20/07/2011

Welcome to the Guernsey blog, I will aim to update the blog each day during the camp, although updates may not be until late evening, depending on how busy we are and 3G signal permitting !

Please keep a eye on the News Alerts window at the top of this page for any important updates, it will be used mainly for updates on our return journey, so you will know what time we are likely to get back to Eastbourne. Please refresh the page occasionally to allow it to update.

There is a link to the photo galleries on the top left of the page , we will try and upload some photos whilst we are there, but this is very dependant on internet access.

24/07/2011

We have arrived safe and sound in Weymouth, good journey, we have just had fish and chips and have been to the Olympic sailing venue. A lot of the scouts are a tad excitable....but they are settling down a bit now, they are watching a dvd then it will be bed to get a few hours sleep, we hope !

25/07/2011

We have arrived safe and sound in Weymouth, good journey, we have just had fish and chips and have been to the Olympic sailing venue. A lot of the scouts are a tad excitable....but they are settling down a bit now, they are watching a dvd then it will be bed to get a few hours sleep, we hope !

25/07/2011

Well I think we managed to get about 3 hours sleep last night....up at 4.30 and straight down to the port to catch the ferry, its a nice sunny morning and we are now well on our way. The scouts are still buzzing, all in good spirits, and we have just had breakfast so they are all well fed. We have just invested Liam and Benjamin on the top deck, a first for the troop !

25/07/2011

It seemed like today went on forever, after getting up so early it just went on and on and on ! We arrived on site just before 10, and it was very hot, but it was great weather for pitching camp, the scouts made a pretty good job of sorting their tents and then spent the afternoon relaxing or sleeping ! Some of the scouts are very tired, so we have just sent them to bed, but all are well and settling in just fine. Tomorrow we are off to the underground military hospital and little chapel.

26/07/2011

It's sooooooooooooo HOT today !!! This morning we all had a bit of a lie in, the Scouts were still in bed well beyond 7, which for a weekend camp would be unheard of, but thankfully is more normal for these big trips ! It gave all of us a chance to catch up on much needed sleep, and everyone was feeling much more refreshed this morning.

We started the day by visiting the Little Chapel, a very unusual miniature church made out of pottery, crockery and china, and we also visited a clock workshop and shop nearby where a lot of the scouts enjoyed their first taste of Guernsey ice cream.

After some lunch we drove to the German Underground Hospital museum, it was very cold, very damp and in some places very dark, we discovered that Harry and Adam have very active imaginations when it comes to underground military facilities and the sorts of things that may have happened in them !!

We also discovered that Nathanael would win an award for the 'Worst attempt at going 'boo' from behind a door, he tried very hard but was about as scary as a bowl of angel delight that has not set (pudding last night !).

Several of the scouts have started to buy some souvenirs, some even brought some sticks of rock, but they didn't even make it back to the site, let alone home !

We have a french group on site next to us, a football was produced, and battle has commenced, and in fact has been going on for a few hours now (good job as Julian is cook tonight and we'll be eating by torchlight if his meal takes any longer to cook !!!!!!), anyway, so far the French have won a match 3-1, and we won the return match 19-8 !! (Ethan was man of the match !)

National pride has therefore been upheld !

All of the scouts are very well, they are eating well and are all in good spirits, they have really relaxed into it more today after the initial hype of the journey here, and so far no tears !

Tomorrow we are off to coasteering and kayaking, and did I mention it is really hot today, glorious sunshine, it is 8.30 pm now, and it feels like 2 in the afternoon !

27/07/2011

Another glorious day today, clear blue skies and long hours of sunshine !

We started today with the 'North Coast Tour', visiting some of the monuments and military installations around the north of the island, and the scouts spent a short time scrambling on some rocks on one of the sheltered bays.

We had lunch at Fort Marchant, and then drove down to the south of the island to Petit Bot, a sheltered bay amongst high rocky cliffs, where the water was crystal clear down to great depths, a truly beautiful place, here we met our water activity instructors...

We split into two groups, Carla, Nic, myself and AJ went with the kayaking group, and Julian and TJ with the coasteering group, after being issued with the safety gear we were soon all on the water, and it was a great afternoon's fun, as Liam put it, "this is the best thing I have EVER done" !

The kayakers paddled to a small bay just down the coast, where we all tipped into the clear (and somewhat chilly !) waters to visit the beach there, before we boarded our boats again to set back. Joshua Evans tried very hard to beat me in a kayak race, but I thrashed him (he has another view on this and seems to think he won...)

The coasteerers clambered along the rocks and jumped into large clear pools, and came back tired but happy !

The scouts are all still doing very well, many have not camped together before so they are having inevitable ups and downs here and there, but I am pleased to say nothing major, and they are all learning from the experience of getting to know and working with others over a longer period, so it's all very good for them (and all part of the 'growing' experience).

Homesickness has been almost non-existent (well except for the leaders), the scouts are doing very well keeping their tents tidy, and they are all asking for showers, good news indeed !

The younger ones, Ethan, Benjamin, Andrew, Liam, Paul and Tomek are on the steepest learning curve of them all, but so far are all coping very well, you can all be proud of them, and they are all doing well.

We had one moderate injury today, when Julian discovered that he really is too old to be playing football, and he has hurt his calf muscle as a result, (the scouts say he dived and is putting it on !!!!).

The scouts have started to mix with other groups on site, particularly a group of guides from Newcastle who think we have funny accents !

It was a great day today on the water, tomorrow we are off to Herm Island to explore Guernsey's smaller neighbour.

28/07/2011

If this hot weather carries on we are going to need an airdrop of more suncream !

We were up early this morning and had 'fruit madness' for breakfast, which consisted of platters of mixed fruit and jugs of Activia pouring yoghurt, which cunningly we mixed oats into, and I don't think they even noticed !! They all wolfed it down, and came back for more, it was an instant success, and was healthy !

After breakfast we drove into St Peter Port where we boarded the ferry to Herm Island, it was a clear sunny morning and the water was lovely and smooth.

On arrival we walked across the island to Shell Beach, a large expanse of sand with cool clear waters, the perfect spot for lunch and some extensive paddling !

All of the scouts got throughly soaked in the North Atlantic waters, probably would have been better if we had brought some towels etc with us, but it was so hot they all dried off in a short time anyway !

After some time on the beach we returned to the small harbour village where the scouts did some shopping for gifts, and an awful lot of ice cream was consumed !

We returned to the site hot and tired, and took to the showers, followng which we had curry for dinner, which proved very popular, even for those who had never had it before.

After dinner we headed to the beach to try and catch a sunset, which can be great here, unfortunately the cloud got a little in the way, but it was nice to get up on the coast during the evening.

The scouts are all still doing very well, they are all in very good spirits, and in fact were really excitable this evening, probably as they are all looking forward to the kayaking/coasteering again tomorrow !

I am still very impressed with how they are all getting on, no homesickness at all, they are all eating really well and behaviour is on the whole very good (well they are not going to be perfect, they're kids after all !)

There are some more photos in the gallery !

29/07/2011

I think we must be wearing the scouts out as this morning they all slept in (mind you so did most of the leaders !), but after a breakfast of eggy bread we headed off to a local store called Aladdin's Cave for a little shopping.

Once we were done there we headed off to the beach at Grand Rocque on the north-west coast where we had lunch, and we then strolled across the bay to meet the guys from Outdoor Guernsey for more fun on the water.

The groups swapped around to do the activity they had not done on Wednesday and we were soon out on the water again, it was another gloriously hot day in Guernsey, clear blue skies and a light breeze, perfect conditions.

It was another fantastic afternoon of adventurous fun, and we took some pursuading to get out of the water !

I just want to describe a little moment which for me summed up what these trips are about, and I'm sure he won't mind me telling you about it. Liam was part of the coasteering contingent and when it came to the point where he had to jump into the cool clear waters below there were a few tears, and he did not want to make the jump, but with a little pursuasion from the instructor, and fellow scouts, he wiped away the tears, took a deep breath, and off he went !

That was one example of so many instances this week where all of the scouts have in one way or another overcome challenges, and sometimes fears, and as we sat on the rocks on a headland this evening and watched the bright red sun set over the sea I couldn't help but think how I am sure you are all missing them and are wondering (and in some cases worrying !) about how they are doing, but trust me they are exceeding all of your expectations, and I've already heard a few say they don't ever want to go home !

It was another great day, and we finished it off this evening by giving them all some glowsticks and off they went to meet other groups on site, they have made quite a lot of friends now which is good to see as it adds to the fun.

We are off into St Peter Port tomorrow to visit the German Occupation Museum and we shall then do some shopping !

P.S - Postcards are on the way...

30/07/2011

I am starting to run out of ways to describe the hot weather !!!

The scouts have done very well with keeping up with the suncream and I am pleased to say we have had no cases of sunburn, mind you that's partly because the leaders are saying "put suncream on" every 20 minutes !

After breakfast this morning we headed off to the park & ride just outside of St Peter Port where we caught the bus into town (we are trying to use all forms of transport on this camp !).

We arrived in town and then walked a short distance to the Occupation Museum, which is an underground bunker situated just alongside the harbour, originally it was constructed by the Germans to house four massive fuel bunkers, which were used to fuel U-boats (which as I explained to the scouts were then sunk by the british !!)

There were a whole range of displays in the museum covering the occupation of the islands by the Germans, and the scouts showed quite an interest (helped by the presence of plenty of guns and knives of course).

After the museum visit we had lunch on a grass bank overlooking the harbour, before we split up into four smaller groups and hit the town for some shopping.

I think the scouts have done quite well with their shopping, but I cannot be held responsible for all of their choices !!

We returned to site and then some of the leaders headed out for another shopping trip, we have done food shops every other day at the local Waitrose, and it's fair to say it's not been cheap, so since day two we have only been feeding the scouts whose surnames begin with A-M, (which means Zach might be a tad hungry by the time we get home !!)

Tonight the leaders prepared a four course banquet for the scouts, starting with a seafood cocktail, followed by Chilli Beef Rissoles, with a sweet of Fruit Cocktail & Cream, and of course a final course of After Eight mints.

The meal was prepared and served by the leaders on silver platters, with red & white wines served in silver goblets, within a suitably decorated marquee.

Things we have learnt so far on camp;

1. Oscar will spend quite some time looking for a tin of elbow grease when sent to look for one

2. Harry is not terribly keen on vegetables with whipped cream

3. Carla does not like scouts walking under the washing line

4. Julian's professional football career appears to be over

5. It takes two leaders to get Tomek into a wetsuit, (and getting him out of it again will be his parents problem)

6. Ethan will eat almost anything you put in front of him on camp

7. Beth appears to be wearing more of Adams clothes than Adam is

8. Naomi has the legs of a giraffe (and it wants them back)

9. All of the leaders from other groups on the site think we have a kid called "Kieran Shut Up"

10. Trying to think of a number 10 for this list late at night when I'm tired is hard work !!

Everyone is still doing very well, the scouts are all fit and healthy and in very good spirits, in fact I think they have settled in so well we may have trouble pursuading them to leave the island !

31/07/2011

Today was the 'South Coast Tour', which we commenced after a short visit to Oatlands Village for another bit of shopping.

We drove down the south-west coast, stopping first at Laree Battery, where we had lunch, following which we walked across a causeway to Lihou Island, another form of transport notched up !

At the same location we then visited the Creux Es Fais, a neolithic underground chamber which according to folklore is a 'passage to the land of the fairies', despite several attempts however we were unable to transport any of the scouts to a magical place far, far away !

We then moved further down the coast to Pleinmont where we visited the 'Fairy Ring', where according to folklore you should walk round the ring three times and make a wish, which will then come true. I think maybe the batteries were flat on it or something as despite much wishing by the leaders once more none of the scouts were transported to a magical place far, far away !!!!!!

Having made two efforts at using magic and folklore to make the scouts vanish which both failed I have concluded we will have no choice but to bring them home at some point !

We then visited Vazon Bay for a couple of hours on the beach for some more paddling, the cool waters being the perfect antidote to the hot weather.

Ten more things we have learnt on this camp...

1. Harry is quite the trendsetter, I am sure we saw at least a couple of islanders rocking the 'long socks' look, so by the time we leave I am sure they'll all be at it.

2. Paul's daysack works as a food diary, as it seems to contain all of his past packed lunch leftovers (crusts mainly)

3. The minibuses now seem to have more sand in than Vazon Bay.

4. The tents now seem to have more sand in than the minibuses.

5. Naomi is quite prepared to run across our campsite singing "la-la-la" just to earn 6 prawn crackers.

6. No matter how many times you explain to the scouts what we are doing, and what kit they need, you will still have to repeat it to each and every one of them, in turn, again, and again, and again, before they finally take the hint !

7. Julian can create an international diplomatic incident just by parking in a bus stop.

8. Naomi will readily fall asleep when sunbathing on the beach, and then forget that tides wait for no girl, and that a sudden wave of cold water over your feet is not the most gentle way to wake up.

9. The leaders, noticing that Naomi is asleep on the beach as the tide comes in, recognising the potential for disaster, will act immediately without hesitation, to ensure they have a good view of the fun as the first wave of cold water hits !!

10. The other leaders on site think that we have a twin to "Kieran Shut Up", called "Kieran Sit Down".

01/08/2011

We had a relaxing day today, the scouts sorted their kit out and after lunch we popped out for a couple of hours to visit another shop, and we then had chips on the beach. The scouts are all in really high spirits tonight, but I think everyone is ready to come home now. We have packed away some kit and the marquee, so we have a head start for tomorrow, now all we need is one more day of sun ! We catch the ferry at 2.00 pm, I will update the alerts section at the top of the blog page as to our progress home, see you all soon !

02/08/2011

A great camp, and some great memories, lots of photos will be uploaded soon, keep an eye on the website, now, off to bed !!

 

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