Saturday – farewells

31st July 2010 by Buff

Following our final big boy breakfast which now also included hash browns, we began the process of site clearance – our flags came down, the bunting was put away, the pioneering sleeping platform was disassembled and rooms were cleaned.

We said goodbye to Cerys, Amie, Ellie and TT who were off to NorJam Jamboree with 1st Grif and Gilwern Scouts for another week (mad) before sorting lunch.

We aim to be back at our hut around 3-3.30pm.

Many thanks to my fellow leaders for making this week yet another great camp in the ongoing FreeSpirit saga and for all members of the Unit for taking part with massive enthusiasm…go bananas, see you in Sept.


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Friday – Oxford, ariel bombardment and a Trevethin Hoover!

31st July 2010 by Buff

What a great day!

The Fun and Monk busses were loaded and we sprinted for the open road as Oxford and a “shopping trip” was calling. Maps were dished out and Explorers were seen counting their money and disappearing into all and every shop. The leaders wandered sedately around some of the awesome sites before settling down for a late pub lunch. On the way back to the bus we found Hawkins Bazaar…gadgets, toys and glow in the dark duck woggles were purchased!

Back at site a fantastic Mexican meal was consumed before the evening activities started…the early film was underway (Mamma Mia), the campfire was lit (huge), our new special glow-lit balloon’s were hung and the musicians in the unit fired up their guitars. Our new friends from Phoenix Explorers (the guys we beat in the rugby) came over to join our campfire fun…one unsuspecting lad (Adam) had the amazing honour to sample at first hand the “Trevethin Hoover” – a 2 minute conversation immediately followed by a quick pounce, a fast cuddle and finally some furious tongue duelling! – nice one Jenny!

We also tried to launch a couple of Chinese lanterns: the 200 point instructions were duly read, the wind was checked (a very slight breeze away from the site towards the open fields, and then the magic touch paper was lit…unfortunately, 20 seconds after launch, the wind gusted and changed direction and sent the flaming lanterns into trees by the carpark…we decided at that point to postpone launching any more aeriel bombs until a more open location can be found!

Our last evening wound down with half the unit enjoying the fire and good conversations with new and old friends and the rest of the Unit laughing their heads off to Jeff Dunham on the DVD before retiring around 1am!

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Friday – Our trip to Oxford

30th July 2010 by FreeSpirit ESU

Today (Friday) we got woken up by the crashing of two pans by Buff – we weren’t pleased!. For breakfast we ate pancakes and waffles, then the race against time to set off to oxford for the day had started. We all boarded the bus half asleep, along with a lunch bags. We arrived in oxford and headed straight to shop mobility for a wheel chair. Guess who for? ……………………………………….. No it wasn’t Jennie ( also called Fallieover  by Amy) it was Gareth due to yesterday’s antics . With Gareth in a wheelchair we pushed him off to the city of Oxford for a bit of sightseeing (which we and  the leaders did) and some shopping! After raiding many shops, Luke and Steve decided to go ice skating at oxford ice skating rink. Steven and  Luke took to the ice very well until Luke fell over knocking a stranger down with him too and sliced the persons thumb (it’s okay Luke wasn’t hurt!) We met the others back at the minibuses and travelled back to the shack with a stop at Sainsburys for food and plasters for our feet!

By Steve H

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Thursday / Friday – Captains Blog Revisited (which has got to better than captains breakfast revisited….)

30th July 2010 by Bomb Squad

So what’s been happening in camp land (not Graham Norton dudes!)?

Thursday started with the Explorers team building (are these guys not teamy??), well they certainly seemed to be happy and having fun and not too noisy (tiredness is gonna get ya soon…) but more on teams later…

Well yesterday we witnessed our ever silent, ever obedient, ever inquisitive (no really inquisitive- Jenny look it up on Google!), ever amusing Explorers throwing themselves off the Zip Wire into the valley of foliage. Lauren, Buff and Bomb Sqd and Frodo saw it inverted, some saw it through terror, and some with an air of nonchalance.  It has to be said some rather worried souls really loved it (Eloise and Amy take a bow 😉 ).

Osama, Buff and Myself got our toenails painted in unit colours on Wed PM, great, groovy and mad. Er one small problem….. I went to the CO-OP with my sandals on… in the queue, lady in front….make polite conversation and she glares down at my feet…. Shop temp shoots up + 3 0C due to the glow from my face.

I mentioned teamy…. Well the young adults were challenged to a game of rugby by an English Explorer unit. The leaders pondered, this could be interesting?

I’ll let Buff fill you all in on the detail as the Referee, but FreeSpirit gave em hell J.

Notable mentions to:

John – you touch, you die.

Eloise – really, you think girls cant tackle? PAFF.

Luke – see my smoke trail slow boy?

Rhys G – airborne before tackle, I’ll get you on the landing run…!

Gareth – get off my ankle fatty!

Ethan – got ball, slam, er which way dude???

“Stunt” Ferodo – Bang! Tweet, tweet, tweet, I may have bounced 6 feet but Im not still scared of you you big ginger Jessie.

As the campfire glowed into the eve, the guys swapped stories, sing songs, gossip and little white lies… and isn’t that what it’s all about? 😉

TT’s west wing accommodation block is complete….. mighty fine it is too!

Off to Oxford Friday morning shopping…… various purchases and we got them all back!

Notable mention to Shopmobility who were stars and lent Gareth some wheels to assist his rather puffy ankle to join in the fun… ever seen a wheelchair cover 247 miles in 4.5 hrs!!!!!!!

Leaders met some interesting characters in Oxford

Any one seen Zakk? “ Yeah eeez fram ssowff London, eeezz an Explorwaaa, ya mussst  no my Zaaaak, always in Whales cliihminn”.

 Oh and we met “Chumly Warner” over lunch, interesting gentleman, Historian… and Im trying to be polite! L

Peace out… Rhys out – Bomb Squad – the nutter attractor! J


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Thursday – Zipwire, Go Karting and a Welsh Rugby win!

29th July 2010 by FreeSpirit ESU

Today we started of activities with team building and the zip wire. After we had done those activities we headed back for lunch. After lunch we had go-carting which red team had won. After tea some of the unit had a Karate lesson off Laura (who’s the black belt of the group) but got interrupted by some London explorers who wanted a rugby match so the unit headed up to play rugby against north Londoners! Started off well until unlucky players got munched by the Londoners had to come off due to injuries. The average ages of the teams England :17-18 wales :14-15!! So you can see where this is going… until Luke caught a drop kick and ran the length of pitch to the touch line, only to get tackled by someone twice the size of him. However, he managed to pass the ball to Frodo who scored a try.

By Luke (Lukas)

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Wednesday Evening – Dance Off, Profiteroles and an 18th Birthday

28th July 2010 by FreeSpirit ESU

As I’m sure you know Wednesday was Eloise’s 18th and to celebrate it, the Unit had several surprises for her. We decided to put some pink banners around the hall (as we all know that pink is Eloise’s favourite colour…not!). We also went out for a meal at the local Beefeater. Rhys, Tom and I thoughtfully finished off any leftovers by fighting over scraps. When the deserts came we managed to finish a bowl of profiteroles between us in roughly 2.3 seconds. Back at our hut, the Playstation was fired up together with the dance mat and many of the Unit got involved in the “Dance Off” competition – clear leaders seemed to be Becky, JP and David but the clear leader was Birthday El. This was quickly followed by a serious Guitar Hero jamming session with Lauren, Big Eth and the new 6 string maestro, Ben Harrrrrrrrr.

During the day we had activities such as crate stacking, rifle shooting and archery. Amy, one of the youngest members on camp (age 7) managed to get to the top of the crates, which is a lot higher than I would ever go. And I believe that Phil has found his hidden talent with rifle shooting, managing to beat Rhys who was convinced that he was going to win. 

Thoughts of the day, by Big Eth.

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Wednesday evening – Wood Badge and recruits

28th July 2010 by Buff

The Unit managed to secure the private function wing of the nearby Beefeater restaurant and come 6pm we were all safely ensconced in our seats eating a good selection of good British grub. The staff had hung balloons over Eloise’s seat and before the food arrived, she had a massive pile of cards to open including one large parcel from her family that we had managed to smuggle onto the minibus last Saturday. Each card seemed to include a large “18 Today” badge and Eloise, being a good girl, pinned them all to her clothing.

Following the food our newest recruit (Abigale) was invested into our ranks in the middle of the restaurant. JP and Lauren unfolded our Unit flag; the complete Unit was asked to stand and make the Scout sign; Abi then had to stand in front of the flag, also make the Scout Sign and place her left hand on the flag. She then had to say the Scout promise in front of the world….and now is a member of FreeSpirit.

Immediately following the investiture, I was privileged to present Rosie with her Woodbadge. This is a symbol of “completed leader training”. 20 modules including, camp craft, first aid, programme planning, Scouting history to name but a few. A few tears were shed…and then we headed home to finish Eloises’s 18th party.

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Bomb Squad Blog (Wednesday AM)

28th July 2010 by Bomb Squad

Hi Folks smee again!

This afternoon we tried the new phenomenon they call Geocaching.  NOTE – this is not giro cashing or some cyber bank robbery.  It is the art of typing global longitudinal and lateral co-ordinates into a hand held GPS device and following its direction until you find an object, sign, symbol, middle of the local RAF Runway or a big fat NOTHING. Simple, Right? NOT!

Remember Orienteering? ….. at least you can blame the compass, magnetic deviation or your own incompetence!!!!!! So after finding the co-ordinates, going up a page, down a page, into the global confusion geeks only menu and finally getting them into the bl**dy  GPS,  off went the Explorers.

 Erm er do you really want me to walk through that hedge? Wow, someone built a toilet block on my bearing!  Various cries of “There’s nothing there.” “It keeps changing direction!” “  While we were walking to one bearing we saw another team (and nicked their answers).”  “This yellow mobile looks weird?” “Can I just use google maps?” 

Call me a purest, but my compass is staying in my kit bag! However if I do happen to be stuck in a whiteout on Ben Nevis I may have time to pitch a tent and read the 1142 page instruction manual.

Current casualties:

One Minibus fan belt – Fixed

One Car tyre – Replaced

One torn nail – Trimmed

One dodgy tummy – Early night

6 sleep deprived leaders – Caffine Fix

2 x ducky woggles lost – Anon

One hand rail snapped – Lucas

Osama Smelly Bum Gas Evacuation drill – 2 off so far – two dead canaries!

Annd sleeeep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

This blog was brought to you by – Rhys (AKA Bomb Sqd – deep maintenance facility).

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Wednesday Morning – Snipers and Arrows

28th July 2010 by Buff

Wednesday started, as usual, with a FreeSpirit healthy, low calorie breakfast (3 sausage, 3 bacon, double egg, baked beans, black pudding, mushrooms, toast) and then moved swiftly into “death by pellet or arrow”. The Unit was split into two groups of 10 – one doing a session with air rifles the other archery. In my group a very close competition developed and, over a number of rounds, it became clear that Rhys and John were the Unit’s hired killers….until Phil “guitar hero” Langley woke up – 8 shots in two minutes, all dead centre earning him the new nickname of “Sniper” and winning the respect of all present including the instructor.

We then moved from the range and headed outside and into the woods. We kept a keen eye out for Robin Hood…and eventually found the “man in tights” waiting for us by the archery butts. After a few warm up rounds the main competition or game of cricket started – yes, I did say cricket. The batting side had to get all the arrows on target with increasing runs gained the closer one got to the centre.  Any arrows that missed the target were runs to the other side. The bowling team had to get their arrows in the two zones closest to the centre to score an “out”. The battle commenced…however the opposition had a ringer (Steve H) was scoring well and was rumoured to have had some coaching…and then Phill the Sniper started to get his eye in. However, we rallied well with Big Eth, Rhys and Ben Harrrrrr scoring well to finally edge the result.

Lunch then called!

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Tuesday Evening – Burgers, scarey aliens and an old git!

28th July 2010 by Buff

Our tired and yet still intrepid Explorers arrived home from Chessington a little later than planned and immediately started to prepare a teenagers favourite dinner – burgers and chips (with some rather healthy looking salad stuff on the side!). Three massive quarter pounders later (plus all the chips that you can eat) and the Unit settled down to watch the late film – The Forth Kind. A rather scary sci/fi come horror film about alien abduction! The exact film that you want to be watching at 11pm in a very dark campsite especially when you have an Osama in your group! Mike (Osama) slipped out half way through the film, just before a really scary part, and then banged loudly on the main window….Jenny’s scream could have been heard in London!

With the Unit safely tucked up in bed, midnight approached….at 1 minute past the hour, Eloise was summoned to the leaders enclave where she was sung “happy birthday”. Her 18th had arrived and she was officially christened “an old git”.

A great day and another good evening…roll on Wednesday’s programme.

Chessington World of Adventure - Summer Camp 2010  Chessington World of Adventure - Summer Camp 2010

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