34TH REIGATE (Meadvale)

Explorers & Scouts Summer Camp

Somerset 2004



 We arrived to pack the van and the mini buses. Emma was still on holiday and the five Queens Scouts still travelling back from Norfolk. We packed the van and mini bus in a record-breaking time of 45 minutes; this left everybody wondering what we had left behind. We had some games and the Spence did the parents talk for us and our parents.



We arrived at 9am and packed into the two mini buses and the van singing along to the two traditional Summer Camp tapes. We then set of for Somerset; we stopped at a service station on the way down and soon arrived at the campsite just after 1pm. We found our site, which was very small, and not what Spence and Angela had booked. We had lunch and put all the tents up having to move them several times before squeezing them all in. We then set of for the park and a full 90 minutes of football 15 a side. Next we crossed the road and scared the fish and chip shop with all our orders. Next of to Asda for shopping with Daniel and Andy helping the Scouts. We came back and finished the day with a Patrol Leaders Forum. The Scouts then went to bed. The Explorers followed this by having a birthday party for Daniel who was celebrating his 18th birthday. We had a large cake and Daniel was forced into playing some silly party games, like pin the tail on the donkey, he also had some present form Spence including chocolates, drink, bubbles and a toy plane.


 We set of early for Barnstable in Devon for our all day bike ride. We were cycling the Tarka trail, which is an old disused railway line. We arrived at the station and all had our photos taken in our green camp T-shirts. We all got fitted out with the correct bikes for our sizes and off we went. With thirty in the group we soon started to spread out. We soon went out of the town and past along the estuary and arrived at a small station Fremington. We continued along the route until we came to instow where we stopped for a quick rest. Next up was Bideford where they had re-laid the track and a signal box and a carriage in the platform that sold drinks and food so we all stopped for dinner and a rest? We now had the climb out of Bideford, which saw us cross the river Torridge three times on high viaducts. Next we came to the tunnel which we had to cycle through which was dark. Some of the Scouts stopped here while the rest carried on with the Explorers to finish the ride at Torrington, which was 15 miles from where we had started making the round trip 30 miles. The station at Torrington had been converted into a pub called the Puffing Billy. We then set of again for Barnstable. On the way back Alex and Rory got punctures. Rhian crashed into Alex’s bike and went over the handlebars and damaged the brakes on her bike. The only way we could get her back was to have a lift on the back of Dave’s bike for the last few miles. Andy followed by riding two bikes back. We came back to the site and went for a walk around to find all the places on the site. We went in the very good camp shop and had a go on the assault course. We then settled down to a campfire lead by Angela in the amphitheatre of the next door campsite. We had lots of regular songs and Sam did her song for the last time and the Leaders did Fling it Fling it there. We had a large warm fire and Daniel then started to read the bedtime book all about a worm (‘There’s a hair in my dirt’) in all his different voices. We went of to investigate the showers and found them very poor and some of the Scouts were disgusted they had to pay 20p to have a shower. In the evening the Explorers did a music quiz on sporting themes, which was very hard. 



 We had a day on site. The Explorers did the Aerial runway and the Scouts did new age Kurling then we changed over. On the runway everybody had several goes with Joe trying to climb back up it and the Scouts having to scream when they went down it Hannah won the Screaming competition and everybody found it funny that Rosie could not scream. In the kurling the Scouts had a competition won by Dinosaurs. After dinner the Explorers did the zip wire, which was very high, and you had to run over a cliff. It was quiet painful when you needed to stop for both the boys and the girls. The Scouts went of and did the Climbing Tower. Andy was embarrassed by the Scouts admiration for seeing him in a climbing harness. Then the Scouts did the archery. The Explorers then did the Climbing wall and abseling, which saw Wallis get the nickname Spiderwoman.  The Explorers had lots of goes and you had to hit the Badger sign on the way up on the climbing wall. In the evening we went of to the Stock car racing at Smeatharpe stadium. This saw the girls wearing their short skirts, which proved a bad idea when it got cold. William brought a hooter and the Scouts went trendy by all going around together with their hats back to front. We saw ten different races which included several big smashes include one which saw eight cars go on top of each other. There was two types of racing the Brisca F” stock Cars and the saloon stock cars. Alex managed to pour Coffee all over herself and Nick. The evening ended with the Robin Reliant stunt. Somerset Stan driving his Cavalier with a reliant Robin on the roof drove straight into a double decker of caravans, with the Robin landing on the trailer, he then came at them all and smashed them to pieces. Tristan had everybody at the stadium looking for his wallet which he later found in his bag, On the way back we went into a filing station and filled up when out of the window Guy saw his Aunt pull up in a car. Two Mods also followed us into the garage on scooters. They then followed us around Taunton making signs at us. We slowed down at the traffic lights and the shot past us giving more signs. Spence pulled away and left them in the dust but they kept following so Spence said we would go into the road leading to the Scout site and pull over and jump on them. We pulled up and all jumped out to the sound of Thunderbirds. The Mods were scared stiff when seventeen large people came running down the road at them. Moments later they got even more worried when the second mini bus came along.



 We had an easier day when we went of to the West Somerset Steam railway. The 20-mile long line is the longest preserved railway in the country. It has ten restored railway stations along the route, which takes you through the Quantock Hills. We had our own reserved coach, which was great; a lot of us brought some Top Trumps to play on the train. Spence and Angela brought two coffee mugs, which the railway kept filling up for them so they were in heaven. We went through lots of different station including Crowcombe Heathfield, Stogumber, Wilton with the Deisel depot and saw the sea at Wyatchet. Next came Washford, Blue Ancher and Dunster and the Castle before we pulled into Minehead past Butlins. We went off to the beach and went in the sea with the boats. The girl Scouts decided to throw Tristan in the sea to get him wet. Next each patrol built a large sandcastle and they buried Anthony in the sand. Everybody then had free time to stay on the beach and have lunch or go on the amusements or walk around the town. We went back to the station and again we had our own coach. Paul had brought his inflatable sheep and kept showing everybody out of the window. We got back to Bishop Lydeard and we had a chance to go on the footplate of the steam engine Rhian decided to drop her book onto the track and had to ask a porter to get it picked up of the track. We all had to buy and write postcards home. We then drove back singing all the summer camp songs in the mini bus. We had dinner and then in the small clearing we had our Scouts Own service. This included Paul doing his special song. We then had free time and finished off with a wide game.



Another day on site saw us doing the Woodland Crafts, with everybody being let loose with saws, knives and drills. We all made different items which including snakes, Snails, hedgehogs, bugs and other animals out of wood. We also went and played French boules, which was great fun trying to beat each other. We then played Somerset skittles, table tennis and other games under the canopy. We then went off for our second shop of camp at Asda. In the afternoon we did the man made caves. Rhian had to be persuaded that she wanted to complete the tunnels, as this was practise for Cheddar Gorge. They were very tight and hard and Daniel lost his trousers in the maze of tunnels. The Explorers then went and did the archery with Sean coming first while the Scouts did the cyclo cross around the campsite. This was very hard as the biggest bikes only just fitted the Scouts. After dinner we had inspection for all four patrols. Then the Explorers did a first aid incident for the Scouts, about a disaster on the beach. Then it was the Explorers turn with all the leaders getting injured on the beach for them to deal with.



  We set of for Cheddar Gorge, which is Britains biggest Gorge and the Caves. We arrived and went into Goughs Caves. We each had handsets to listen to, which told you all about the caves, as you, went around. We saw the world famous Cheddar man, which is Britains oldest complete skeleton (9,000 years old). Wallis was in her element with all the rocks. Daniel and Alex decided to try licking some of the rocks for a competition. We went through the magnificent Diamond chamber and Solomon’s Temple. We saw the pools and the stalagmites and stalagtights. We came out of the caves and went into Cox’s caves discovered in 1837,on the Quest for the crystal. You had to go under the water at one point but Jake did not and bashed his head giving him a headache. This ended with a light show and a dragon from Lord of the Rings. We came out and had lunch. Spence was sitting having his lunch when he saw somebody he worked with go past and spoke to him. We then split into our three groups for the afternoon, lead by Angela with the Scouts, Dave with the older Explorers and Spencer with the younger Explorers. We all had a game of the crazy Golf and visited all the gift shops; some visited the Toy museum and the Sweet factory. The Scouts decided to buy signs to go in the back of Angela’s mini bus, which were very funny. Spencer’s group also climbed Jacobs’s ladder all (274 steps) and went up Paves look out tower, which gave great views of Somerset, and towards Wales. Spencer’s group then walked the Gorge all along the top with some great views including Cheddar reservoir. All the groups did the adventure caving. Everybody was given welly boots a caving helmet with light and overalls. We went through the show caves and then into the ‘Black Cat’ a quarter of a mile inside one of Europe’s finest showcaves.  Then an easy climb to Mushroom chamber, we then crawled into sand chamber we lifelined down a 40-ft steel ladder into Boulder chamber. We Climbed up to the far rift, emerge through April Fool’s squeeze, clipped onto a wire traverse, crawled across the top of Boulder Chamber and then over the bottomless pit. We returned through sand chamber to the show caves.  This was all very exciting and great fun. We eventually came out into daylight 1-½ hours later very tired, dirty but excited. We came back to the site and played a game of rounders in the field. In the evening the Scouts played a tournament of happy families while the Explorers did Rude Origami making lots of different items! which even professor Ashley found hard.



  We went of to the Water Sports centre at Middlemor, which was a water park created in 1989. We stopped as we had got lost and spoke to a man who used to live in Betchworth. We arrived and Spence and Angela were very worried, as the centre had forgotten that we were coming. Spence sorted it all out and we set about sorting out the go-karts. The Scouts had the smaller one-engine karts (20 mph) and the Explorers and Leaders had the twin karts (40mph) although the course was small you could get some high speeds. Tristan beat Sam and Alex just could not go round corners, Wallis went very slowly in her race with Emma. Angela took on Daniel again a slow race. Becky cut up Hannah and crashed off the course. Andy got run over at the start line starting the go karts of. We had several spectacular crashes and people started to get faster. The Scouts then all did the water skiing, with the girls being given wet suits. The lake was only about 3 foot deep and very warm The session started with a very exciting powerful speedboat trip out to the centre of the lake, which even saw Tristan and Angela get up on the bar and ski across the lake. Becky got a special wave from everyone as she went around the island for her birthday. This is where it all went wrong for Jake as he lost his shorts completely and they sank to the bottom of the lake. An emergency towel had to be collected by the instructor before he could get out of the water. The shorts were never seen again. After skiing Becky was given her surprise birthday parcel and everybody was entertained on the piano by Guy and Rhian. We all then had a go on the trampoline with Daniel and Sam showing of. Next up Jet Skiing which was fantastic the Explorers had two Jet Ski’s with two people on them at a time. You went up and down the lake getting faster and faster
doing speeds up to 60mph
.The Jet Ski came right out of the water and with the wind in your face the speed and the thrill of them was fantastic. We had two changes over on the lake and Nick and Wallis fell in twice. Also Dave and Stu got told of for not obeying the rules. We then moved onto the Clay Pigeon shooting which saw us have ten shots each to try and hit as many clays as possible. Some of the Scouts only had a few shots, as the shotgun was very powerful. Wallis had lots of extra shots for the Explorers and managed to hit 9 and Jake, James and Rhian had the extra shots from the Scouts and Jake managed also to hit 9. This was when Spencer’s (Day/Week/Month/Year) was made when the lady doing the shooting thought Spence was Angela’s Son. We came back from a great day out and played fast cricket in the field followed by a wide game. The Scouts then celebrated Becky twelfth birthday with some games and pass the parcel won by Hannah. After the Scouts had gone to bed the Explorers did a game of Boys verses Girls quiz. The girls won easily with the help of some big girls Sean, Daniel and Andy.


 We set of for High Action centre and when we arrived we split into our four Groups for the day lead by Angela, Stu, Dave and Spence. We did the skiing on the dry ski slope, which saw those that could ski go from the top and those learning starting at the bottom and working their way up. With all the gear on it was very hot and several people had spectacular crash and falls including Nick, Becky and Leslie. Next it was on to the horse riding we had four groups two beginners and two intermediate groups unfortunately all the groups did the same thing which was fine for the beginners but not for those who could ride. The riders went up the hill past the centre and up around the field passing the Quad bikes on the way. Next it was the of road experience (4x4) and again we were let down by the centre when all we really got was a sale pitch for Toyota as we went around a course. When there was a large rock to go over he could not get over it and then through some long grass and down a hill and up the other side. Spencer group came face to face with some deer, which was the highlight of the trip. Spence comment summed it up as he had taken the mini bus through more adventurous areas. Next were the brilliant quad bikes, which had different size engines ranging from the small 50cc up to the very powerful 150cc bikes. We had a fast course to go around which was very muddy and bumpy which made it great fun. Anthony decided to go around the corner too fast and crashed turning the bike over which looked very dramatic just as Angela had said nobody had crashed on the bikes today. On the way back to the site we did our last shop for the camp. We then had the Ready Steady Cook competition with the Explorer leaders having to eat with the Scouts and the Scout leaders having to eat with the Explorers. All four patrols were given the same ingredients of chicken, potatoes, carrots and fresh fruit and they had to cook it and produce a good meal for everybody. This meant that Dragons had to cook for nine. The two Explorer patrols did very well with Angela, Stu, Daniel and Andy enjoying their meals. The Explorer leaders were not so lucky Sean and Dave had some of Dinosaurs meal but Spence and Sam went very hungry as Cavemen’s meal went completely wrong. After dinner the campsite had its own disco. We all put our posh clothes on and went to impress. We took it over especially as they kept playing most of Spence’s summer camp songs. We did YMCA and many of the other songs we kept getting people out into the middle. Stu was behaving like a child dancing and signing in the middle of the Disco. Matt got a kiss out of Alex and Guy and Wallis had a dance. 



 We had bright sunshine so we set of early for the beach. We arrived and had to drive both mini buses straight onto the beach, which worried Angela. We parked up and laid sunbathing on the beach. Some made sandcastle and other had massages by the girls. We then moved onto Bream Leisure Park and had our dinner before entering the amusement park. Spence had paid for wristbands which meant we could go on all the rides as many times as we liked. The biggest and most scariest was the Wipe Out which we went on several times with our green Summer Camp T-shirts showing up very well. We all started singing song on the ride as well. We also went on the bumper cars many times. The water ride was good and everybody got wet and we got some photos, which turned our T-shirts, blue. Stu managed to lose his wristband on the first ride he went on and he had to try and get another one. One of the other big rides saw Matt lose his hat as the picture was taken and Becky lost her hat as well. Spence went on the simulator but got out half way through, as he was feeling ill. We also all went on the Ghost train which was a brand new ride and it was scary at one point the doors opened and another car came flying your way. Spence made Angela jump out of her skin on the ride as lots of things touch and drop onto you, on the ride. Spence tapped her shoulder. Wallis went off to the toilets and fell asleep in them. We did the trampolines again and enjoyed the great weather. When it was time to leave lots went back on the Wipe out ride and Nick was sick and Matt felt sick. The Scout had one more ride on the Carousel. We drove to the ten pin bowling centre in Taunton and as Matt was still felling sick Spence did a few do-nuts in the car park to finish him off and he got out and was sick. We went to the bowling alley and Angela was on fire winning the first game beating everybody. The Scouts had the bumper bar down and were doing well. The second game was rushed and we ran out of time to finish the game. Next it was off to the cinema to see Spence’s favourite Thunderbirds. We settled down to watch the film taking over one side of the cinema. At the end of the film a Thunderbirds tune came up and everybody looked at Spence as they thought it was his phone going of. We then went to McDonalds for dinner and the rest went back to the Chip shop for their dinner. Dave decided to chat the girl up in the shop. We got back to the site and played a game of Bulldog which all went well till James hit into Stu where it hurts, not good for his Wedding. The Explorers then did a stand up activity challenge won by Spencer about all the activities they had completed in Explorers.



 The last day was spent mostly on site. The Explorers went rifle shooting in the Hut first while the Scouts did the zip wire. On the shooting everybody got 10 shots each. The 177 rifle were fun and you had to sit at a table to fire them. The Scouts went on the Zip wire and had great fun zooming down the wire. The Scouts then came and did the Shooting with the guns with some good scores. The Explorers then went of to help the Camp site by taking down a massive marquee on the main field to help the campsite and warden. After dinner it was time for the Explorers to do the Monkey paradise assault course. The Scouts went of to do the Tree trail around the campsite. The assault course was quit big and everybody raced in pairs around the course being timed. Rory was the fastest for the Explorers and the fastest out of everybody. Emma did very well in her heat. In the big race between Dave, Stu and Sean, Dave won with Stu second and Sean miles behind. In the other leader race Andy came first with Daniel second and Sam third. While doing the assault course Spence and Angela brought us all an ice cream which went down a treat. Next the Scouts did the assault course and James was the fastest although in a race of he lost to Becky. Spence took of the Explorers in the Mini bus with only him knowing where they were going. He had told them they were in for a special treat and an activity they had never done in Scouting before. It was Spencer’s big revenge time! We arrived a Taunton railway station and told we were going train spotting on the station. The first two trains came through and we failed to get either numbers. We then went and asked the Stationmaster for the numbers with Spence laughing all the time. He even made us stand by a train and have our photo taken. After 1 ½ hours we went off to Asda to buy the food for the BBQ and boy were we happy. We came back to site and the leaders went round and marked all our challenges including our patrol newspapers, T-shirts, Badges, Scarecrows, May pole we had built, rules for our cooking and our challenge sheets. The Scouts all made post cards and sent them home. Daniel and Andy started to cook the huge BBQ we had brought. We had lots of chicken; Burgers and Sausages followed by Gateau. Next it was the Grand Show led by Daniel. We had Morris Dancing, we had stunts and we had songs. Hannah and Cavemen were really funny with their stunt especially Leslie. Dragon’s song about Fag coat was also very funny and got everybody signing. Each Patrol had to produce a show based on one the following films, Scouts Scooby Doo and Finding Nemo. The Explorers had (The Italian Job) Dragons and Griffins had  (Ghost Ship). These were all very funny. Next up was the Leaders stunt about the football competition and then the young leaders did their goodbye song which was very funny and  X-rated. Danny then finished the bedtime book. After the show we went of and played a wide game in the woods.


 We were up early to start packing the kit into Dave's van and soon the job was completed. We then all got into uniform and fell in around the flagpole for the presentations. The Scout patrol competition The Workman’s Award best patrol was won by Dinosaurs led by James Inglis. The Little Rock award best Scout went to Becky. The Harris Award funniest moment of camp went to Jake for losing his shorts in the water skiing and the funniest person award went to Daniel with Leslie in second place. The Explorers Mini Bus award Best Patrol of Camp was very close with Griffins winning the first part of the camp and Dragons winning the second part. In the end only thirty points separated the two patrols with Griffins coming out on top lead by Paul. The Rock Solid Award best Explorer of camp went to Ashley for all his hard work during the camp. Both Explorers and Scouts were awarded many different badges with William and Guy both getting trophies for camping a hundred nights. The highest award given was the Chief Scouts Platinum award to Emma. We then set of for the Fleet Air Museum. We arrived and had our lunch. We went into the museum and it showed many different planes starting from the very first right up today. We also went on a helicopter flight simulator ride and landed on an aircraft carrier Ark Royal where we went on the flight deck and all around the ship. We came out and then went on Concorde. We then set of for home making a couple of stops on the way. We arrived back tired after another great summer camp. 

(Written by all the Leaders, Explorers & Scouts)  

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