So its fast approaching my favourite time of the year….. CAMPING SEASON!!
I know some will say it is always camping season, but when you have a pack of Cubs and POR to contend with, its better to wait until its a little warmer.
For my pack the 1st camp of the year is always Easter Camp at Ferny Crofts in the New Forest. This year instead of being from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, we are extending through to Easter Monday.
Now Easter Camp is the stuff of legend for our Cubs, as we teach survival skills and go full on Bear Grylls with the help of our, ex Royal Marine, Survival Instructor. We cover everything from how to identify safe plants and foods in the wild (including that if in doubt, leave it out), to how to eat different varieties of insects.
The 1st task is always for the Cubs to pitch their tents, followed by them collecting firewood. Once we have enough wood, the cubs light the fire, which then remains burning for the duration of the camp (on a concrete fire pit). The camp fire is used for everything from heating water, to cooking and of course as the centre of our evening activities before sending the Cubs to bed (and then for the leaders to chill once the Cubs are in bed).
Although we do not go full Greenfield (wild camping), we do get as close as is allowed without a Greenfield permit, and the Cubs love it. Although we do hold a number of camps between Easter and October, this is the favourite for Cubs and Leaders alike, with many of our ex-Cubs, who have progressed to Scouts, requesting to come along with us.
For the record, my all time least favourite camp occurred in October 2019, when the temperature got down to -3c. Although the Cubs were safe and warm inside, myself and 2 of our young leaders were outside in tents for the night. Unfortunately the forecast was a little off for that night, and advised it would be no lower than 1c over night.