We set off for camp at Lapwing Lodge on a beautiful Good Friday with 24 Scouts and 8 Leaders. Lapwing Lodge is a Scout facility, located in “rural Paisley”. After an easy drive, we arrived and quickly got all the kit into the centre, allocated the Scouts to their rooms, and introduced the camp theme – Scottish Inventors with 4 Patrols – Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird, Alexander Fleming, and James Watt. After a tour of the site to define the boundaries and facilities, the Scouts took advantage of the good weather playing volleyball, rugby, and boules.
Their first task after dinner was to build a structure/item related to their patrol inventor. The Scouts quickly embraced the theme, with some brilliant creativity and the outputs were fabulous including a Juice Machine which dispensed medicinal juice!! We also set the Camp Challenge, which asked Scouts to undertake 20 physical and mental challenges or tasks during the camp, to earn points for their patrol – most of the Scouts immediately took up the challenge so we knew then we were going to have a great camp. We rounded off the first day with a campfire where the Scouts led the singing for an hour or so before flag down.
Saturday morning brought more sunshine and after a massive breakfast and the first camp inspection including cleaning the kitchen, toilets, hall, and dorms (the Scouts earn their keep!!) we headed off to Glennifer Park to do an Incident Hike. The Scouts had to undertake various challenges at a number of bases including doing an Easter quiz, knots, getting through a minefield, eating dark chocolate (not as easy as you might think), manoeuvring marbles, and shooting a promotional video for Scouts. In the afternoon, the Scouts (and a brave Leader) did a seesaw challenge on the high ropes facility and also planted 100 new trees in the grounds of the centre. In the evening the Scouts did a fantastic widegame where again they had to undertake various mental and physical challenges to gain some answers to enable them to solve the overall challenge by using Morse Code. The Scouts slept very well on the second night.
On Easter Sunday we did a “Scouts Own” session based on theme of “protecting the environment” which resulted in an excellent discussion on what the Scouts would “refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle”. We then did our traditional Easter Egg Hunt on the site – some of the eggs were found much quicker than others. In the afternoon the Scouts entered the Escape Room, and I am glad to say the three age groups were all able to solve the clues and escape within the allocated hour. We also did a Mountain Bike ride in the grounds of the centre and then challenged the Scouts to invent, build and fly their own aeroplane the furthest – some great outcomes. After dinner we had a games-night including giant Jenga, giant Connect 4, and a “tights with a ball” obstacle challenge. Then we did one of the highlights of the camp – Sumo wrestling which the leaders thoroughly enjoyed watching – what a laugh!!
Monday was “skills day” where the Scouts went round 4 bases – first aid (where they learned to put someone in the recovery position, how to undertake CPR and how to help someone who is choking); cooking (where they made lentil soup, brownies and chocolate chip cookies); navigation (where they learned how to read a compass and take bearings) and pioneering (where they made an A-frame with rope lashings/whippings). We also supplemented these skills with a “knot of the day” and it was great to see many of our Scouts developing this important scout skill during the course of the camp. We also had the opportunity to talk about “prusik knots” with a professional arborist who was doing some work on the trees in the centre. In the afternoon, we took advantage of the good weather and had a game of rounders, where we found some of the leaders are not quite as agile and they would like! After dinner, we settled down in our improvised cinema with popcorn to watch a film linked to the theme “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs”. Then we had a final campfire where it was great to see Scouts leading the singing rounded off with Flower of Scotland.
We finished the camp on Tuesday with a big breakfast and a big clean up before flag down and presentation of the camp prizes.
So, a superb camp, helped by the good weather and the fact the Scouts were so well behaved, got involved so enthusiastically in the activities and got on so well with each other – hopefully lots of good memories were made and skills developed. When asked for their highlights, it was great to hear the Scouts talk about different elements of the camp showing how diverse it was in terms of the activities that were provided.
A massive thanks to the leader team for giving up their time, preparing the activities and for being such good colleagues and friends and to our host Ross, who supported us so well.
The Leader Team – Duncan, Eilidh, Gillian, Hannah, James, Karen, Mike, Paul
Mike Treanor Scout Leader, 82nd Craigalmond Scouts