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Summer Camp of Joy

Thanks to all those who came along to our Annual Summer Camp in Bredgar this year. Once again we were blessed with glorious weather throughout the whole weekend. This year was one of our busiest years with around 70 people attending. We had 3 instructors, Mr. Foster, Mr. Ayres-Townshend and Mr. Harper.

We had students from the 3 different clubs. The scout campsite in Bredgar is perfect for our needs with plenty of room to explore and hold sporing events like the beep test and the summer camp Olympics.

On the Friday, it is a laid back start to the camp allowing people to set their tents up, remove the cars to the car park and think about food before we start the camp fire around 7pm. There are no planned activities on this day, it is a time to set up and settle in.

Saturday however kicks off with a morning run, we did 5 laps of the whole campsite. The pace is very slow and you can run as far and as fast as you like. The kids traditionally set off at lightening speed for the first 60m then stop and wait only to come speeding past again a few minutes later. Each circuit goes past the tents so you can duck out at any time or even rejoin after a break. I normally keep going until all the laps have been completed. The whole run was just under 5km this year.

After the run, we have a game of dodgeball, not official dodgeball, just people in a square and everyone outside the square is trying to get them out by hitting them with the ball. We have 3 different age groups and the last two make it through to the Dodgeball final. In the final we have 2 under 8's, 2 under 16's and 2 over 16's. The over 16's are quickly targeted in the final and are soon out, allowing the children to compete for the titled of Dodgeball champion of the World. This year Leo was crowned champion.

The beep test is just before lunch. We have two groups, adults and children. The course is laid out and everyone tries to make it to the line before the next beep. This year was very well attended with some spectacular running from students and parents.

After lunch, we concentrate on Taekwondo where the 3 instructors and black belt helpers go through your pattern. All students who wish to go through their pattern from white belt right up to 3rd Dan black belts get the opportunity of some coaching on the pattern of their choice. Mr. Ayres-Townshend then runs a fun Taekwondo class which involves lots of games and competition. This session is always very light hearted with lots of banter and students showing the instructors how it is done. Mr. Harper took the padwork kicking master class this year. This involves complex kicking routines on the pads broken down into bite size chunks to try and get your head around it. This is always fun and parents join in too to test their abilities. It is always good to watch the competition sparrers spinning with ease as they quickly grasp the routines.

Sparring is next, for anyone with sparring experience. It is a good opportunity to spar against people from a different club. Everyone tries to avoid Liam and yet it is inevitable he will find you or find your head more to the point, with his foot. After the sparring we can relax and get ready for the camp fire quiz.

Once everyone has showered and had dinner, we all gather on the Saturday evening and have a quiz, children against teenagers against adults. Last year the Teenagers proved they actually do know everything and won it. This year the adults won. Mind you I kept asking questions until the adults eventually took the lead and then we finished. Not really, it was a tie between adults and teenagers and the adults won the tie breaker knowing what the captial of Peru is.

Sunday is a very excting day, morning run first thing again. Summer camp Olympics is very exciting with running races on the 40m course for all age groups. The over 40's mens and womens race is always thrilling with at least one person taking a tumble on the lush soft grass. Followed up by the main event, the most anticipated event of the whole weekend, the Children v Adults water fight.

The water fight is spectacular, about 15 minutes of pure joy. To be honest I think the anticipation of the fight is even better, the kids tactics and grand strategies which are abandoned with one squirt in the face. The research to find the ultimate weapon. The screams the mums make when they are squirted by random children or more likely their own. The Dads trying to get their own back on the years of unplanned water fights where parents find themselves defenceless. Oh no, not this year, this is all planned and kids are going to get it. And they do, the parents always win and the kids claim to have won and complain. But the official judge just dishes out press ups to the sore losers each year for some reason.

When everyone is dry and we done all the photos, it is time to pack up and be off site by about 2pm. We had a brilliant time again this year, largely because everyone that attended had a spirit of fun and it was great to see the kids playing and exploring and climbing trees and making new friends and being squirted by superior adults and losing in the quiz and eating marshmallows and playing man hunt and looking at the stars and eating burnt bbq food and not worrying about the xbox or playstation for a whole weekend. An exhausting weekend where you will make memories to last a lifetime.

Same time next year.

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