We joined the Beavers, Kestrel Cubs, Scouts, and Explorers from North Leigh at Brownsea Island to celebrate the Group’s 100th birthday! Brownsea Island was where Baden Powell held the very first Boy Scout camp in 1907, so it only seemed fitting that we celebrated such a big milestone there!
Grab a cup of tea/coffee/whatever you want to drink, as this is going to be a long post, sorry!! We just did so much over the weekend that I’m sure you’ll want to see it all!
We loaded up the coaches with our bags and left bright and early on the Friday morning, and arrived at Poole mid-morning to get the ferry across to Brownsea Island. We had lunch on the ferry and we were soon there!
After we got to our campsite and set up our tents, we went to the beach and had a paddle in the sea! The tide was out so we had to walk to actually get to the water, but it meant that we could look for things in the mini pools of water that were left behind! We also played in the sand, and were treated to a sample of the air show that was happening on the mainland the next day!
It was then time for tea, which was pasta and meatballs, followed by fruit crumble and custard! We also became acquainted with our new neighbours, the peacocks. I’m sure you’ll have heard all about them by now! There were quite a few families of peacocks that loved nothing more than noseying around our camp looking for any scraps of food, especially at meal times!
After tea, we played some wide games such as infection and capture the flag. It was really nice since all of the day visitors had gone home, so it meant we didn’t have to worry about bumping into anyone whilst we were running around!
Finally we had a supper of hot chocolate and a hot dog in a roll, and then it was time for bed.
After a good night’s sleep (except when the peacocks started being noisy and the cockerels started crowing!) we got up, ready for the day, starting with a full English breakfast (complete with hash browns),!
Today we did some activities organised by the National Trust on the Island. We started with ‘Outdoor Adventure’, which taught us about Lord Baden Powell’s 1907 experimental camp. The Cubs spilt into groups and had to complete activities similar to those at the 1907 camp, and ensure that their mascot got through all of them! They had to do things like create a mini zip wire and build a stretcher for their mascot, identify leaves, rescue their mascot from the ‘sea’ (on land), and do target practice with pine cones. If they left their mascot behind at any point, one of the leaders would take it away – at one time all of the groups left their mascots, so they had to guess which leader had theirs to get them back!
Next up was ‘Survival Challenge’! For this, the Cubs had to build a shelter in the woods, complete with a way to raise and lower a flag, and a stand that would allow a pot to be heated up. Oh, and it had to be as waterproof as possible! Everyone worked really well together in their teams, and once they were finished we tested whether their shelter was really waterproof!
After a burger for lunch, it was onto ‘Outdoor Detectives’. Baden-Powell saw observation and tracking as two of the most important skills for a Scout so we tried our hand at it! First, we tested our memories by trying to remember all 20 items that were later covered up with a tarp. We then tried to find evidence that there had been animals in our campsite by looking for things such as rabbit droppings, half-eaten pine cones left by squirrels, or deer hoof-prints. We were actually very lucky that there was a deer that we could watch! The deer on Brownsea, whilst still wild, are used to people, so we moved very slowly and in small groups to watch the pregnant doe from a safe distance. Finally we left trails for another group to follow, by laying arrows out with sticks or stones.
The activities were really fun and gave us a great insight into what the first experimental camp was like, and Amy, our leader throughout, and did really well at getting the Cubs to engage in the activities!
There was time for another quick paddle in the sea and play in the sand before dinner, with a view of the actual airshow (and not just the practice)!
After a dinner of jacket potato, chicken, corn on the cob and carrots, followed by apple pie and custard, we all headed off to the commemorative stone. It was placed on Brownsea in 1967 to commemorate the very first camp held at Brownsea, and is therefore a special place for Scouting.
Here we invested two Explorer Scouts and a new Kestrel Assistant Cub Scout Leader (Karl), as well as saying goodbye to Raksha. She has helped our Cub pack greatly during the time she’s been with us, and she will be missed (hopefully she will pop back now and again though!).
We weren’t allowed campfires on Brownsea due to the rise of the fire spreading because of the dry weather, so we made do with a fake glow-stick fire! We sang lots of camp songs, and ended the evening by signing happy birthday to ourselves and eating some birthday cake.
We awoke to the (sort of) familiar sounds of the peacocks and cockerels, had another lovely full English breakfast and then it was time to pack up camp.
We packed our things away, took down the tents, made our lunches, and then it was off to wait for the ferry.
This time we got to sit on the top deck, so we got a great view of the harbour, and could even see where we’d been camping!
Once at the harbour, the coaches were running a bit late, which gave us time to treat everyone to a Mr Whippy ice cream! And then of course we had to have a photo with the Baden Powell statue!
We finally made it home around tea time, with lots of tired Cubs! Everyone also got a badge from the island that they can sew onto their camp blanket.
Thank you everyone for such an enjoyable weekend! You were all really well behaved and represented our Cub Pack excellently!