PES Winter Camp
A Stag's view of this year's winter camp:
On Friday the 26th October the Year 10's set off for Stonewall. Although the journey was long and the roads packed, we arrived at Stonewall contented and excited. The shelters were erected swiftly and everyone was asleep almost immediately.
At around 7:30 the following morning we arose with the help of various alarm clocks. Our first job was to unload the vans. This may sound like an easy job, but it wasn’t. Each of the patrol boxes seemed to weigh a tonne and the benches we had to take out seemed never-ending. Once unpacked and the areas allocated to each section, we awaited the patrols. At 11:30 the coaches arrived and it was obvious that the year sevens were very eager to start camp. As soon as their bags were in Bear HQ we called them in for flag break. This consisted of a welcome to camp and an overview of the day’s plan. Thereafter the patrols set up their campsites and prepared ‘chilli con carne’.
For the first lunch of camp the expected quality was low, and as predicted there were a few disasters. The general consensus was that this was an area that needed improvement over the following days. After lunch the patrols went away to prepare for inspections. These involve the Stags surveying and checking the cleanliness and tidiness of each patrol’s campsite, and assessing the overall behaviour.
We ended a long and productive day with a Wide game. In fact we played multiple games. One of these was called ‘Alien’ and comprised of 2 ‘Catchers’ (the SPL and the Adjutant) who raced around the wood looking for targets. Once caught the victim joins the ‘Catchers’. The last people surviving win.
As this was the first night and with everyone tired out, we had a whole troop campfire. We reflected on the day’s events and had a singsong. We ended the day happy and fulfilled.
Our second day was the most productive. We did a variety of important skill based activities but also had time for fun, on the water and in the woods with Laser Paintball. Lunch was a risotto. Although the meals weren’t perfect, there was definitely some improvement. Once again we had inspections, and there were sectional camps fires, where we got to hear everyone’s views of camp. This was also a chance for many to show off their singing talents.
Day three involved ‘Backwards Cooking’ in which we were cooking and preparing rabbit stew. At around 10:30 the FQM’s were called in to collect their rabbits and learn how to safely gut it. They then went off to test their culinary skills. It was good to see that the girls got really stuck in, and the boys seemed less keen. After a much-improved set of meals we had the ‘Epic’ Wide game. This year it was based on Shrek and consisted of patrols going round all 7 bases, collecting different clues for finding the ‘castle’, collecting Fiona and getting back to HQ – without getting caught by the Bears.
Packing up was much easier than unloading and we finished it swiftly. Overall the camp went very well and everyone learnt something new to take home with them.