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Cambridgeskip

A slightly eccentric bit of scouting history

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The cotton tartan cloth I bought to have the mums make into 33" x 33" neckerchiefs for Troop 83 was Wallace Tartan.  Seemed to fit as we had a piper for a few years - one of the dads.  Not that the rest of the district thought WE were eccentric.  Never in the World !

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Could its proximity to a fairy knoll have something to do with the eccentricity of the scout station? 

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There's fairy knolls everywhere in Scotland!

 

Just wanted to add.... as well  as the 5 scouts I had on the course there I also had 2 explorer scouts who had done the course several times before and who had volunteered to go back as staff for the week. They had a week of peeling potatoes, cleaning toilets and other equally glamorous jobs. It's a common gig for explorer scouts to have! The chap who had been there 55 years took me aside to describe them as "the nicest and most useful pair I've ever had here".

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...  I also had 2 explorer scouts who had done the course several times before and who had volunteered to go back as staff for the week. They had a week of peeling potatoes, cleaning toilets and other equally glamorous jobs. It's a common gig for explorer scouts to have! The chap who had been there 55 years took me aside to describe them as "the nicest and most useful pair I've ever had here".

Paycheck!

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I once recall two new scouts at Summer Camp (who always volunteered to help) step up the first day at Summer Camp to clean the Latrine. (Each campsite had an old school latrine house on site--the bath house with civilized toilets were a 10 minute walk away).

 

One of those fresh faced lads was my son; and I basked in the glory of what a wonderful father and role model I must have been.

 

A couple years later both boys said the reason was it was better to volunteer the first day when the Latrine was clean than be 'Volun-told' later in the week when it became a horror. Oh well, enlightened self interest is better than nothing.

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Hopefully the final time I'll resurrect this thread but.... piccies! Took a while to colate then. How many times it's possible for one scout to bring their camera in for me to download their photos but for them to forget the cable is beyond me. But here they are!

 

Mostly it's photos from out on the hills but there's a few taken at the station itself.

 

http://12thcambridge.org.uk/blog/2017/05/08/high-adventure/

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The pictures are brilliant (did I get that right?). I hope you show them to the younger scouts to inspire them to plan on going someday. We found that worked when we showed our Appalachian Trail pictures at a Court of Honor. It gives kids (and parents) ideas. The ones that went start joking around and everyone sees the camaraderie of the shared adventure, the parents see either the spectacular vistas or misery their youth went on, and a few mutter "how hard can it be if 'x' went on that trip."

 

That trip looked pretty rugged. Like you train astronauts on that.

 

Kudos for actually getting the pictures--my experience is that for every 8-10 pictures taken maybe only 1 gets shared. I have suggested assigning a photographer to such trips (like the Historian) to no avail.

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The pictures are brilliant (did I get that right?). I hope you show them to the younger scouts to inspire them to plan on going someday. We found that worked when we showed our Appalachian Trail pictures at a Court of Honor. It gives kids (and parents) ideas. The ones that went start joking around and everyone sees the camaraderie of the shared adventure, the parents see either the spectacular vistas or misery their youth went on, and a few mutter "how hard can it be if 'x' went on that trip."

 

That trip looked pretty rugged. Like you train astronauts on that.

 

Kudos for actually getting the pictures--my experience is that for every 8-10 pictures taken maybe only 1 gets shared. I have suggested assigning a photographer to such trips (like the Historian) to no avail.

Our Troop has a dedicated Troop camera--a rugged type digital camera (shockproof (up to 10 ft drop), freezeproof, waterproof (to 30 feet)).  The Historian or the SM or one of the ASM's use it.  We post the pictures on Troopwebhost and on our Facebook  page.  It's great come Eagle COH time, as we usually set up a slide show of pics from the Scout's scouting career. 

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The pictures are brilliant (did I get that right?). I hope you show them to the younger scouts to inspire them to plan on going someday. We found that worked when we showed our Appalachian Trail pictures at a Court of Honor. It gives kids (and parents) ideas. The ones that went start joking around and everyone sees the camaraderie of the shared adventure, the parents see either the spectacular vistas or misery their youth went on, and a few mutter "how hard can it be if 'x' went on that trip."

 

That trip looked pretty rugged. Like you train astronauts on that.

 

Kudos for actually getting the pictures--my experience is that for every 8-10 pictures taken maybe only 1 gets shared. I have suggested assigning a photographer to such trips (like the Historian) to no avail.

 

We have an evening at the end of each year where we show them off and dish out various prizes. The leaders come in dinner jackets/posh dresses. It's quite fun!

 

The photos are the edited down selection, there were quite a few taken that weren't really that great. That's kids for you :)

 

The going wasn't quite as rugged as it could be. Normally in early April there would still be a lot of snow on the mountains, albeit thawing, but this year Scotland had a very mild winter meaning by April there was next to no snow left which is a real shame. 

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Also at the time the station opened there was a second railway line that ran past the village, just a few hundred yards from the station. The nearest station on that line was several miles away. In the early days of it opening scouts visiting used to have to camp. Special arrangement was made with what was by then British Rail for trains to stop on the line where it was closest to the station to unload the tents and scouts and to walk down the hill. Quite extraordinary and the kind of thing that would never happen in modern times! Especially as the second railway line has itself now closed J

 

 

Thank you for the story and the pictures. It looks like a wonderful adventure for your scouts.

 

There is actually a train called the "Narrow Gauge Railway" that runs between the towns of Durango and Silverton in Colorado. Every time I have been on it (twice?) they have stopped midway to let backpackers off the train or pick up backpackers waiting on the train. I understand it is by special arrangement beforehand. Kind of neat, actually, and a good way to get into the back country. Not to mention both Durango and Silverton are nice visits.

 

http://www.durangotrain.com

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