My First Gordon's Shield Experience
The drive to Gordon's Shield was long, but beautiful and scenic at the same time. As I was getting closer to Hawequas, I started feeling anxious but excited, and as I reached the parking area I saw my fellow Scouts and the anxiety subsided. Some expectations came to mind; I wanted to have a lot of fun, yet still feel challenged. More of my patrol members arrived and the JUDGES did too! They gave us our campsite numbers and so my journey for Gordon's Shield began.
As we put our bags down, our patrol leader told us to start unpacking the trailer, then we had to wait until she came back from registering our patrol. Finally we got time to eat, I'm not even sure if it was lunch time anymore.
All of a sudden, we saw patrols leaving from the campsites. Our Patrol Leader told us that we needed to fall in. We walked down a road, we lined up next to some patrols and saw the judges. Fall in time and flag ceremony. When we all stood at alert, the noise of our legs coming together was so loud, I felt like the ground was trembling, but proud to be part of something so cool.
When we got back to our campsites, the judges started approaching
our site. I felt afraid that they wouldn’t like what they saw. We got inspected immediately on our uniform, sanitation and campsite (we hadn’t even setup anything yet).
We started setting up our patrol site. I felt exhausted before we even started, but as we carried on with the setup, the exhaustion changed to a sense of FUN! Setting up the tent was such a challenge, but getting the tent up included someone going in to put a pole up inside the tent. It was so dark inside that if felt like voyaging through space with the last pole of hope. I guess using your imagination makes everything more fun.
While finishing off our campsite, certain patrol members would have to leave to face challenges in the unknown. Sometimes I'd get lost after doing a challenge and follow other Scouts to find out where my campsite was.
My most favorite of all the challenges was to try and make a fire. Even though I could not make it, before I started, I thought this would be an easy one for me, but I was wrong. I thought the wood caught on fire, but it was just the spark from the flint and steel. It was sooooo cool though, how smoke came from the flint and steel, and I learnt that rope is not good in fires.
Coming back to the campsite I found my patrol busy cooking and I
joined, of course! We were making delicious butter chicken and rice. I felt so hungry because I helped stir the chicken and I must mention that chicken is my all-time favorite food - Mmmmmmm. Worst part of all of this cooking was, when the chicken was ready, they added an even more delicious looking sauce.
After supper, I thought I was ready to go to bed. I completely forgotten about nightmares, oops I meant to say night bases!
When I got to bed after all those night bases at midnight, seeing my sleeping bag, I felt all the exhaustion of the day just disappear, because I fell asleep and couldn’t feel it any longer. That is until 5am the following morning when we woke to rain, rain and more rain, and let’s not forget the mud and more mud.
There were streams running under our tents. I was afraid that my bags
would get wet but luckily my patrol member had reminded me to pack my stuff earlier. What a great patrol I had! Trenches had to be dug to stop the streams from wetting everything in our campsite. Everything had to be done in the rain, even cooking. I was worried about getting hypothermia because of how cold it was. When I saw other Scouts being taken to the main hall on stretchers, I thought, “Will I be next?”
We survived Gordon's Shield and we did very well for our first time doing many of the challenges. I felt so proud of all of us, especially our patrol, for completing the Gordon's Shield competition and would definitely do it again!!