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Cambridgeskip

One of my new favourite scout photos

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Been a little while since I last swung by here but I thought I'd drop in and share my new favourite scout photos. There have been many over the years that sum up a moment in time and this is the latest in a long line.

So last weekend my merry band of men and women were away on camp. And the weather was horrible. I mean grim. It was always forecast to be pretty wet but even we in England, with our 197 words for rain or whatever it is didn't expect quite this. It started raining around 8pm Friday night just as the scouts were putting up tents in the dark. It proceeded to rain, with varying intensity, for 32 hours non stop. The mathematicians will have worked out that was 4am Sunday morning. On top of that the last month in our corner of the world has been pretty soggy so the ground is saturated and all the wood wet.

To be honest I was a bit worried. We had 3 totally new scouts with us, one of who didn't speak English, only mandarin, and 3 more who have been with us a few months but this was there first camp. How were the younger ones going to cope with the conditions?

I shouldn't have worried, the new recruits through themselves into with massive enthusiasm and we had a full turn out of patrol leaders who led from the front. I was really quite amazed! For our chinese scout it turns out the card game Uno is the international system of comms for 11 year olds as well. The moment that summed it up though was late Saturday afternoon. The rain was hammering it down. Water everywhere. I was giving serious thought to pioneering an arc! Our newest, youngest scout, only turned 10 in July, asked if we could have a camp fire. I think the troop looked at her in utter bewilderment on mass. Her PL looked outside the mess tent and asked if she'd seen the weather. Yes! Apparently she had, but was still convinced she could light a fire. So off she went with a couple of the boys to give it a go.

This photo was take half an hour later. Had she got one lit? No. She'd tried pine cones, silver birch bark, cotton wool balls, tumble drier lint. None of them would get the utterly sodden wood we could find to do anything more than briefly steam before fizzling out. Was she detered though? Was she hell! She continued to attack that pile of tinder with the matches with what I can only describe as reckless joy and abandon. Giving up only when I directly told she was getting a hot drink inside her, that was an order.

Despite this conditions, despite me now having a stinking cold that I blame on that camp it was truly inspiring. Long may kids continue to have that lust for life and the outdoors!

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The adventures with the challenging adverse conditions are the ones they will always talk about  years from now. 

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