Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dunfermline District Camp

As promised, here's some photos from the District Camp - there are also loads more on the main Fordell website (thanks to Ian), so have a look there afterwords.

The weather was generally great for the whole weekend - friday night stayed dry as all the groups arrived. Most of the tents/marquees/equipment had already been set up beforehand so things went pretty smoothly. Groups started arriving from 6pm onwards, and by around 8:30pm everyone was assembled at the campfire circle for the opening ceremony.

Saturday morning saw lots of excited hyperactive cubs and scouts up incredibly early (some at 5am!), playing football and waking up the leaders, although strangely this didn't happen on the sunday morning and they seemed reluctant to get up.

The main camp programme consisted of lots of different activities on saturday and sunday morning/afternoon, as well as an arena show at saturday lunchtime, a bazaar saturday evening and a campfire again on the saturday night. During the weekend groups had the chance to take part in the usual site activities as well as offsite ones (watersports, quad biking, etc) and other one-off bases.

Here's a selection of photos from throughout the weekend, enjoy.

Above : arriving at camp. Bonus point if you can spot Henry!

Above/below : Opening campfire.

Above : Many of the scouts quickly made new friends from other groups.

Above : An eager crowd gather in anticipation of the old donkey story on saturday morning.

Above : groups enjoying the good weather before the arena show

Above : Firemen getting ready to rescue invisible man from crashed car.

Above : Craig leads a team of scavengers to try and salvage some spare parts for his own car after the show.

Above : Bob realises the pitfalls of buying a used car on Ebay.

Above : Aerobics session just about to start up.

Above : Fordell staff busy with popcorn/candyfloss sales.

Above : Gladiator action

Above : One of the more popular bases on the saturday night.

Above : Camp leader John trying out his fantastic new mic stand, as the staff wonder where the bit off their hoover has gone.

Above : Hovercraft looking a bit bruised after some poor drivers/pilots on the saturday.

Above : The mystery of the disappearing popcorn is finally solved.

Above : much better fire on the saturday night!!!

Above : Honda Pilots, in one of the nearby fields.

Above : an exclusive for the camp - the world's largest working guitar effects pedal.

Above : Scouts busy in the radio club hut.

Above : Yoda and friends at the closing ceremony.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Busy season again

Above : Groups busy setting up in advance of District camp this weekend

Well, that's us well into the busiest part of the year - most weekends for the past month or so have been pretty hectic with a huge number of groups visiting and taking part in activities. Most weekends have seen around 12 staff in to help out (some weekends with nearly 20 over the whole weekend!) but luckily the weather's been fantastic in general, although maybe a wee bit hot for some of us.

This weekend sees the biggest event of the year, a centenary camp for Dunfermline District Scouts with nearly 800 expected in total. Most groups have already been in to set up their tents and equipment in advance so that they can just turn up on friday and get started with the programme. The site's looking pretty good; the dry spell has helped dry out the notoriously wet areas although some other bits of the grass have suffered a bit with the heat which will make it hard to get tentpegs in!

Above : Group which drew the short straw and got stuck next to the infamous burst water pipe...

The new grasscutter arrived a few weeks ago and has been much in use already - we should have a few action photos here soon for all you machinery freaks out there. We bid a sad farewell to the trusty old tractor, but wish it well for its future life.

Aside from the usual activities, there have been a few other events recently including the annual Gibb Bugle and Totem camping competitions for Dunfermline and Rosyth district scouts respectively. These are both run together to maximise the use of leaders/judges, and over a period of 2 days patrols from each group are tested in a variety of ways to give them the chance to show how good they are at campcraft, cooking, mapwork, gadgets, etc. A good weekend seemed to be had by all, the only downside being event leader Graeme having a freak accident which resulted in a broken ankle so we wish him a speedy recovery.

Above : Scouts laughing at one of Mr Ness's rubbish jokes during the camping competition (not)

Above : building a camp gateway

Above : scouts working out an escape route from the camping competition to the 10-pin-bowling complex at Halbeath

Above : Cutting some cheese for the world's largest toastie

Another new sight at Fordell is a curious monument which has appeared on the front lawn (next to the Richmond Chalet). This is going to be the centenary cairn and will be comprised of individual stones which have been donated by scout districts and areas across Scotland. The work is being carried out by a leader from Edinburgh who is also a stonemason (and some of his scouts), and is pretty much finished now - just awaiting the arrival and attachment of individual metal plaques which will go on each stone to show who donated. If you're on the site, why not have a wee wander and check it out?

Above : enormous jigsaw puzzle

Above : Team just about to get started on the cairn

Above : mixing up some porridge for Bob's breakfast

Above : (Nearly) finished centerary cairn looking good - just waiting for plaques.

Lastly, a fantastic free competition for you all to take part in.
Just answer the following question and you could win a wonderful Fordell Firs comb.

Q. Who is this well-known local leader who is trying to hide his identity during the camping competition?

Send your entries to :
Murray Thompson Competition
c/o Fordell Firs
The first winner picked out will receive a free comb (but will require to pay courier charges of £25.95 before despatch).

That's all for now, but we'll have another update next week with lots of photos from the district camp.
Have fun and look back soon.