Random learnings and other thoughts from an unashamed geek


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I have just got back from a weekend of camping with SCARF. SCARF is an organisation set up to help Special Children And their Relatives and Families. The weekend was good fun, it was great to see how much the children got out of it. On the camp we did lots of activities. A summary of them are below:

Low Ropes Course

This was the responsability of Jem and myself. On Thursday night with the aid of 1st^ Poulner Scouts, we tied a large length of rope around many trees in order to make an interesting course. We kept the rope around 70cm from the ground - on the longest section of the rope we used a windlass to tighten the rope. We then tied another (slightly thinner) rope about a metre above this to create a hand rail.

On Saturday, we aided the children, 1 at a time, to complete the course. Many of them did not have the physical strength to hold on to the rope for long, so their parents helped support them. Even if they only did half the course, their faces shone with pride and acheivement. It was a great sight to behold.

Dampers (cooked over Open Fires)

The base next to ours was ran by my parents and Julie (a cub leader from 3rd^ Ringwood) and was cooking dampers over open fires. The leaders mixed up some doughy mixture from flour and water, and found some hazel wood to cook it on. The children then had to squeeze the dough over the end of the wood to make a sausage shape with its axis down the hazel rod. They would then hold it over the fire until it was cooked (turned slightly golden brown and when you tap them it gives a hollow sound).

Once the dampers were cooked the children could pull them off (twisting them to prevent breakage) and fill them with jam. Yum yum!

Camp chairs

Mike, 3rd^ Ringwood’s Scout leader, ran another base where children (and adults!) could practice and develop their DIY skills. They constructed seats from wood that could be packed away small, but were comfortable to sit on and did not sink into the ground. Many of us sat on our own when we eat our fish and chips around the campfire on saturday night.

This post has turned out a lot longer than I had intended, so I shall have to move on. Perhaps I can tell you more another time.