A Week of Fresh Air – Part 1

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I’ve just got back from a camping trip with my Brownies.  A lot happened, so I’ll only cover part of the week here, and leave the rest for a later post.  Check back on Tuesday for the conclusion!

We started with a nice relaxing leaders-only weekend, setting up the tents and lazing around in the sun.  Doesn’t it look calm without any children around?

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We were staying on a Scout campsite, and we were in the very top corner of the site, quite a ways from the nearest toilet block.  So we had to take our own.  This was very exciting for the Brownies, most of whom had never used a toilet tent before.  They were pretty fun to put up: here’s what happens if you let go before you’ve pegged it out properly and there’s a gust of wind.

Whoops!

Whoops!

But we got there in the end!

I'm dreaming of a flushing toilet...

I’m dreaming of a flushing toilet…

Brown Owl’s daughters (let’s call them Alyssa and Barbara) were with us over the weekend, and they had a little adventure all of their own.  Avon Scout Radio were broadcasting live from the next campsite over, and they invited Alyssa and Barbara to join them.  They were originally scheduled to present for half an hour, but they did so well that they stayed for a whole hour.  They made sure to mention lots of times that they were Guides, and Guides have more fun than Scouts!

The other thing that happened over the weekend was the food delivery.  You know you’ve got quality service when the food gets delivered to your kitchen door like this:

Door to Tent Service

Door to Tent Service

Monday

Once the children arrived the fun really started.  Our first task was to clear the field of grass.  The Scouts had mown fairly recently, but all the cuttings were still on the field, meaning that there was grass everywhere.  Of course, just moving grass would have been boring, so we had a competition to see who could build the biggest, best and most interesting grass-man.  They had to put them behind their tents, using grass from in front of the tents.  Instant field-clearance!

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After we’d settled in a bit we started on Interesting Things.  We were doing both the Out and About badge and the Chocolate Challenge badge over the course of the week, so on Monday we went for a walk with a map and a compass.  The Brownies picked a couple of interesting looking places on the map of the campsite (a barn and a pond) and then they tried to navigate themselves there.  Surprisingly, we only got lost once!

There was a scavenger hunt, which I didn’t see too much of, because I was busy tending this:

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so that our wonderful cook, Fruit-and-Nut, could prepare a yummy dinner for us.

Fruit-and-Nut, of course, is not her normal name.  We all had special camp names.  Mine was Flake, because Flakes are brown and stick shaped, and I was in charge of wood.  The water-woman was called Bubbles!

After washing up (which was surprisingly popular, as activities go), there were parachute games and then bed.  Bed was exciting in itself.  We had quite a few new campers with us, so snuggling down into a sleeping bag and trying to whisper quietly enough that the leaders couldn’t hear you was an adventure.

Tuesday

On Tuesday we had Roller Skating.  The Scout site that we were staying on has its own set of skates, although they were… disorganised to say the least.  Imagine a large skip, filled with roller skates.  Now imagine that those roller skates are not arranged in pairs, are often missing the interior sock that makes them mildly comfortable, and usually missing any indication of their size.

Now take that picture and add in twenty impatient children who just want to have fun.

On the other hand, once we were all outfitted, the activity itself was entertaining.  Some of the girls were expert skaters, and some had never done it before.  There was a lot of teaching going on, and by the end everyone was whizzing around happily.  We did some races and some games, and everyone agreed that Fun had been had.

Lunch was pitta pizzas (yum yum).  If you’ve never tried this before, I urge you to do so.  Simply take a pitta, add tomato puree and cheese, along with a topping of your choice, and cook.  You can get four in a large frying pan, and they’re really quick.

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That afternoon we made a start on our Chocolate Challenge badge.  We made chocolate flavoured lip gloss and chocolate face masks.  Some people were seen to be eating their face mask while it was still on their face, but never mind!  The girls, of course, insisted on making the leaders wear it too.

My skin is both smooth and tasty now.

My skin is both smooth and tasty now.

Wednesday

Wednesday was our day trip off site.  Very exciting!  We all had to walk down to the main entrance of the site (a good 15 minute walk at Brownie speed) to get on a coach.  Debbie and Elaine, two Young Leaders, joined us for the day trip.  They couldn’t come for the whole camp, because they’re revising for exams at the moment, but they’d done a lot of work to help prepare for the camp, so they were determined to make the most of the one day they had been allowed.

We sang all the way there.  I learned a new song.

When we arrived at Cattle Country, we split off into groups and went our separate ways.  The Guide helpers (we had three – Alyssa and Barbara and a third, who we will call Charlotte) were ecstatic to be allowed to go off without an adult, as long as they stayed with the Young Leaders.

For those who don’t know it, Cattle Country is a bit of a mixed bag.  They have animals – wallabies and bison, and more normal farmyard animals – and adventurous activities such as a forty-foot climbing net, giant bouncing pillows, a maze and a castle with a zip wire.  It was a very popular choice with the girls, especially these little fellows:

The Brownies decided to name them Fluffy, Fuzzy, Floppy and Charlotte.  Don't ask me why!

The Brownies decided to name them Fluffy, Fuzzy, Floppy and Charlotte. Don’t ask me why!

Other popular things included death slides, holding animals, and climbing high.

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That blue blur you see?  That's Brown Owl.

That blue blur you see? That’s Brown Owl.

After we got back to the camp site we set to work on dinner and played some games before falling into bed, exhausted!

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Check back on Tuesday to find out how we managed to get more excitement into our week, as well as the answer to the all important question “Who was the Brownie of the Week?”.

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