My 3rd camp! I’m getting a dab hand at this camping lark now! This years camp was extra special. It was Simons last camp as captain of the 5th Kingston and Merton company and it was our 60th anniversary of camping. So, two more reasons to make camp bigger and better.
It all kicked off as usual on the Sunday with the arrival of the boys (and me!) in the morning to a “set up” camp apart from the boy’s tents which they all slowly put up with the assistance of the staff. I am still terrible at wielding a mallet.
Later Lesley and Mel and their families arrived to spend the afternoon. This year the girl’s camp was the week after ours and so we couldn’t have our usual day together so visits were made instead. The week after our camp Simon took the boys down to the girls camp and spent the day on the beach with them.
We started our 60th anniversary preparations with the baking of three cakes that we then cut and shaped into a 60, iced and then decorated. We then played out BB version of the “Cube”.
The next day we held our 60’s themed day starting with tie dying t-shirts and bandanas and sports ending with a 60’s party with such party food classics as cheese and pineapple on a hedgehog, sausages on sticks, quiche, crisps, sausage rolls and of course lots of cake. We rounded off the day with a fiercely contested game of “logo” where I was fortunately on the winning team thanks to an omission of the word “giant” from the title of the World Wildlife Fund’s logo.
This was just the start of a fun filled and action packed week! Non-stop and full on. We cooled down on the hottest day of the week (perhaps the year) at Arundel lido, it was so lovely! Sampled the new pool in Worthing and went to the pool in Horsham for the first time. We visited the fire brigade, the life boat station, played crazy golf, went on a harbour tour in Littlehampton, picnicked and played games on West Wittering beach and endured and enjoyed a terrifying zombie attack. This necessitated the boys taking refuge in the woods for the night relying on emergency food deposits and resisting attack from grenades and smoke bombs! Fortunately I was kidnapped early on by the zombies so missed the whole night experience. The boys went to archery again and had intense fencing training by a very enthusiastic trainer with a real passion for the sport. They loved it!
Another unexpected but lovely treat for the week was the presence of horses in half of the field with us. The ladies that came to tend them were bubbly and fun and very welcoming. They let the boys join them when the farrier came to shoe the horses presenting each boy with a horseshoe after the demonstration and organised a riding session for us all. Scary but good nevertheless. Film night in the field was the new “Monsters University”.
Keeping us going in the energy stakes was the cookhouse with substantial but healthy meals; pasta bake, lamb kebabs, French bread pizza, shepherds pie to name a few meals.
Helping to inspire and motivate us in our endeavours were our morning thoughts and evening prayers. Our theme for the week was “Loyalty” and we explored both the positives and the negatives. How showing faith and devotion to others, ourselves, our country, our friends, our family and to God can help sustain and support us through both good and difficult times but how alos there could be conflict and divided loyalties. Again evening prayers were made more poignant by sitting around the campfire with the stars shining down on us.
Then it was done, over, finished once more, ending with the Big Fat Camp Quiz, the presentations and the big pack up. Yet again camp, the best.
Thanks boys – Mark, Andy, Ed, Tom, Uldis, Clive, Kevin, (Guy and John for a few days) and a special thanks to Simon, Captain and leader to us all for over a decade.