C-J, one of our Rover scouts, who also is responsible for the upkeep of our cottage, was rather surprised to have four women decend on him, where he stood in the kitchen, frying himself a bachelor's supper on Friday evening. He'd come up to deal with the firewood, and had forgotten all about the Cubs and us coming. Now he had to withstand not only a homemade curry dinner, but also giggles. He seemed to take it in his stride, retiring to the sofa after dinner, while we played a funny card game that Jessica introduced, called American Naughts and Crosses (and something else that I can't recall)
In the morning, we prepared for the arrival of 20 odd Cub scouts. Two had unfortunatly cancelled, due to sniffles. Susanne and I prepared lunch in the kitchen, while Susanne2, Jessica and Eva prepared the activities outside. At ten to 11am we walked the kilometer down the dirt track to meet the kids. They were already there waiting for us! Bouncing around madly, with their backpacks on and slightly anxious looking parents hovering. A few were already off exploring the stream, resulting in the first Cub getting soaked even before we were officially started! Luckily, there are great facilities for drying gear and scouts. And he was equiped with extra clothes and shoes.
After a quick sightseeing tour and toilet stop, it was time for a little bit of unsupervised exploring before lunch. Returning customers swiftly took some of the first timers a little way into the forest to check on the status of little stream. It was of course ripe for some damm construction, and more Cubs got well and truly wet before lunch.
It was lovely and "warm" (almost 10 degrees in the shade and no wind) in the yard in front of the house and the Cubs were served pasta with a meat sauce outside.
Afterwards everyone washed their own gear up, and cleared away, getting ready for the activities.
The sixes got to try various different activities. Using the yard as the base, controls were placed a little way away in the forest, and the sixes cleverly manouvered around the 'star'. In the yard Susanne and a parent helper supported the kids by the fire, while they made Stompa Bread on the 'muurrika'. They could also have some nice, warm, sweet rosehip soup to go with it.
Finding something from the time of the dinosaurs was a tricky task, while finding something new was not so difficult. But in the end rocks are from dinosaur times and spring flowers are very new, as well as one of the boys' shoes.
POP, a parent helper, who used to be a scout while this lady was a wee scout too, helped with knots. Some of the Cubs were very interested and learnt lots of new ways of tying the rope.
Jessica reminded everyone how to make a tripod, and what knots to use for pioneering. Our group is very good at pioneering, and at every spring group camp the older Cubs and Scouts build their camp from scratch, just using wood and string, including fire places for cooking, seating areas and sometimes other clever designs. A very good way of building a semi-permanent camp without leaving any trace.
Eva made sure that everyone could safely handle the Trangias, so that they can cook in the sixes at group camp. Lighting the Trangias can be tricky, as you sometimes can't see any flames. It makes it all the more exciting! While the soapy water boiled she had also time for some nice, relaxed conversation, about life, universe and everything.
After this the Cubs got to take their packs inside and arrange their sleeping quaters upstairs. The floor was quickly covered with mats and appearing out of every pack was a bag of sweets. Most kids then went outside again, while a few remained indoors to make crafty things, like new woggles, a sleepover badge or to do some writing or drawing.
Supper was a chicken taco buffet; very much appreciated by all, but still lots of the sallad stuff was left over. Too many sweets perhaps? ;-)
It started raining slightly, while Eva and Marie started the camp fire outside. I stayed indoors and prepared for Earth Hour, placing lots of candles in the windows and on the tables. When the children returned inside, slightly wet, they quieted down, and continued doing their crafty things or started playing cards, or just quietly chatting and munching some corn crisps or sweets. It only took a little while until they all, without being told to, got into their pyjamas and went off to the toilets to get ready for bed. (I can't vouch for how many teeth accually got brushed)
This morning, as the clocks were put forward, we had an hour less, which was just about time enough to get all the packing done, and a little bit of free play time. Some of the girls helped Marie and Eva to get the firewood into the shed. I was lucky enough to come over to the damm engineers just in time to meet one of the forest's residents: A small weasle, who very anxiously watched us for about five minutes, while it was scurrying back and forth just down stream. I hope we didn't accidentally flood it's burrow! I have never seen a weasle 'live' before, and felt very lucky sharing the experience with seven of the Cubs.
Then it was time to go home. Very tired, but seemingly very happy kids bobbed down the hill to meet their parents. Again, everyone was early, and all but two Cubs were picked up by 11 am. I went with my son and his two friend when my husband came to pick them up, leaving the others to do the last bit of cleaning. Sorry guys, promise to make it up to you next time!