Cub Camp 2015 was the biggest and best camp we’ve had in a very long time. Up to 30 cubs from both Dons and Hunters packs joined us for a fantastic week at our favourite campsite – Bentley Copse in Shere.
The camp crew arrived on Sunday to set up the majority of the camp in the pouring rain and crossed their fingers and toes for a dry week to come. When the cubs arrived on Monday, they were excited to explore the camp site but first they had to put their tents up, which would be their homes for the next 5 days. Cue lots of tent poles and mallets swinging around, but they worked well in their sixes to finally put up their tents and sort out where they were sleeping. Our fantastic scouts and explorers (Martin, Tom, Harvey, Daisy, Roo and mini-crew Maff and Orla) took the cubs off into the woods for a spot of orienteering and games in the woods. The cubs love to explore and play freely at Bentley Copse. After a spot of lunch, the cubs split into two – one half went rifle shooting with Ben and the other half went pedal go-karting with Lou. Luckily, lots of the younger camp crew came and helped push the cubs up the hill as the go karts are tricky! A few spectacular crashes and overtakes stunned the crowd as the cubs whizzed round the course. In the Rifle Range, there were some impressive sharp shooters as they were patient and were very sensible. After dinner, we introduced the tent inspectors (Mrs A – Lou, Mrs B – Kate, Mrs C – Sara) and shared with the cubs that points meant prizes and points could be achieved by having a tidy tent, working well as a team, being polite, flattery and of course wooing the tent inspectors with some amazing evening entertainment. The cubs took this very seriously and millions of points were awarded the first night after being wowed by beautifully tidy tents, light shows, songs and even dances!
Tuesday arrived with some much needed sunshine and after a delicious breakfast cooked by Steve, Katy, Nick and Molly, the cubs packed their day bags for our hike into Shere village. We recognised lots of the trees, hazelnuts and even where squirrels or mice had taken a nibble. Steve (The Viking) challenged the younger camp crew to climb an overhanging tree – very dangerous but exciting. We arrived in Shere and ate our lunch in the sunshine by the stream. Steve treated us all to an ice lolly to fuel us for the hike back.
We arrived back at camp mid-afternoon and chilled out in the woods before enjoying some firelighting. The cubs used flint strikers to try and light their own little fires and learnt how to kneel in the ‘respect’ position around a fire in case of emergencies. Once dinner and the delightful washing up was done, the cubs were treated to a campfire with favourite songs such as Boogaloo, Found a Peanut, The Penguin Song, The Yellow Bird and a few of the cubs even taught us some new ones! Once the singing had died down, it was time for another tent inspection. We were treated to dramas, Strictly Come Dancing skits, untold flattery of the tent inspectors and fantastical light shows – we were very impressed!
One Wednesday we packed our swimming cossies and headed to Guildford Spectrum for fun on the slides, the diving boards and of course, a mid-week wash! The cubs were fantastically behaved and looked out for each other in a busy swimming pool. Some really challenged themselves to dive off the middle and top diving boards – well done! We returned to camp where Steve had made us lunch and we then turned ourselves into Forest Explorers. Each cub was given a paper crown with double-sided sticky tape to collect leaves, twigs, berries and other flora to make into a beautiful camp crown – some struggled to stick logs and stones to their crowns but good try! Wearing our crowns, we replanted a tree at Bentley Copse to commemorate one hundred years of scouting in Chertsey. The birch tree was kindly donated by long-standing supporter of Chertsey, Yvonne Barnes – thank you Yvonne!
After our crowns were made, we headed back into the woods to undo our earlier wash in the swimming pool and got ourselves very muddy making Muddy Faces. The creativity of the cubs was amazing and they worked tirelessly on their spooky faces.
We then heard a strange bird call… it was the OOLIGOOLI BIRD OF BENTLEY COPSE!
Lou told the cubs the story of the Ooligooli bird and that very few people have seen it and all that we knew about it was it liked ready-made nests and lay two different coloured eggs – blue for a baby bird and yellow for custard. The cubs had already tasted Ooligooli bird custard with swiss roll the night before and so set about making nests for the bird.
Their nests were fantastic! Many of them had used a range of materials and some even had ensuite bathrooms, lounges and gardens! Some were protected by stick and stone fortresses and some had traps to stop predators from getting to the eggs. We didn’t see any Ooligooli birds while we were there, but later in the week, we discovered a blue egg in one of the nests! The cubs decided that all the yellow ones had been taken by other groups for custard making. Wednesday ended with another fabulous campfire and more delightful entertainment with the tent inspections.
Thursday was a beautiful sunny day and the group split in half again. Half went fishing with Ben, Steve, Dave (GSL) and Simon and the other half went with Lou and Kate on an exciting visit to the Sewage Museum… we mean the park, followed by Pick your Own at Secretts in Milford. The cubs enjoyed foraging for the BEST strawberries and we enjoyed sitting on the grass in the sunshine joined by Paul (Scout leader), Tansy and their two boys Barney and Jamie who were well-looked after by the cubs! Once we arrived back at camp, we enjoyed our lunch and then practised our firelighting skills again and this time, we could toast marshmallows over our own fires. We then donned our cossies again for Splash cricket, where the stumps are replaced by paddling pools and the crease is replaced with a slippery tarpaulin. After the splashing, we created a long, slippery tarpaulin down the slope at Bentley and using some Lilos from a neighbouring group, we slipped and slid down the hill. Thursday was our final night and we had been joined by some of the Bourne Beavers to experience cub camp for one night and we enjoyed a huge campfire with our blankets and hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. Martin was challenged to eat the remaining marshmallows and we cheered him on as he did it in record time! Go Martin! The cubs slept soundly after their final tent entertainment and it was of course DOUBLE POINTS DAY. By this point, each team had reached at least 10 million points, if not more. There was still lots of time left to earn more points!
Friday was our final day and the cubs and beavers enjoyed playing in the adventure playground and then Ben took them down to play some great wide games in the woods – capture the flag, postbox game (led by Fox and Mr Fox) and lots of other fun in the Hurt Wood. The camp was dismantled and after lunch, the final points were shared. It was a close race, but the winning team was the Pink Pigacorns! Well done. The cubs received their camp badges and we made our way home. Thank you to everyone who made this camp possible and thank you to all the cubs who made it really fun.
See you in September!
Steve the Viking, Katy, Lou, Ben, Kate, Nick, Sara, Simon, Molly, Dave, Stuart, Steve, Martin, Tom, Harvey, Daisy, Roo, Maff and Orla, plus Alex and Shaun! (Ryan was absent as he was in Japan for the World Jamboree)