We are not sure who was more excited at the thought of a summer camp after so long, the scouts or the leaders. Enjoy the following summary, based on details from Lee Mason.

Arrival at Hesley Wood for summer camp was greeted by our usual great British weather – meaning the rain made set up interesting. It did also mean tents were up in record time though!

The next day started with a great breakfast, followed by tomahawk throwing. Congratulations to Marek (who is now nicknamed Maverick) with his winning ten point score! There was then an afternoon of “Taskmaster” style challenges, with Patrols competing to win the chance to be first to pick ingredients for their “Ready Steady Cook” evening meals.

The four Patrols then got very creative, using their hard earned random ingredients to make some fantastic meals – all cooked on open fires. There was a pork and pasta dish from Buzzard Patrol, turkey curry with rice from Eagle Patrol, a chicken stir fry from Hawk Patrol whilst Osprey Patrol cooked up a beef stew.

Eagles, led by Ernie, won this Ready Steady Cook challenge. This gave them a small lead in the Patrol competition.

Next was a day based around pioneering. The morning involved a skills session to brush up on knots and make a bridge, followed by a Patrol competition building a frame so that water balloons could be propelled towards a target. This was all led by Sam, who was also marking his 5th summer camp since joining the Troop, and it was great to see him passing on his skills to the scouts. To celebrate the invaluable help and support over the past 5 years Sam was presented with a certificate.

Being in such a beautiful part of the country meant that the next day was all hiking based. The night before the Patrols were given maps and some checkpoints so that they could plan what they thought were the best (and safest) routes to take. The morning of the hike there was a full kit check and then everyone set off to the National Trust property of Longshaw Estate . There was some excellent teamwork and navigation from some of the scouts. By now the Patrol competition was hotting up with Hindle’s Hawks in the lead, but with Ernie’s Eagles catching them up.

The following day started with onsite activities, including the zip wire and the “Cube” (indoor caving). Patrol Leaders then went food shopping for the Annual Patrol Cooking Competition – having to plan, shop for , prepare and cook a two course meal on a fire for themselves and one of the leaders. Osprey’s won the cooking competition with their starter being one of the best meals the leaders had eaten on camp in years. Excellent fire, presentation and taste! Here are the delicious meals enjoyed:

  • Mini burger and salad, followed by a bacon and courgette pasta dish – Osprey Patrol
  • Spicy flatbread, followed by steak, chips and peppercorn sauce – Eagle Patrol
  • Naan bread, followed by chicken curry and rice – Buzzard Patrol
  • Greek style flatbread and salad, followed by a Spanish omelette – Hawk Patrol

The last full day on camp was really busy. with activities provided by Blue Mountain Activities. Activities included Gorge Scrambling and Rock Scrambling and Weasling. For many this was the highlight of the week and everyone had a great day, ending with volleyball and a BBQ (not at the same time though!).

Camp ended and saw Osprey Patrol just edging out Hawks to win first place in the Patrol competition., with well deserved individual prizes for Daniel and Thibault.

Here is a scout summary, thanks to Ernie – Eagle Patrol Leader. “This summer we went to Helsey Wood near Sheffield, we did a range of activities on site and off site. These activities were taskmaster, canoeing, hiking, cube, tomahawk throwing, gorge scrambling, rock climbing and weaselling, backwoods cooking, zipline and more. As well as a range of games at camp. Our pitch was decent sized, leaving room for the marquee, bell tents and fire area with loads more space. We cooked 2 meals on the fire, rated by the leader(s) we cooked for. The meals were cooked in our patrols and depending on the scoring from each category we would gain Patrol points. Across the camp we would win Patrol points, each Patrol battling for the final prize by doing jobs, helping other scouts etc”.

The scouts would like to thank the adults, and Young Leader Ethan, who gave up their time to make the week possible – including all the “behind the scenes” tasks such booking the van, sorting the first food delivery and providing expedition training, everyone’s help contributed to a great event.