Tolmers campsite in Hertfordshire for no better reason than a weekend out doors! A bit of climbing, a bit of campsite service and, just for fun some bungee running. Here’s all the photos, enjoy 🙂

Patrol Camps – July 2018

On a blisteringly hot weekend in July the scouts of Raptor troop headed to Tolmers in Hertfordshire for a patrol camping weekend. Although accompanied by 3 of our adult leaders the scouts were left to it, to plan and run the camp themselves while our volunteers watched from as far away as possible. The scouts were a fantastic credit to themselves and the troop and are now looking at organising camps with no accompanying leaders at all.

Watch this space!

Summer term 2018 – All the photos!

It’s been another jam packed term for scouts. Whether it’s been taking to the skies gliding, space hopper jousting, making our own pottery or simply burning stuff in the woods there’s been plenty of fun. Still to come is summer camp before we take a breather during August but for now enjoy the piccies….

Reaching their Peaks

Over the Easter holidays a gang of our older scouts, young leaders and adults joined our friends at Hertfordshire Scouts for their annual initial moutaineering course at Lochearnhead in the Scottish Highlands. Over the week they learned many winter mountaineering skills as this year’s mountain winter lingered comfortably into spring!

Whether it was navigating in poor visibility, digging snow holes as shelters or getting to grips with ice axes the scouts took basic hiking skills and developed them into those of mountaineers! This was set in the majestic scenery of the Scottish Highlands which the scouts got to see in all their moods from glorious spring sunshine to steady winter snow.

The highlight of the week was its climax with a 3 day, 2 night hike camp wild in the mountains, high above the snow line, some camping on Ben Vorlich and some at Meal Nan Tarmachan

A huge thank you must go to all the instructors and staff at Lochearnhead and Herts Scouts for hosting our contingent for the week. We’ll be back next year 🙂

Survival of the fittest

On a chilly weekend in March 14 scouts from Raptor troop trecked into the woods for a weekend of survival skills. Over 48 hours they built and slept in their own shelters, built their own compasses and navigated using, of all things, trees! Saturday evening they gutted and cleaned fish, making dinner using nothing but their penknives. On Sunday the scouts tracked animals including badgers and foxes, getting casts or tracks and even getting some photos of one local fox 🙂

A tough weekend where all the scouts, including 3 who had only been with us for a few weeks, really showed what they could do!

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

There are those that believe that camping is for the summer months. Not us! A small but enthusiastic band of scouts from Raptor troop spent a November weekend on camp at Phasels Wood in Hertfordshire. Yet another camp planned by the scouts themselves they went shooting, crate staking and braved the dark of Phasels artificial caving complex. They also made their fire lighters in the shape of char cloth and spent a morning learning CPR. Sunny days gave way to heavy rain both nights and allowed the scouts to show off their ability to cope with some quite difficult conditions underfoot.

 

Most of all though the scouts burned an extraordinary amount of wood and set what must be a new record with a fire that was lit first thing Saturday morning with one match staying fully alight until the last possible moment before we left Sunday afternoon.

 

What we did last summer…..

While summer 2017 will mostly be remembered for the Canada expedition the fact remained that the scouts who didn’t get to go were just as busy! Summer means camping and the weekend trips to Gilwell Park and Thriftwood were fantastic fun….

 

Gilwell was a very much patrol based camp with patrols from Raptor troop scattered across Gilwell, independent of each other and adults who sat in the corner, drank tea and ate cake! Although we did have a sneaky go at the zip wire 🙂 The camp was planned and run entirely by the scouts themselves although a particular highlight was the massed site campfire and encountering Vincent, the magnificent campfire leader from South Africa. The troop has a new super hero!….

Thriftwood meanwhile was more group based, with the cubs in tow with the scouts getting the chance to be a thoroughly bad influence on them!

 

Gilwell

Thriftwood