The Knights of Holgate

Every couple of years, we try to get together as a whole group for a weekend camp. As a large group, this is no mean feat with over 200 members coming together for the weekend.
The group camp serves several functions: As a large group with several sections meeting over several nights in several venues the Group Camp helps us maintain a strong group identity; With team activities involving our youth members working together from Beavers (Aged 5 and ¾ ) upto Explorers (17 and 11 months) the weekend intrinsically helps children prepare for migration to the next section when their time comes; In addition, as the camp is planned and supported by our Active Support Unit team of volunteers it is an opportunity for many parent members to provide the Group with a camp without placing an extra burden on our super team of leaders.

This year’s camp followed (loosely) the theme of Medieval Knights with us all becoming Knights of Holgate. The whole event was planned and managed by one of our Active Support Coordinators, James Barker with our Group Scout Leader taking on the well typecast role of King John.

King John and Sir James of Barker

All sections together

Cubs and older youth members were camping from Friday evening, with the younger Beavers joining the melee on Saturday morning. Activities included each team or clan building it’s own cardboard castle, designing its own coat of arms, uniforms and preparing a clan steed (on the chassis of a wheelbarrow) as well as building siege catapults (trebuchets) from pioneering poles.

Scouting skills are fun!

Of course, once built, they needed to be used and hence battles then commenced with each clan seeking to maximise the damage that projectile water bombs could cause to the previously constructed strongholds. As planned 😉, the weather provided the perfect backdrop for the following water activities that had all incapacitated as much from laughter as from the jets from the leaders higher powered water guns.

Food glorious food

It is often said that a camp survives on it’s [collective] stomach and catering for such an army was no mean feat. Credit for hot food being delivered at regular intervals must go to the team of ‘Simon’s Angels’ who left no potato waffle unturned in the pursuit of culinary excellence. 

All round the campfire

Fun and frolics over for the day the group united, gathered round the campfire for more and less traditional Scouting Songs before winding down and ‘sleep’ (optional for some).

Sunday morning started off with a breakfast that would have equalled any medieval feast before continuing the day’s programme. Yoyo provided the opportunity for some thought and reflection for our Youth and Adult members – which included donning ‘flip-flops of forgiveness’ which may have been quite helpful in the following team wheelbarrow jousting tournaments. With Explorers and Young leaders spontaneously keeping the more restless Beavers happily engaged in a few ad-hoc games, the whole weekend felt like a giant extended family gathering.

The end?

At the end of the day, all were in a happy state of complete exhaustion. Whilst washing machines, baths and beds called the campers home, a peace descended again on the glades of Snowball Plantation, although somewhere in the whispering of the trees, the murmurs carried through the air… “Be ready for 2021 – The Vikings are coming….”

A special thank you

With 376 sausages 13kg of bacon plus 20kg of best beef mince – we would like to say a special thank you to Ged Bell butchers who helped greatly! 🙂