Hinchingbrooke District provided their young people a great “welcome back to face-to-face” opportunity over a number of weeks – the chance to light fires and cook (and eat) some great food!

In support of a return to face to face Scouting within the District, they completed a risk assessment and gained approval to undertake backwoods activities in a secure area between Offord Cluny and Buckden. This area is suitable for a variety of backwoods activities including fire lighting, camp cooking, knife/axe skills, pioneering, bivouac building etc.

Everything followed COVID secure requirements, with social distancing limiting each session to a maximum of 15 young people and 5 adults.

The activity was led by the District Team, with at least one supporting leader from Sections involved. The activity was over two sessions, the first a 30 minute Zoom meeting, to show fire lighting techniques, safety considerations and to provide instructions for the practical night. The second session a practical fire lighting and camp cooking session.

For the second session everyone brought along relevant ingredients depending what they wanted to cook. Main courses were mainly a meat / vegetarian stew but there were also variations, such as fish cooked in paper. Desserts mostly involved chocolate in some form, such as a chocolate cake cooked inside an orange.

Over some sessions the young people interviewed each other and some of the adults, which proved to be a great prelude to when 1st Hunts Hartford Beavers and Cubs appeared on ITV Anglia News in the 6pm show one evening. They were joined by District Commissioner Aidan Joy, who even wore shorts to celebrate the fact the sun was shining! A great way to promote scouting, and did generate some immediate “join requests” over the next few days as a direct result.