Dragon Award Camp

We are continuing to do our best to give the Scouts an opportunity to complete their Bronze Dragon Award. This requires them to sleep under canvas during every month of the year. We did January and February over the course of one weekend and last weekend managed to organise a March camp too.

Organising and running camps for the Scouts actually takes a fair bit of effort on our part. They tend to take a day or two of preparation, a whole weekend of actual camping and then a few days to sort things out and recover afterwards – not to mention catching up on sleep. We can’t do this too often, so decided this time to make it a ‘sleepover’ rather than a full blown camp. The idea was to organise and set things up on Friday. The Scouts would then arrive at the campsite at their usual meeting time in the evening, we’d put up their tents, have some supper, sleep under canvas and then in the morning we’d have breakfast, pack up and head home. We would have no main meals to cook and prepare for, we’d sleep one night under canvas and therefore meet the requirements for the Dragon Award and we would be home by Saturday lunchtime.

The plan sounded ideal as we could then hopefully sort things out and recover on Saturday afternoon, get to bed early on Saturday evening and still have all day Sunday to ourselves.

Things seemed to go fairly well to plan. We packed my new car with camping kit, did some shopping for supplies in Friday afternoon, had dinner in the Starling Cloud and then headed up to the Erwbarfe Campsite near Devil’s Bridge. We got our tent set up whilst it was still dry and light and met up with our new assistant leader Chris who put his tent up too.

It then started raining and was getting a little dark as the Scouts arrived, so we helped them with their tents and then told them that if they wanted supper they would have to find the stoves, pots and pans that we had hidden around the campsite for them. They all went off in search of the kit and once it was all found we headed up to the barn where it was dry and light in order to cook hot dogs and have supper. Along with the hot dogs we had hot drinks and cakes too. Although the Scouts barely ate anything so I had to finish off all of the cakes.

Camp Kitchen

Camp Kitchen

We are trying to make them a little more independent so gave them all little stoves and their own pots and pans so that they could ‘cook’ their own supper. The Scouts organised a few games to amuse themselves and then we all headed off to our tents in the pouring rain. As usual we got very little sleep, although most of the Scouts seemed to sleep quite well.

In the morning we cooked pancakes and porridge for breakfast, packed up the tents in the mist and murk and then played rounders as the sun finally started to make an appearance. Parents arrived at around 10am and we all headed home having had a fairly quick and easy camp and having ticked off March for the Dragon Award.

For one reason or another we didn’t have many of the Scouts turn up, but those that did seemed to enjoy themselves, we had a good time too and all went well. I’m not sure if we’ll fit in a camp or even a quick ‘sleepover’ during April yet though, so that may have to wait for another year.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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