Trolls, rafts and rations – summer camp report
Report by Caroline Howard, Former Year 10 Stag FQM
The moment sports day ended, 21 Year 10 students headed up to Linnet Clough camp site in the Peak District for the PES Ascent group summer camp, followed by a further 117 students the next day. The first two days saw the setting up of a camp with some spectacular patrol sites, demonstrating all the pioneering that had been learnt throughout the year, followed by navigation practice and a hike preparation session.
The next day saw the whole troop mobilised for two days of hiking in glorious sunshine through the picturesque Edale valley, visiting the various waterfalls along the way to cool down. During their stay students had the opportunity to sample Army 24 hour ration packs which proved very exciting and a big change from the normal marked meals that the patrols buy and cook for themselves.
The second half of camp included various exciting activities such as climbing, archery, canoeing, high ropes, mountain biking and the option of skinning squirrels, which were happily stewed over the fire and eaten! A thrilling day at Alton towers followed with students relishing some free time away from camp. This was followed by the traditional ‘cordon bleu’ dinner where patrols have to cook their finest meal for presentation to, and marking by, leaders.
The ‘epic wide game’ then began. Over eight hours, sections were tasked with facing ‘trolls’, building rafts, collecting ammunition, building trebuchets and finally, after a medieval barbeque, storming their way towards a full scale foam castle to rescue the damsel in distress (our very own Adjutant ‘Princess Adamantia’) and subdue an evil fire-breathing dragon. After a fantastic effort Adamantia was finally rescued by water section, whose flag remained flying above all the rest. The main camp was rounded off with the cabaret to lighten the mood before the tensely awaited campfire of dreams.
Once the main troop had departed Year 10 had a well-earned sleep in the cinema followed by a three course Indian meal to set them up for the surprise the next day. Their exercise began with a blind drop in ‘South Korea’ with the task of rescuing a German, French or English nuclear physicist from ‘North Korea’. Having hiked the 15km to the border, successfully found our water pistol cartridges and shot down three members of the ‘North Korean’ defence we rescued our hostage. The mission ended around 2am after a rapid race with our hostages back to the safety of ‘South Korea’.
Even with the extreme heat that lingered throughout the camp everyone had a fantastic time. Good luck to all the new PLs, Bears and Stags!