Posted on October 4, 2009
After recently returning from helping at the 1st Eaton Bray and Edlesborough Scout and Cub camp in Sherwood Forest I now realise how lucky we are to have such wonderful leaders for Scouts, Cubs and Beavers in this area Paul Hurley, Nick Evans, Sandi Glover and both husband and wife team Simon and Sue Tate are all truly wonderful and definitely unsung heroes!
They spent many months planning and executing a fabulously organised Summer camp in July for 50+ Cubs, Scouts and helpers, with such activities as Kayaking, rock climbing, quad biking and the highlight for all was a amazing medieval jousting competition and hog roast on the last evening. The boys and girls had to ride 'piggy back' with long jousts whilst running at top speed towards an amazing wooden target handcrafted by the talented Martin Mercer!
Nick Evans was in full character as The Evil Sheriff of Nottingham, Simon Tate as Friar Tuck and Paul Hurley as Robin Hood. Following the joust the children took part in other competitions including tug of war and the 'slippery pole' which involved a pillow fight whilst sitting on a raised, wooden pole over water, hysterical as you can imagine.
It was not long before other scout groups camping nearby came to watch and cheer at this amazing work of art!
Without such people prepared to give up their time for the preparation, packing and shopping, let alone a weeks annual leave for the actual camp! Our children would not be able to benefit from such a fun experience. It however also teaches our children to be responsible for their belongings, work as a team, look out for younger children, to cook and prepare food and wash and tidy away afterwards. Every member was encouraged to work as a team, whilst some were collecting wood others were fetching water and 'Mummy' was not around to step in!
Cooking for 50+ people from a tent was incredible to witness and be part of, especially as at every meal the children were encouraged to help cook or prepare the vegetables.
Nick Evans had taken a lot of the vegetables that had been grown on the scout and cub allotment to camp, which was great for the children to see. The meals were amazing, always with fresh vegetables and nut allergies always carefully catered for. Lunches were sandwiches, which took 8 loaves of bread everytime! Carol Mercer was the main camp cook and had to start cooking the breakfast at 6.30 every morning to ensure all the children had eaten and cleared up before their activities were due to start. Cereal and a cooked breakfast every morning gave the children the fuel they needed for their morning activities. Carol was amazing and the food quantities and quality was always spot on.
Evenings were quite often spent round the campfire singing songs, which was great for the wide age range of children. Nick Bramston was helping for the week and was given the trusty job of looking after the fire and ensuring there was always enough fire wood, which given that we were camping right next to a wood was not such an easy task as you might have thought! He also taught the children a lot of new camp songs and even wrote lyrics for a new song.
Martin Mercer worked continually and tirelessly boiling water for washing up and cleaning the most disgustingly greasy pans you have ever seen! As well as being the camp joiner, crafting jousting targets and generator covers and anything else needed made from wood.
I don't think as a parent anyone realises how much hard work goes into these camps and the great responsibility they take for our children.
I have written this article not only to say a huge thank you to all our leaders for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts but also to try and give a small insight to what is involved for other parents who may read this this.
We are very lucky to live where we do and to have such an active scouting team thanks again to all of you.
-- Karen Mustoe
And.....A Big Thank You
We have been part of the 1st Eaton Bray & Edlesborough Scout group for the past four years and would like to give out a huge thank you to the 3 special people who give up their precious time every Friday evening to entertain the youth of today.
Our biggest thank you is to Paul Hurley who, in the last two years of leading the group, has brightened up the activities that Scouts now enjoy. For example, Scouts have been gliding at the London Gliding Club, wakeboarding at Willen Lake and Skiing in the Milton Keynes Snow Dome. Also since the arrival of Paul, the whole scout group has earned many more badges to the extent that both of us have achieved the Chief Scout Gold award. Since Paul has arrived at scouts, we have found ourselves camping and exploring in many exciting places across the country. For example, spending a week in Sherwood Forest, a week on Brownsea Island and a night on HMS Belfast along with many others.
Our next thank you goes to Nick Evans. He is the Group Scout leader and is loved in all parts of the local scouting community. Not only does Nick help with the scouts most weeks he also gives up his Tuesdays to run the Cubs. As you can imagine this is most probably an exhausting task, running about trying to control a bunch of excitable 8-10 year olds. Along with Paul, Nick puts a lot of time and effort into planning and preparing all scout summer camps as well as every Friday evening.
Last but not least we would like to thank Simon Tate. Simon is the quieter of the three but no less important. without him we would suffer dearly trying to keep the scout group in control. He turns up to every meeting and camp without fail, even if his son does not turn up. Like Nick, Simon does not only help out at scouts, but also with the cubs.
Although our biggest thanks go to these three special people, we would also like to give our thanks to all parents that give up their time to help every now and again, one or two come without fail every week. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time within the scout community and will miss all the fabulous activities that go on every week as we move on to the next level - EXPLORERS!
-- From Alex Nilsen & Stuart Ranson
Source: Focus, October 2009
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