Summer Camp 2006
The one that felt like winter…
|From www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk: “At around 12 noon a lorry overturned on the M6 northbound at junction 16 between the exit and slip roads. It shed its load of cooking oil and all three lanes were closed for around three hours while the surface was inspected for damage. The incident caused lengthy delays on the northbound carriageway and also southbound with drivers slowing down to look at the incident.”
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Climb, Hike, Arse
“How long have we been travelling?” “8 hours” “8 hours! You can get to Canada in 8 hours.” “Thank you George, I needed that.”
After an epic 8 hours and 15 minutes journey from Gradbach Scout Campsite, near Buxton in the Peak District to our base in Bristol we finally made it home! Complete with a mention on BRMB Radio, top marks Daisy!
B4 The Scouts
It’s 11.30 on Friday night, dark and I’m standing on a hill with my hands full of camping equipment and mud filling my boot.
All Daves fault as was the fact that 20 minutes earlier we had almost got the van stuck down a lane. Dave some weeks earlier came up with the idea that some people could go to this campsite on Friday night and spend Saturday morning putting up tents. Jeff and I stupidly agreed to go with him! The three of us are now walking to the campsite with Dave describing what a fantastic site it was being dark we couldn’t see much.
After taking the mick out of Jeff for ensuring he had flat ground to pitch his tent, we discovered there was a huge crater under ours! Never mind, I made Dave sleep in that bit! Tents erected, we had a small drop of the red stuff before going to bed. At six in the morning, Dave was climbing out of the tent, on a recce to find the warden (Ok, it might have been a bit closer to eight, but that’s still a couple of hours earlier than Daisy from what I’ve heard).
On his return sausages are cooked, but only just, as the gas ran out as the last sausage was taken off the heat. My fault apparently and so was the fact that the sausages looked like they had been dragged through a hedge (Tesco’s Finest are too good for cooking on gas stoves, they don’t contain enough oil.)
In the light of the morning we could see the campsite, very long and narrow. After some discussion we decided on the cook tent by the water tap – seemed quite logical to us. All we had to do was get the stuff to the campsite, after 20 minutes of gently persuading Jeff that the van really could make it and would fit under the trees with only a few scratches, he slowly drove it down. As we reached the campsite, we heard a car horn from the field above. I remember thinking we haven?t been on the campsite 12 hours and we have upset the farmer! Luckily it turned out the farmer was just rounding up the cows that had woken us at 5 a.m. With the van unloaded we erected the store tent, the cook tent, leaders dining shelter and placed all the equipment in them. Jeff then went shopping leaving Dave and I to put up the sleeping tents and Daisys tent.
At this point we met the warden who said ; Hello, lucky I caught you. I wouldn’t put your camp here it’ll flood if it rains. No one else is on site, spread out a bit, and go and sit down and let the scouts move the canvas. Needless to say after all that work we didn’t move the tents, and shortly after, everyone else arrived.
That’s almost all that happened when the scouts arrived. I’ve only left out the emergency stop, the fish and chip shop with toilets and no light switch, and the scary pub in which the music stops and the locals all look at you when you walk in!
P.S. Can I say a BIG thank you to Jim for giving me a lift home.
Setting up Camp
Luckily three leaders managed to form an advanced party and travelled up to Gradbach on the Friday night. After experienceing the Winking Man (famous landmark on the Roaches) they arrived late and woke early (so they say). When the Scouts arrived after late Saturday afternoon all the main tents were set up with just the Scout tents to erect.
“The Great Pit Dig of 2006”
consisited of everyone joining in on what proved to be the most unlikely attraction of the week – the pooh pit dig. Almost everyone had a chance to shovel or dig a simply enormous pit especially for all our pooh!
We did plan to use the solar showers, however due to typical 62nd wet cold weather they were rather unused only a couple of Scouts braved their bracing trickle of tepid water! Ah well, we enjoyed putting them up!
Sunday afternoon with the rain having abated and most of the camp set up a decision was taken to stroll up to the Roaches, the Great Egg Race had begun. Patrols demonstrated incredible map reading (incredible indeed) everyone did manage to get to the top though. Ludds Church was visited on the way, a huge and fantastic secluded gorge, surrounded by many myths of cult worship…
Ok, jokes about ‘The Devil’s Arse’ stop here. Anyway, ‘The Peak Cavern’ (to take its boring name) is a large cave near Castleton. Apparently when the cave floods a couple of times every year the water receding creates an almighty boy humour noise…
…whilst having many claims to fame not least TV location and visited by many writers, poets and Queen Victoria it can now boast 62nd Scouts. We almost did not arrive, the journey there was rather awesome the valley leading down to Castleton being rather steep for our ‘classic’ minibusses, mind you the journey back up was even better…
After advice from a local we all ventured off to a trout farm. Here we fished ourselves and returned later to camp to cover the fire in lots of silver foil, fresh trout, sweetcorn, garlic bread – all extremely tasty. Especially the trout!
Before leaving we thought it appropriate to invest 3 new Scouts. The Gradbach campsite chapel is a very peaceful, and pleasant location, with the Scouts unknowing about what was to happen to them the whole occasion was somewhat a surprise and entirely memorable.
From crazy hairstyles to nutty leaders and bemused babies… we had it all. Not forgetting those toilets and that pit (nice gloves).