Endeavour Explorers: Summer Camp 2014

Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The Triumph of the Few

In January 12 explorers said they wanted to go and the Site was booked. Various reminders were sent out and deadlines were set, but with weeks to go there was little response. It seemed that late booked holidays and other organised activities had scuppered us. To go or not to go – well, we had paid a deposit which we would lose – and the few still wanted to go.


In the event: 4 explorers; Rozy, Kieran, Faye and Joe; Jake, just about to become a trainee Leader at Ferny Crofts and Amanda, Matt, Geoff and Lin together with Corbin a Beaver Scout, were the ten that went along to Bowling Green Wood in Dorset from the 9th to the 16th August.

The Saturday load up needed some changes in our equipment as we had just heard that the fringes of hurricane Bertha would hit the South Coast that night. The heavy mess tent was preferred.

Lin and I had been there before but everyone else was impressed by the fact that this great campsite would be ours for a week. Thought was given to the layout of the tents given the high westerly winds that were forecast. The site is bounded by woodland which would give shelter but there was evidence that the trees could be blown down in the wind.

Sitting round the fire after a good supper the wind picked up as forecast and we went off to our Tents. It was a wet and windy night but we had good tents well pitched and we didn’t lose any sleep. 


The morning was windy and rainy but a visit from the resident peacock put us in a good mood. We decided immediately to put the bad weather fall back into action and went to Splashdown at Poole, “fluming” marvellous for the young, but two hours sipping indifferent coffee for the old and responsible. On the way back over Whiteway Hill we stopped at the high view point and saw the Jurassic coast spread before us all the way to Portland Bill. Amanda and Rozy did aerobics on stumps and Joe sat and contemplated.


Monday was better. Lin and Corbin were arriving and we arranged to meet them at Worth Matravers. I hadn’t said much about where we were going but the reaction when the others saw the big quarry caves cut into the cliff face was amazing. It was a time and a place to explore and they all did. Sitting above a sea still under the influence of hurricane Bertha was awesome. The hunt for ammonite fossils as big as car tyres was great as they clambered over the cliffs and rocky shelves. 


Tuesday we split: The Macho Brigade went to the Tank Museum while the Primeval went to Monkey World. Both Parties enjoyed their days but it was good to get back to our home at Bowling Green and compare notes whilst we prepared Dinner.


On Wednesday it was time to hit the beach at Lulworth Cove where most went swimming and all sunbathed. To live up to the English tradition the clouds came over, it started to rain and we became part of the mass exodus from the beach. After lunch some of us returned to visit the Fossil Forest to the east of the Cove.


That evening we cooked Pizzas on our own recently invented Camp Pizza Oven.


Thursday and Climbing was on the bill: We chose Hedbury Quarry as it was above the sea which was still a bit frisky. All the climbs there are bolted and most of a high grade but luckily our spot was available right on the edge overlooking the sea and the right grade for our novices. Matt and Jake have recently passed their Walls and Towers and this was a chance for them to extend their experience under my M form. Everyone had a go and some good climbing was done. It was good weather and a good place to be. After the long uphill path back to the Cars we decided everyone needed a treat and headed off to Swanage for a group meal in a Fish and Chip Restaurant.



Friday, our last full day and it had to be done – Durdle D’or and the swim through the Arch:


With Kieran our lifeguard in attendance the unit made a Unit swim through and around the arch and then enjoyed a laze and mud bath! on the beach. Meanwhile Joe made friends with a homing pigeon and gave it something to eat and drink.


That night Jake suggested we cook Hobo style – We prepared our own mix of meat and chopped vegetables seasoned and sauced, wrapped in foil and cooked in the embers. It was delicious.


The next morning we broke Camp and loaded the cars and trailer. Tidied the site and at a final parade were presented with the Campsite badge by the Warden, our flags were lowered and we left. What a memory!

From the Four: Rozi, Faye, Kieran and Joe: also Jake, Amanda, Matt, Geoff, Lin and “I just can’t wait to be an Explorer” Corbin.

One of the successes of the Camp were the Swedish Candles which Amanda had brought along as prepared logs with slots cut down into them. With a few embers dropped on the top they caught light and burnt down into the log for an hour or two. We cooked on them and also boiled a few Kettles. Thanks to Scouting Magazines Get Active Booklet.