Friendship Camp

Date started
: 1 January 2012
Date completed: 20 May 2012
Number of Cubs: 49

Challenge Report
14/01/12: Planning for our friendship camp started in January when Akela Becca and Akela Ed met together to think about what joint activity we could do with our Cubs. We decided that we would run a camp at Youlbury Scout Campsite, and that we would put the Cubs into mixed pack tents and teams to ensure that they all got to know each other really well over the course of the camp.

09/02/12: We had our first planning meeting, attended by leaders from both Packs. We agreed that we would have a two night camp, on the theme of “I'm a Cub Scout Get Me Out Of Here!”. The Cubs will work in small teams (the same ones that they are in for camping) to complete a series of challenges and to earn stars, which can be used to buy better food, such as the chocolate biscuits. Each Pack will be responsible for the planning and running of five bases, including several bronze and silver challenge bases. On the Sunday morning we will run a time travelling sportathon. We expect to have around 50 to 60 Cubs in total from the two Packs.

19/04/12: Akela Ed and Akela Becca had a further meeting to discuss and agree the practicalities of the camp and to finalise pre-camp admin. It was agreed that we will hire tents from Youlbury, as neither of us have much space to dry out that quantity of tents without interrupting the activities of other sections within our Groups. We will provide a menu consisting of cooked breakfasts, make your own sandwich lunches, fish and chips for dinner on a Saturday evening and cakes brought along by the Cubs for supper and snacks.

10/05/12: Akela Ed and Akela Becca had a final meeting to confirm the details of which Cubs were attending, to sort out the teams for camp and to do a final equipment check. We have approximately 55 Cubs attending the camp, with a good mix between the two Packs. We will split them into 10 teams of five to six per team. There are a couple of very young Cubs from our pack who will just attend for the day on Saturday, to get a taste for camping before they come on a camp with an overnight stay.

17/05/12: We moved on to our final friendship camp preparations with a joint meeting at the 10th Oxford HQ. The cubs were introduced to their groups, and were split into the teams which they would be in whilst we are away camping. We explained to the Cubs that we were planning a whole evening of activities designed to get them to know each other and help them to become friends with the others in their teams. The activities included playing The Name Game, playing We Like..., making a paper Cub and writing on it what makes a good friend and a bad friend (Build a Friend) and learning about International Greetings – click on the links to read our challenge reports and see photos for each of these activities. At the end of the evening we watched some of the 10th Oxford Cubs getting invested in readiness for camp. We went away having made some great new friends, and looking forward to getting to know them even better over the next few days.

18-20/05/12: Our Friendship Camp started at 7.30pm on Friday evening. It was a bit grey and cloudy but amazingly rain-free! The Cubs got their kit put into their tents and set out their beds before receiving a camp briefing. They then got into their teams and came up with names for them, before designing flags which represented the names they had chosen (see Fly the Flag for more information and photos). Once their flags were made they played an exciting wide game in the woods in the dark, earning points for their teams, before supper and bed. On Saturday morning, after waking up faaar too early they had a cooked breakfast followed by a giant Grand Howl and flag break. Tents were tidied and inspected and they then got into their teams ready for a day of challenges – for each challenge they were able to earn one, two or three stars, depending on how well they did and how effectively they worked together. The number of stars earned during the activities determined who got the first pick of the cakes and biscuits!
  1. Whizzers: Cubs created colourful designs on wooden whizzers and then attached string to make what seemed to me to be rather lethal weapons! The movie below shows some whizzers in action.
  2. Fire lighting: the Cubs learnt the correct way to build and light a fire.
  3. Water obstacle course: the team was challenged to transport a cup of water safely around an obstacle course, including climbing through a giant spiders web, crawling through a tunnel and weaving through a slalom.
  4. Holey tube challenge: as a team the Cubs had to transport water around a course in a drain pipe ... but the pipe was full of holes. They worked together to stop the water leaking out and then emptied what was left into a bucket at the end.
  5. Bomb disposal: a bomb (large barrel) was placed at the centre of a circle. The Cubs were provided with ropes and other equipment and had to work as a team to get the bomb to the edge of the circle without knocking it over. Every team exploded at least once!
  6. GPS course: the Cubs were sent off on two different routes around Youlbury, navigating to specified locations and answering questions about what they found there
  7. Soap trophies – see separate challenge report
  8. Boat making – see separate challenge report
  9. Parachute designs – see separate challenge report
  10. Inspired collage – see separate challenge report
Once all the challenges were complete they had free time before being sent out to collect as much wood as possible for the camp fire. After a fish and chip supper they headed over to the camp fire circle and took part in an excellent campfire, led by Ed (see the movie below). On Sunday they woke up much too early again (we really need to invest in some black-out tents!) and had another cooked breakfast before packing away their kit and preparing themselves for the time travelling sportathon (see separate challenge report). This took us through to lunchtime, after which we cleaned and tidied the site and got everything put away ready to go home. During the closing ceremony we awarded medals to the winners (Team Samurai) and the runners up (The Loopy Lollipops) and also watched one of our Cubs receive his Chief Scouts Silver Award. We are now looking forward to meeting up with the 10th Oxford again at the end of July for a great big water fight and BBQ to end finish the term. It was so much fun that we’re planning to do some more joint camps with them in the future!