A chance for another lie in this morning and a relaxed morning on site working our way through some tidying up and packing.

The weather is now scorching hot, warmest day yet, after lunch we bussed up and headed off to visit the German Observation Tower which included a climb up a ladder to visit the roof, exciting stuff !

After the tower we moved up the coast to Vazon Bay for a couple of hours for our final beach visit, we only lasted about an hour and a half before melting !

Tonight we had take-out pizza delivered to site, this proved to be very popular with the scouts, and no washing up !

This is the final blog entry for what has been an incredible week, these camps are not about just visiting somewhere new, they are an invaluable opportunity for young people to stretch themselves and develop in ways other experiences just can't match, and these scouts have excelled themselves, each and every one of them.

It is interesting to see just how well they can cope without their parents around, yes we fulfil that role to some extent, but we have found the scouts are responsible, creative, hard working and thoughtful, not all the time obviously, but they are all well on their way to growing up as well rounded individuals.

There will be laughter and probably some tears when we return, (sometimes the emotion of seeing parents again is overwhelming !), they will all have tales to tell, I imagine mostly of the fun they have had, and possibly also the challenges they have faced, I hope you enjoy hearing about their adventures.

We will have a 'pause for thought' moment with them all later this evening to encourage them to reflect on their experiences, and to hopefully inspire them to carry on with their scouting journey, after all, it's not just about Wednesday nights !

RETURN INFORMATION

We will be providing the scouts with a significant packed lunch for Monday to get them through the day, and they will have an opportunity to visit McDonald's at the rest stop on our way back, so they shouldn't be too hungry by the time we get home (but don't be surprised if they still are !).

Our ferry departs Guernsey at 1400 and will arrive in Poole at 1700, we estimate we will return to Eastbourne at 2100, allowing for a rest stop enroute.

Meeting point for parents will be the top corner of Langney Shopping Centre car park.

We will tweet updates on the way home.

Ten final things we have learnt;

1. Fleur does not like Bacon (this is yet another thing that confuses us).

2. There is no limit to how many satsumas scouts will consume.

3. Daisy is not ALWAYS the last person to do anything.

4. Daisy is MOSTLY ALWAYS the last person to do anything...

5. We seem to have now balanced out the minibus 'dings' so they are even on each side (see earlier lists regarding road widths...)

6. Scouts CAN survive 10 days without an XBOX.

7. We can cook AMAZING meals on camp, food has been great, well cooked, and it all goes fast !

8. Our young leaders were scouts not so long ago, they have come so far, so quickly. They are awesome. (don't tell them I said that)

9. This leader team is the best group of people you could ever want to come together to deliver a memorable adventure for our young people.

10. We're ready to come home, see you soon.

 

This morning we got a call from Outdoor Guernsey as our final kayaking session had been arranged, so one half of the group headed off to Cobo Bay whilst the other (who had already done it), relaxed on site.

Once the kayaking was over they returned to the site and we all had lunch, after which we headed off into St Peter Port for our last opportunity for shopping.

The scouts went off in groups for an hour or so, and many returned with souvenirs and gifts (and many returned with sweets and drinks !)

We then bussed up and headed back to site where the scouts grabbed their beach kit for a final trip to the beach.

Whilst the scouts were offsite, myself, Nic, TJ and Josh Evans set up for our camp banquet.

We completely changed the layout in our marquees, laying out the tables with full party decoration, whilst we cooked an American themed banquet meal of burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and side salad, all served with drinks, and followed by a range of ice creams.

It was a great evening, seeing them all laughing and talking and enjoying themselves, but the evening was not over....

The scouts have spent two days planning a 'scouting's got talent', and they are out on the site now with a moonlit stage set-up, judges in place (and security !), and a range of 'interesting' acts are performing.

They are all having a great time, there is a huge buzz amongst them, and we have attracted scouts from all over the campsite to the show !

Tomorrow we will be relaxing on site in the morning, with some 'light packing', and we visit a German Observation tower in the afternoon (that may seem a little odd in terms of timing but it's only open on sunday afternoons !)

It seems like we have been here for weeks, (everyone is so well settled into camp routine we could probably stay for another week !), but tomorrow we will start to ready ourselves for breaking camp and heading home, as much as the scouts have enjoyed themselves I am sure they will be keen to get home to share their adventures (and their dirty laundry !).

Tomorrow's blog will have details of the travel journey home and the arrangements for pick up.

The show is over and the scouts are now winding down and off to bed, they all remain fit and well.

 

 

Today was an opportunity for a nice long lie-in, which always feels so much better when done in a tent being warmed by the rising sun...

Over the course of a couple of hours from 0700 everyone woke in their own time and started to settle in for a nice lazy few hours on site.

Being scout leaders of course this sort of thing can not be tolerated, so we called a full kit inspection !

After kit inspection we did then spend the rest of the morning relaxing on site, amid clear skies and plenty of sunshine, sun-cream supplies are running low, (this is a good sign).

After lunch we headed off to Lihou Island, the island is a small rocky outcrop on the west coast, which is reached via a causeway accessible only at low tide, wandering across through the rocky sea-bed on the cobbled causeway is a unique and interesting experience.

The leaders will return tomorrow to recover the scouts from the island once the tide is low enough again.

During the course of the week I have been name-checking various scouts in the blog or you will have seen them on twitter, I'd like to say that just because someone has not had their name mentioned does not mean they have not done anything interesting !

This is a very dynamic group of scouts, and every single one of them has been full of surprises, they all would deserve mention, any failing in me doing so is a result of lack of time and occasionally sleep !

As an experiment, I'll see if I can find something to say about each of them;

Aidan – the new voice of the BBC

Lucas – looks awesome in his shiny shades (shame about the shorts)

Benjamin – finally now wearing his pants inside his trousers

Finlay – just gets on with it, no fuss, no bother

Sam – lost in space & time, belongs in 1960's California (or he's a long-lost beach boy)

Tanya – our pocket rocket, more competitive than the William's sisters.

Aaron – when he loses, blames everything except himself (but looks good doing it).

Josh Langley – waaaaaay to cool for school.

Yasmin – really does NOT like water fights.

Phoebe – Naomi v2.0 – upgraded performance, (but occasionally crashes).

Matthew – always wears a smile.

Ben Evans – very smart young man, appears to be welded to his yellow rucksack (looks like he's giving a Minion a piggy-back)

Katie – has no fear.

Zac - always volunteers to wash-up, even if not on duty patrol.

Fleur - was unsure about the go-karts, but she did it anyway, another boundary blasted out of the way.

Daisy – not enough space on the internet to even begin....

Aimee – Nothing like her brother. (thankfully)

The Baileys – Do not EVER put them in a Kayak together.

Eden – Drives faster than Aaron (and his dad).

Joshua H – first big camp and taking it in his stride.

Jack – The boy can move.

Ethan – Never stops moving.

Grace M – says the funniest things at the best of times.

(just did that list in 10 mins with some help from Josh Evans and Jasmine – proved the point there is something to say for each of them !)

Ten things we learnt yesterday/today;

1. The girls have something in their tent called a 'floordrobe'...

2. Other scout groups on site now know who Daisy is (they recognise when she is in the toilet block due to her unique approach to organising her clothes/towel/shoes/washing gear....

3. The scouts think being woken up at 0830 is 'early'.

4. The sea scouts camping next to us have a ship's bell, if they keep on ringing the thing we shall re-unite it with the sea.

5. Northern scouts on site think we speak 'posh' (good innit).

6. Mark O got some interesting looks from the public when dispensing personal meds to the scouts on the Herm ferry..

7. The scouts have played a LOT of card games. There are many IOU's...(second mortgages may be required).

8. If Young Leaders don't empty their tents for kit inspection, TJ will, and he can throw things a very long way...

9. Whilst kayaking, Yasmin was somewhat surprised to discover that there were fish in the sea (no doubt the fish were somewhat surprised that Yasmin was floating around on top of the sea in a kayak...)

10. We have spent 2 hours today planning the next big camps...

Everyone is fit and well, only the smallest amounts of red skin to report, we've been working very hard to keep them cool, hydrated and sunburn free.

Tomorrow will be the final shopping trip to St Peter Port, then probably some beach time, tomorrow evening sees the arrival of our camp banquet !

It was up nice and early this morning to catch our ferry to Herm, there was a slight delay leaving site however as having strolled over to the toilet block this morning I was confronted with a herd of cattle complete with a rather upset bull !

The herd had broken into the campsite through a gap in a hedge and had been grazing on an empty site, myself and another leader did our best to corral them and having turfed the warden out of bed he was able to call the farmer who removed the cows back to their home !

Having dealt with the cow incident we bussed up, headed to St Peter Port, and caught the ferry to Herm.

Weather today has been outstanding, clear blue skies and glorious sunshine, words are not really enough to describe Herm Island, it is a stunning location, shell beach on the farthest tip from the harbour is worthy of any tropical paradise.

We walked to shell beach and having set up base camp the scouts spend the day sea kayaking, exploring, and relaxing on the beach, it really was very hard to leave !!

Having returned to Guernsey we have just enjoyed fish & chips at Cobo Bay as the sun now sets across the Atlantic Ocean.

Back on site everyone is now having showers before winding down for the evening, tomorrow is a quieter day which will give everyone a chance to rest & recover.

Pleased to report everyone is fit and well, certainly tired, it has been a long hot day, but often the best ones are...

 

Day 6

Late update today, we have just got back from a fantastic evening at Guernsey Karting, where the scouts (and leaders), all got a 20 minute ride in go-karts, all kitted up in racing overalls, protective gear and helmets, before racing round a track with a full 'race-track' atmosphere, starting grids, chequered flags etc

The scouts raced against each other in heats, and the leaders/young leaders raced against each other.

There was a full pre-race safety brief, all of the safety lights were explained (red for stop, amber for slow/down no overtaking), all of this was taken very seriously by the scouts (and ignored completely by Julian).

I'm now just pondering how to lower mega-high adrenaline levels in scouts, and I've given up trying to work out how to calm the leaders down, there is much giggling going on...

Earlier today, before all the excitement, we headed off to Petit Bot Bay, a secluded bay on the south side of the island, where half of the group were kayaking whilst the other half enjoyed the beach.

We then enjoyed a picnic lunch at the bay, in glorious sunshine, all in all it was a great day, everyone is really on a high.

Currently it is 2200 and washing up is being done, and packed lunches are being prepared for tomorrow, the scouts are working away with no complaint, again I have to say we are so pleased with this group of scouts, they are making this a memorable camp.

Tomorrow is an early start, up at 0630 to get to St Peter Port to catch the ferry to Herm, on Herm all of the scouts will be kayaking and we have a treasure hunt style activity to do.

Ten things we learned yesterday/today;

1. Aidan Fincham does not eat prawns, yesterday, under Julian's guidance, he shelled and ate a curried King Prawn, love it when scouting pushes boundaries.

2. When young leaders play dares they play hard, today Josh Evans ended up doing sit-ups in a beach cafe, we laughed, customers applauded !

3. Some of the seaweed in Petit Bot Bay apparently tastes better than our food.

4. Aaron and Josh Langley are having a bro-mance, we reckon they are the new Wham.

5. Mark O is getting applause from the scouts now whenever he turns around without hitting anything (this is progress).

Go-Karting.......

6. Oscar is confused by chicanes

7. Oscar has just read the line above and said “what's a chi-can-ays ?” - (this may help explain his confusion....)

8. Katie Welling can drive a go-kart REALLY, REALLY fast.

9. Adrenaline takes AGES to wear off.

10. Leader's Adrenaline takes FOREVER to wear off (I've sent them to bed now).

 

 

After breakfast we bussed up and embarked on our North and South Coast tours, we took in Napoleonic Forts, prehistoric burial mounds, sandy beaches, Guernsey Pearl, and finished with a visit to the Fairy Ring, where it is said fairies will appear if you circle the ring 3 times (having now tried this in 2011 and 2015 with scouts I am beginning to think fairies are allergic to them, as we've not seen a fairy yet...).

The weather is much improved today, everyone is relaxing on site in the sun whilst dinner is being prepared; the scouts are playing chess, card games and connect 4, it's like being in 1983, it won't be long and someone will want me to buy a swingball set !!

Ten things we learnt yesterday/today;

1. Luke Bailey does very impressive backflips on a trampoline.

2. We've reached the point where the girls are now braiding the boys hair (this seems to be common on our camps, it does not surprise us anymore).

3. We are pretty certain that parents are missing their children more than they are missing their parents.

4. The scouts are getting really good at washing up, sadly we think this is a skill that will not survive the trip back across the channel...

5. Most of the scouts LOVE fruit.

6. Some of the scouts HATE fruit.

7. The scouts didn't seem to notice we mixed porridge oats into the breakfast yoghurt (sneaky, sneaky leaders).

8. It's surprising just how many meals you can put raisins in.

9. Parents will be worried their children are eating, we are worrying the island has enough food on it to keep up with the amount they are eating !!

10. Joshua Evans, big brave young leader, misses his mummy.

Everyone is fit and well (and now nice and warm in the sunshine), tomorrow half of the troop will be sea kayaking whilst the others will be on the beach, now THAT's more like it !

 

Well it was another really windy night, we have had to spend some time re-pegging and re-guying the tents to ensure they don't end up making it back across the channel before we do !

We were not able to do kayaking today, but we were able to do the rock climbing, which took place at Pembroke Bay on the north coast, we split into our two minibus groups and whilst one was climbing the other visited two shopping venues, Aladdin's Cave and Oatland Village, both proved useful for souvenirs (and the odd present...).

After our day out we returned to site and thanks to some improving weather were able to carry out an essential task which the scouts always enjoy...FULL KIT INSPECTION...this involves everything being emptied out of the tents and all of the scout's kit being checked, this helps re-unite scouts with lost items, enables tents to cleaned, and gives us a chance to check they are changing their clothes every day !

After a pleasant hour or so of the scouts grumbling through the process the campsite and tents were much tidier as a result !

Once again today the leaders have been discussing how impressed we are with this group of scouts, everyone continues to work hard (and play hard !), there is plenty of fun being had and camp chores are getting done, we couldn't ask for more.

We are teetering on that point a few days in where some of the relationships between the scouts get a little strained, but thus far we have had very few issues, this is a really good sign, (and the leaders are very grateful.)

That's it for today's update, tomorrow we are going to embark on our North & South tours of the island, checking out some historical and slightly more whimsical features of the landscape, looking ahead the weather forecast is much better for the next few days and it's looking good for our Herm Island/Kayaking trip !

Everyone is fit and well, no signs of homesickness (other than the leaders), and the adventure continues...

One thing we have learnt today;

Scouting works, volunteering as a leader is not a burden, it is a privilege, we are very fortunate to spend this time with your children, we are having as much fun as they are, they are amazing, complicated bundles of enthusiasm and chaos, and to get the chance to help them on their journey through childhood is very rewarding, and just think, if you joined the team you could be here with us...

 

 

Well, the sun we enjoyed yesterday didn't hang around too long, wet again this morning !

We enjoyed cereals for breakfast, and then bussed up to head off to the Underground Military Hospital, built by slave labour during the German Occupation, it was very damp and cold, so was a pleasant change from the weather outside !

We returned to the campsite for lunch, following which we then visited the Little Chapel, as the afternoon progressed the sun has returned, but it is very windy and we are having the odd shower (much like the scouts...)

I've just spoken to the activity company regarding our kayaking/climbing, as we need good weather to do them, the programme has moved from Plan A through to D so far and is still changing as the day progresses, but we've got plenty of flexibility to move things around.

Everyone is very well, the leaders have been talking today about how well this group of scouts is performing, behaviour is excellent, the scouts are carrying out their cooking duties with enthusiasm, and there is a good atmosphere on camp.

Ten things we have learnt today;

1. Guernsey can be wet and then hot in all one day.

2. Children show a genuine interest in history when they can experience it first hand, the scouts asked a lot of questions during the military hospital visit – really good to see.

3. If you mix jammy dodgers, Angel Delight powder, custard, raisins and sugar sprinkles to create 'Guernsey Mess', it has an 'interesting' effect on the scouts. (and a slightly odd effect on the leaders too !).

4. It's amazing just how long a sugar rush can last...

5. If Julian tries to get Matthew Burfield to do something he doesn't want to do, the reply he gets is “talk to the booty, because the hand's off duty, and the face just doesn't want to know !”. (we're not sure if Matthew realises he is a policeman or not...).

6. When Daisy was asked to go and find 'Baden Powell', she made an attempt to go and locate 'Aidan's Towel', Aidan was rather surprised.

7. Most heard phrases on the walkie talkies used between the vehicles “mind the landrover”, “turn left, no right, no left, oh too late....”, “breathe in”, “oh no Mark's driving...”.

8. Most of the things Andy said can't be repeated in public.

9. When they try REALLY hard the scouts can get the washing up after dinner done before midnight.

10. Zac Breen seems to have only packed pyjamas, it's all he seems to wear !

Everyone was much refreshed this morning after a full night's sleep, we enjoyed a continental breakfast before heading off into St Peter Port for a brief shopping trip as it was market day.

We spent a very pleasant couple of hours strolling around the town in groups, and much ice cream was consumed as the weather has gone from wet to scorching !

We headed back to the campsite for lunch and a quick turnaround to head down to the west coast for the Rocquaine Regatta.

The setting was stunning, clear blue skies, sandy beaches and a crystal clear sea, it did not take the scouts long to get into their beach gear and get wet !!

After two hours on the beach we headed back to the campsite for dinner and a lazy evening enjoying the sunshine..

Things we learnt today....

1. Guernsey is hot !

2. The tents have eaten 3 scarves already...

3. Daisy feels that we should be driving her to/from the toilet block as it is soooooooooo far away.

4. Some of the lanes in Guernsey are half a minibus wide...

5. Guernsey drivers get all 'beepy' when you stop anywhere to de-bus 24 scouts.

6. Ben Evans VOLUNTEERS for work (it confuses us when scouts do this)

7. The Irish have arrived on site.

8. When asked what his eyedrops are for, Jack replies “my eyes” (bright lad, he'll go far...)

9. The scouts in the limo (silver minibus) – when radio 2 was put on, decided the songs played were 'wicked', so there appears to be some hope for us old 'uns.

10. The GSL likes Reggae Reggae Sauce on everything (including croissants !!)

Everyone is fit and well, right now I'm sat here watching card games being played, footballs being kicked, and dinner being cooked, and not a playstation or TV in sight !

 

 

Has Friday ended yet does anyone know ? Feels like it has gone on forever !!

The scouts were woken at 0300 in style thanks to the presence of a convenient Brass Ship's Bell in the Sea Scout HQ (although they didn't seem to appreciate the thought that went in to the gesture...).

They quickly swung into action though, within just 20 mins everyone was up, packed and in the minibuses ready to go, a quick 8 minute drive around the harbour and we were at check in !

Check in was mostly straightforward, except it turns out the measuring stick they use to measure the height of trailers is not entirely accurate, as we discovered when the trailer nudged a height bar, and then dinged a fire sprinkler nozzle on the ferry !! (we suggested a scout could whittle a new measuring stick for them but they didn't seem impressed...).

The new Condor 'Liberation' is a great ship, fast and comfortable, thanks to the GSL the scouts were treated to a bridge visit, having the operation of the ship explained by the Captain. Josh Evans asked if he could push a button, oddly the captain declined the request !

It was daylight by the time we pulled in to St Peter Port, and then it rained, and rained, and rained (you get the idea...), in between heavy downpours we managed to get everything set up though and our home away from home is now all set up.

The scouts have done very well today, everyone is very tired, but we have been very impressed with how they have all got stuck in, especially as many are first timers on a big summer camp, a great start by them.

Tomorrow our programme will be flexible, we are expecting to go to the Rocquaine Regatta on the beach, we'll see what the weather is like before committing to that !

Everyone is fit, well and in good spirits.

Things we have learnt today/yesterday;

1. AJ packed everything he needed for camp (well, except his scout leader uniform....)

2. Ethan Ross was by far the fastest scout getting up, first in the minibus and ready to go in under 7 minutes !!

3. Condor Ferries need a new measuring stick (or a bigger ferry...)

4. Condor Ferries need a new way to get scout trailers OFF the boat again (reversing off is a challenge !!!)

5. Guernsey is wet

6. Amazing how quickly scouts learn to love playing connect 4 and cards when it's raining !

7. A vomiting scout, clears the restaurant queue really, really, REALLY, quickly (and said scout was fine...)

8. When the pressure is on, and the job needs to get done, your children are capable of more than you can ever imagine

9. Tanya gets REALLY competitive when playing cards !!!

10. Hot food is a great way to end a long, tiring, wet, but great day

Finally, happy birthday to Finlay, who enjoyed much cake and is now the proud owner of an iScout Beanie hat !

Now, we are all off to bed, nite, nite all.

The big pack has begun, lots of kit to clean and repair and then squeeze into the trailer.

The trailer had a full service this week, new tyres, brake pads and other bits and pieces, it's now good to go !

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 !

You should also follow us on twitter for updates throughout the camp - https://twitter.com/11theb

You may also see some photos on this page along with the webcams...

Programme/events are all on OSM
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