A Wet and Wild Weekend
We’ve just got back from an activity weekend away with the Scouts. This time, rather than organise the activities ourselves Anna and I decided it would be easier to let Llandysul Paddlers do this. So we had booked into their bunk house and arranged various activities through them, and they even collected us from Borth in their mini-bus.
So, we left Borth on Friday afternoon with Anna and 13 Scouts in the mini-bus, followed by me in the car along with Morgan as an ‘Honorary Scout’ and a car full of food to keep them all topped up with energy for the weekend. We arrived in Llandysul at around 7pm, unpacked the car and minibus and sorted out who would be in each of the dormitories. The 4 girls were in the smaller room and the boys were in the large dormitory. Anna and I, and Kath and Nia who were our ‘parent helpers’ for the weekend also had bunk rooms of our own.
The bunkhouse itself had a large wet-room which led to a drying room and changing rooms. There was then a very large common room and a good kitchen with plenty of cooking space, fridge space and pots and pans – everything we needed to cater for and house a group of Scouts for the weekend. Upstairs were various dormitories with triple-bunk-beds, toilets and a viewing room overlooking the river.
Once settled in, Nick, James and Harriet from the centre came around, introduced themselves to us and then we did some team-building exercises in the wet room.
We then headed across the road for a night walk along the river looking for some little coloured balls that had been hidden out there and then had a game of hide and seek in the dark. Kath and Anna stayed in the bunkhouse whilst we were out so that we could return to the smell of freshly baked pizzas and garlic bread. Needless to say we all tucked in, and accompanied it with carrot sticks and coleslaw, all followed by fruit, cake and drinks.
Then came the usual first night of sleeping – or ‘not sleeping’ as it is probably more accurately referred to!
Not to worry, I got my own back on them by waking them all up at 7:30am – which is apparently early – not in my books it isn’t!! The Scouts on breakfast duties on the rota then helped out with breakfast preparations. On the menu this morning were cereals, egg and beans on toast, toast with jam and various drinks. We then made our packed lunches ready for a day out at the coast.
Once we were packed up and ready to go, we headed across to the centre to collect wetsuits, wetsuit boots, buoyancy aids and helmets and then piled into the minibus and car and headed off to the coast at Moylegrove, a journey of about 50 minutes. Then came the fun of getting everyone into their wetsuits. We got there in the end without too many back-to-front or inside-out incidents. It was a grey cloudy day with a torrential downpour just as we started getting changed, and the sea temperature is dropping so most people had doubled up on summer suits in order to stay warm and toastie.
We then headed down to the beach, across the river and the pebbles and into the sea where we were welcomed by a friendly seal who seemed to follow us around all day wondering what these red clad beings were up to!
We were actually ‘coasteering’, a term coined to describe the activity that kids (and big kids) have always done on rocky coastlines, of clambering over rocks, jumping into the sea and getting washed around by the waves. The sun even came out for a while and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves as we worked our way around the rocks.
We eventually made it around the headland and back to the bus for a late lunch and the fun and games of getting everyone out of their wetsuits and back into their clothes ready for the drive back to the centre.
Back at the centre we played a few games, chatted about the days activities and started preparing dinner. On the menu tonight was pasta, meatballs and vegetarian meatballs, a tomato and vegetable sauce and some more garlic bread, followed by fruit, apple pies and cake. We managed to hide a surprising number of vegetables in the sauce, including onions, carrots, swede and parsnips and they all seemed to enjoy it. Vegetarians, meat eaters, adults, gluttons and fussy eaters were all catered for and nourished!
I then took a few of them out for a little moonlit walk. First we went along the river in one direction as far as we could, before heading off in the other direction. We didn’t go far and only 3 Scouts joined me as the others were more content to chill in front of the TV in their ‘onesies’ for the evening. Well, they had been busy all day so a little bit of chatting and chilling was OK. The evening was finished off with hot chocolates and biscuits all round.
The days activities did at least mean that they all settled down fairly well that night. Although we did have a bit of a first aid incident at one point when Morgan trapped his fingers in a door, so he spent the evening in a fairly subdued manner. He did join me for the moonlit walk though, joined in with all of the activities for the rest of the weekend and was well looked after as everyone had a 1st aid kit with them so we were spoilt for choice when it came to applying dressings.
Sunday dawned grey and damp once again. I was up early and headed out for a run on my own whilst Anna and a few Scout helpers started cooking pancakes for breakfast. They’d all been looking forward to pancakes and all wanted to have a go at cooking them too. I arrived back from my run just in time as the last ladle full of batter was placed in the frying pan. I’d got pretty wet out running so returning to the smell of fresh pancakes was quite welcoming. I ate a quick pancake, had a shower and then started mobilising everyone to get ready for the days activities. There were lunches to be made and once again wetsuits to be donned.
Once suitably kitted up with wetsuits, wetsuit boots, buoyancy aids and helmets we headed over to the lake for a quick obstacle course to warm up and then we split into groups and took turns rafting and kayaking.
We had another quick game when we swapped over. This involved some roly-poly’s on the grass. Much to the amusement of the leaders, many of the Scouts seemed completely unable to actually do a roly poly!
The cold wind made rafting a little difficult, so the raft was turned into a slide. We then had a quick instruction talk on river safety and practiced a few ‘defensive river swimming’ positions before sliding into the River Teifi for our final activity which was river swimming, or more accurately floating down the rapids for a while.
As with all these things there were a few that were a little less sure of the activity and their abilities to do it, but everyone got stuck in and everyone seemed to enjoy it and wanted more despite the cold river water.
Unfortunately all too soon it was over and we headed back to the bunkhouse to once again extract ourselves from our wetsuits, have another late lunch and a chance to finish off some leftovers before clearing up and heading home. This was of course concluded with the seemingly obligatory task of holding up various items of clothing and other belongings that had been left behind in a vain attempt at discovering who they belonged to!
Everyone, Scouts and adults seemed to enjoy themselves though. There are a few bumps and bruises, some people did things they didn’t think they could do and everyone had a good laugh and burnt off some calories – I however managed to gain a few kilograms as per usual as there was just far too much food on offer!
I’d imagine everyone slept well last night.