This year I decided to focus my attention on getting my Cub Camping License so that we could do more overnight activities with our Cubs such as camping, badges (the link badge in particular) and other overnight events such as a sleepover at the Museum. The Cub Camping license ensures that we follow the regulations set out by Scouts South Africa to ensure the safety of the children on camp/ holiday.
I attended a fantastic overnight course at Hawequas in Wellington
where we were trained in every element of Cub Camping from planning a camp/ pack holiday, to cooking meals for a large group of people and playing a variety of games that can be used at camp. It was an adventure-filled weekend run by Sharon Ievers, with input from Nicky Jonas and Gavin Withers, that left us well-equipped to plan and implement our own Cub Camp/ Pack Holiday. I attended this course in February which gave me 7 months to plan and run my very own Cub Camp or Pack Holiday.
The fundamental difference between a Cub Camp and a Pack Holiday is that the Cubs camp in tents on a Cub Camp and sleep indoors on a Pack Holiday. Our event was a combination of the two as the ten-year-olds slept in tents on the second night for advancement purposes.
This year's Cub Camp/ Pack Holiday took place at Karmel Campsite in Franschhoek. This is a remote venue next to the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, that has no electricity or reception. We had a generator for 6hrs/ day which we used for lights at night, and four two-way radios (kindly lent to us by Craig Burchell-Burger) that allowed us to keep in contact with one another when in different areas of the venue. We also had a Paramedic join us from Medicare EMR who kindly gave us a fantastic price for the weekend. We would highly recommend Damian to anyone looking for assistance at future events in the area. He was wonderful with the children and we were sad to say goodbye at the end of the weekend. We joined up with 1st Fish Hoek and 1st Meadowridge and had 33 weekenders and 4 day campers for a weekend of adventure.
Friday kicked off with Grand Howl at 5pm and an introduction of adult
leaders to the Cubs. The theme was "The World of Avatar" (as in element benders and not the blue people) and each Six was grouped according to the elements air, water and fire. Adult leaders were given character name badges and wore colourful buffs in accordance with their Six element. We were lucky to have a portable flagpole which was made by Martin aka Kaa and which will be put into good use in future.
The first task set out was for the Cubs to discover their Six name by hunting for puzzle pieces and gluing them together to make their Six name.
Wide games, quiet games, interest badge work (like making wolf woggles, bird feeders, nets and fridge magnet notepads) with delicious spaghetti bolognaisse followed by peaches and custard for dessert, kept the Cubs busy until they were falling asleep on their feet and were only too happy to brush their teeth and climb into bed. This, of course, did not stop lots of giggling and chattering into the night as the excitement of the first day dwindled into light snoring.
Saturday morning started at 6am with our eager Cub Instructors
leading early morning PT. After morning ablutions we were treated to a hearty breakfast of cereal and fruit to start the day.
The Cubs spent the next two hours on a scavenger hunt while hiking through the rolling mountainous hills of Franschhoek. I must say that we had the perfect weather for it. Martin (otherwise known as Tenzin on camp) kept us well informed about natural dangers, what to do when getting lost and how to signal for help if you are lost.
When we got back to the site, the day campers joined us while having a quick snack before moving on to base work. Making Solar Cookers from Pringle Bottles, assessing the water from the mountain stream that flows into Theewaterskloof Dam and the exciting chocolate game kept everyone busy until lunch. Some of the braver Cubs even ate the viennas they had cooked in their Solar Cookers.
At lunchtime, Alistair (aka Kuei) informed us that the average score of the stream assessment indicated that the water of the river was almost perfect. This comes as no surprise as we were very much in the middle of nowhere. It was also good to know considering that this is the water that feeds into our main dam.
After lunch, the Gold Wolves used the sticks and stones they collected
on their Scavenger Hunt to set out woodcraft trails for the Silver Wolves to follow. While the Silver Wolves followed the course set out by the Gold Wolves, the older Cubs set up the tents for the 10-year-olds to sleep in.
The late afternoon base work revolved around completing their fridge magnet boards, chopping vegetables for their dinner and learning to lay and light a fire. The rest of the evening before dinner was spent practising their skits or songs for the highlight of the evening. Yes, you guessed it! Campfire!
A large bowl of beef stew and delicious smores for dessert was enjoyed by all. Campfire followed shortly after where we started one or two traditions and were regaled by hilarious skits and songs from Scouters, Cub Instructors and Cubs alike while enjoying a mug of hot chocolate. A peaceful night ensued with Cubs sleeping deeply in their dorms and tents after an eventful day.
Early Sunday morning was once again led by the Cub Instructors PT session, albeit with slightly less enthusiasm. Breakfast was flapjacks with a choice of Nutella or syrup and plenty of fruit.
After ablutions and Roster Work the 10-year-olds hosted a beautiful Cub's Own where poetry, songs and gratitude were the flavour of the morning with a focus on the magic and beauty of nature.
Once bags were packed and inspections done, the Cubs made themselves comfortable in the hall in preparation for prize-giving. Each Cub was awarded with their Cub Camp Badge and the winning Six received Silver Medals with the Avatar receiving a gold medal.
The closing ceremony included many thanks but I would like to reiterate the fact that the Pack Holiday/ Cub Camp was a great success due to the help I received from a wonderful group of parents, Scouters, Scouts and Cubs.
I am proud to say that I have subsequently been awarded with the Cub Camping License and can't wait to plan the next one! Here is to many, many more!