Mandalay from a distans
We had a lovely camp. The kids were extremely well behaved and did us proud in lots of ways. Petra and Kerstin in our camp kitchen served breakfast, and lunch when the scout got back from their morning activities, and then they did their tasks: One six was responible for chopping firewood (which was an easy task, as many of the younger scouts love to practise with an axe and therefor had done most of the chopping already); another filled the water barrells and saw to it that the hot water tank got topped up, and water for handwashing and washing up was available and three sixes cooked for the others. Everyone got to try all the stations during the week, exept for the Explorers, who did very little cooking, but helped out all over where it was needed.
Lighting the kitchen fires
Recipies can be difficult to read
All in all we were 56 people on our plot. We had taken cubs and scouts from 10 and up. Most stayed for the duration of the week, but we had to let two go home due to sore throats, and two scouts bailed ship for going on holiday, respectively celebrating a loved relative's 80th. As we shared resources and leaders with Varberg's scout group, we were plenty of adults on site, and it felt almost like a holiday.
Relaxing was possible in all weather
The youngest member in the village was Lukas, who is five and came to his first camp with his granddad. The oldest was Torkel, who is Group leader for Varberg. He is 75, and still going strong, and also helped organising the the camp, so he was on site when we arrived, and won't be coming back until Wednesday this coming week.
The kids had a wonderful time, in spite of the first couple of rainy days. The morning activities were meaningful and thought provoking, although some of the leaders thought them to academic for scouting: A great teaser for the new program to be launched this autumn. Some sixes got a talk on journalism and writing for the paper, and then got sent out to do little pieces on a deadline, that were then published in the camp wall paper, or on the blog the next day. Others built sculptures out of refuse, made up a country and then learnt about how easily war breaks out, and the danger of retaliation with out thought, when their "counties" were destroyed by others. This exercise stirred many emotions, but was a great discussion starter.
Understanding what's behind the billboard headlines
The scouts also got to try forum theatre, "the theatre of the poor", acting out dilemmas that they had come up with on the theme "oppression". Some acted out school situations and bullying, whilst some of the older scouts thought of political tyranny. Every day scouts were bussed into the nearest town to collect money for charity, and in the end got almost 10 000 SEK together for the "Grand day out foundation", a charity that help fulfil seriously ill children's wishes.
The rock band Marilyn entertained the last evening. The singer admitted to being very impressed by scouting and having had to abandon a lot of prejudice after being booked for the gig.
In the afternoon the scouts had a wonderful smorgasbord to choose from: Making friendship bracelets, soap football, organised water fights, canooing, sailing, swiming for the younger ones and also viking jewlery, and black smith forging for the older. On top of that, there was a range of activity bags to be borrowed from the Information tent: Giant Chinese sticks, ludo, butterfly exploration packs, water experiment packs, rock climbing, absailing, obsticle course, etc, etc. The Adventure scouts went on a 12k hike one evening, and the Challenger scouts were on a midnight adventure game, where they were to save us all from environmental terrorists. (Don't ask me! I haven't the faintest, but it sounded exiting and went on until 5 in the morning.)
Two of our Challengers. Not the English woggle on Victor's necker
In the evenings we were all nicely tired out and the kids went to bed without to much ado, except for after the great camp fire when spirits were high coming back, and most nights they were accually asleep by midnight, except for the Challengers, who sneaked back from their disco/speed dating/kareoke/whatnot in the woods.
All in all, a wonderful experience, and I like to thank the organizers, the leaders and all of the kids for a wonderful week. And thanks also to all you parents who trust us with your children.