Homeward Bound

25th August 2012 by Buff

Saturday –

Today we were all up early (6.30am) in order to get packed and sorted before breakfast. The van was loaded, bunk rooms were swept and mopped, the shower block was cleaned and then we changed into approved travel attire – uniforms, poloshirts or onsies! We had some interesting looks from the public when we stopped at motorway services dressed only in onsies and a scout necker!

Our goodbyes were said to the excelent centre staff and we were on the road just before 9. Many hours later we arrived in Cwmbran tired but happy…roll on our 10th annaversary camp next year!

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Final days…

25th August 2012 by Buff

Friday –

All too quickly our last full day is upon us. The last sailing, climbing and canoeing activity groups went out, and by tea time, some happy but tired Explorers were looking forward to our end of camp party!

Onsies, Welsh tops, neon and mad hair were the order of the day when the party iPOD kicked off. A final opportunity to go mad before the long drive home. The FreeSpirit trademark awesome cheese board made an appearance and was enjoyed by many…and then it was time for the party games. What can 23 Explorer Scouts do with a cardboard box? Answer…pick it up in your teeth from the floor without using your hands or touching the floor. After each successful pickup, 1-2cm were torn off the top of the box making it lower for the next person. The fight was on to find the most flexible person with the best balance. A hard fought competition that came down to Emma, Miki, Ryan and Matt…the box was now a thin cardboard strip about 5mm high from the floor…and Ryan picked it up so easily, winning the game.

The music continues until around midnight when lights out were called. A good end to a great week.

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An arrow, a ladder and a wobbly pole!

24th August 2012 by Buff

Thursday evening –

Dinner was a choice from cheesy pasta bake or chicken and chips….or if you are a FreeSpirit, both! Well fed, we we all headed off for evening activities – extreme archery, Jacobs Ladder and the infamous “wobbly pole”.

Grant (instructor), fresh from the afternoons canoeing/kayaking, was back at the helm running the archery competition…a very close affair between Rhys (Job Job), Lukas and JP…mind you, with Emma’s dodgy scoring anyone could have won!

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Handsome Scott (Abbie’s words!!) was running the Jacobs Ladder which saw two teams competing over a number of rounds. Teams of 2 had to climb to the top of the huge ladder whilst carrying a beaker of water…again a closely fought competition.

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…and finally the wobbly pole! Teams of four had to scale a huge telegraph pole with a small platform on the top one at a time…ending up with all participants balancing on the top 40 feet above the ground. They then had to hold hands and lean out making the shape ofa star! Needless to say Cassie, Bethanie and Trystan managed to fall spectacularly off the platform!

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A very tired bunch of Explorers (and leaders) headed for the lounge and the late film (followed by a serious cheese supper) before lights out around 11.

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Sailing Thursday – Group 1

23rd August 2012 by Bomb Squad

This morning we set off bright and early for a spot of sailing….. well I say ailing in the loosest sense of the term. The problem was there was no wind… well actually there was plenty of wind but the gas type was different, so it was time to man the speedboats!

Initial cries of “I dont want to” “uuuh its wet” etc, gave way to a lot of laughter from some highly amused Explorers. We charged down and around the Loch with some very red-headed piloting from Abi, Tanith and Alex. Seriously is there a Kamikaze boat squadron…missing a few pilots? Following some high powered high jinx , Rhys and Jon decided that it was time to leave the boats, followed by the majority of the Explorers, via the sides of the boats. Sploosh, cough splutter!  😉

Following a leisurely lunch we knuckled down to some sailing on two-man dingies. Following some deft instruction, as the wind picked up so did the shouting, screaming and confused people staring at sails and upturned boats.

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Archery and high ropes this evening , well its dry…..

Dry! hahahahahahahahahahaha………….

Job Job 😛  (artist formerly known as Bomb Squad)

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Exams and Extreme Biking

23rd August 2012 by Buff

Thursday –

Today we woke to some serious rain, a good cooked breakfast and an avalanche of emotions due to GCSE results. Our youngsters, who were in the hot seat, managed to negotiate poor mobile phone coverage together with an appalling lack of preparation and understanding by most of the schools and finally managed to get hold of their results. Congratulations and good luck to all of you.

By 9.30 my group were half way up a mountain on our bikes. The sun was now shining, the view was magnificent and the descents awesome. Young Phil picked up the best crash award when his front brake seized and threw him together with the bike into a ditch suffering a slight scratch to his chin. Well done to Miki and Lauren in particular for braving the mountain….first time on a bike.

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Glasgow…a day off and a “most excellent adventure”!

23rd August 2012 by Buff

Wednesday –

Today was our rest day. Following our usual excellent breakfast, we all pilled into our trusty mini buses and headed back to Glasgow – specifically the Breahead Centre. This complex houses a very good shopping mall and Xscape – which is a mixture of sport and leisure….a ski slope, laser tag, simulators, outdoor shops and many restaurants.

We shopped for a large part of the day before making our way to the “all you can eat” Chinese buffet. Many of the unit took part in the laser tag before meeting us all in the restaurant where a number of the lads (and lasses) did us proud by eating 4-5 plate-fulls of food followed by a large bowl of ice cream!

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Fully replete, we stumbled slowly back to the mini buses…only to find that the lights had been left on (nice one, Jon and Rhys!). Amazingly, we managed to get one of the engine’s started and the other bus was then quickly started with jump leads.

Well fed, tired and happy we closed out the day with our late night film – Bill and Teds most excellent Adventure.

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Birthdays, birthdays!

21st August 2012 by Buff

Today was a great day for so many reasons…but two of the best were the birthday’s of Ian and Trystan.

Many happy returns from us all…as usual, some serious cake was eaten by all!

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Re-discovering Kayaking

21st August 2012 by Buff

Tuesday –

Today I was lucky to be out on the Loch with Steve (our Kayaking instructor for today) together with Jamal, Lukas, Kane, Matt, Gary and Trystan. The sun shone (for the most part) and Steve and I threw a range of 2 Star and 3 Star kayaking skills at the lads…and not once did they falter – some soon to be Olympic paddlers there me thinks. Following an excellent lunch we were all back onto the Loch, however the tide had come in and the wind had decided to play! The waves were now 1-2 feet and so we decided to have a canoe polo match…a tense match ensued in which Jamal managed to land his aircraft carrier of a kayak onto Kane’s head…but all was well, it missed everything vital! The final score…1-0!!

We then headed into the river that fed the loch for a “rolling clinic” – similar to a rolling pin…but with more water – and we started to put Jamal, Trystan and Kane through the basics of eskimo rolling.

…a great day (something that I used to do most weekends)…thanks guys.

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Tuesday…a “Squeeze” and a “Burn”

21st August 2012 by Explorers

21st August 2012

On the third day of activities, group one did “The Squeeze!”,  and “The Burn”, while group 2 were kayaking and canoeing on the Loch.

On “The Loch”, a lot of people capsized which was apparently very cold in the Scottish water! It was quite bracing, and certainly woke them up! There were plenty of crashes, splashes and upside down kayaks.

“The Squeeze”, a big crack in the cliffs above the centre, proved to be quite a challenge to get through for some of the members, but in the end most of us made it through, and many overcame their fears.

Later in the day, “The Burn”, a gruelling gorge walk along the river Goil, also a challenge for some of the members, but again, all of those participating overcame their fears and made it through all the obstacles in their path.

Overall a very cold but enjoyable day was had by all.

Looking forward to Glasgow tomorrow.

……Ian, Tom and Ben
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Speedboats and a waterslide

20th August 2012 by Explorers

Monday –

Sailing today for group two! But first we were taken out in the speed boats around the Loch. Flying around the Loch with Jamal at the helm chasing seagulls and jumping off of a bouy as a quick refreshment into the water. BRRR! woke us up though! Then after lunch sailing where I think a few people spent more time in the water than in the boat.
Group evening activity then Lochgoilhead Olympics back on site which involved tug of war, ‘welly-wanging’, finishing with a waterslide in which Buff won with the record for the furthest slide and probably cracking a rib in the process.
love from Matt and Jamal xx

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