“YOU need to join the Scouts to learn how to do this sort of thing properly.”
These were the words of a 13-year-old Scout from the 3rd Wisbech (St Augustine’s) group as he negotiated a particularly difficult bit of Swirral Edge, one of the two most exciting routes up Helvellyn in the Lake District.
Bear Grylls style, the 15 Scouts were making full use of their natural environment at their “back to basics” ten-day camp on the shores of Ullswater, the second largest lake in England.
And the camp was as basic as it could get, from cooking on wood fires to creating their own toilets.
The days were packed full of activities to make the most of the amazing settings.
They backpacked up to 2,000 feet to camp beside mountain lake Red Tarn before scaling the summit of Helvellyn at 3,018 feet. This “camping high” is a speciality of the 3rd Wisbech Scouts and has been developed over many years.
Youngsters and leaders got wet canoeing in the choppy but amazingly clear waters of Ullswater and they got to visit the stunning White Scar Caves, near Ingleton – the longest limestone cavern show cave in Britain.
Three Scouts were invested on a small island and another took his pledge in the glow of a campfire, fantastic memories they are sure to remember.
For specialist helper Chris Tatam who went on the camp, it was the 50th anniversary of his first Scout summer camp, which was also under the camp leadership of his then Scoutmaster, Brian Sleight, one of the current leaders of the 3rd Wisbech Scouts.