Over 300 youth and leaders arrived at the Lower North Island JOTA JOTI camp at Brookfields on Friday evening with the knowledge rain was coming, so setting up the camp sites was a priority and was mostly completed before the heavens opened. Some outdoor activities the next day were curtailed.
Indoor venues provided a welcome respite from the ‘real world’ rain and the youth were able enter the digital realm – Scouts from as far away as Egypt, Columbia and the Netherlands were just a keystroke away. Much hilarity was had. Unfortunately the ionosphere played havoc with the radio reception so the airwaves were more filled with crackles and hisses than strange accents.
One room had electronic kits with plans for simple (to more complex) circuits – which occasionally worked!
Roast pork was beautifully cooked by Venturers Arthur and Taine (with a little help from Terry). While waiting for dinner Daniel showed no shame in modeling a flower pot, before trying to auction it off for a profit!?
Brooklyn had the honour of co-organising the main campfire, helping to plan the program and coordinating over 10 skits and songs.
Sunday dawned fine so we began to dry out, squeezing in a quick kayak before dealing with muddy tents and heading home
SCOUTS AT TUROA
An enthusiastic team of nearly 20 scouts and leaders enjoyed a full first day at Turoa on Saturday 24t September The soft snow did not deter the experts or the beginners and a number of scouts rode the chairlift for the first time and conquered new trails. Led by senior scouts, a delicious burger meal followed on from a sampling of traditional Ohakune kai – no, not carrots, but chocolate eclairs. Although the weather forecast for Sunday and Monday is for wet windy weather, all are keen to have more time on the slopes.
Yesterday, the Endeavour Venturers made their way to Newtown for a very important cause. They gallantly lay down and donated their blood at the Wellington Donor Centre to save the lives of people in need! If you want to help out and donate like the Venturers did, see the NZ blood website; http://www.nzblood.co.nz/
Last Thursday, the Venturers were taught about how to defend them selves from street attacks. We learnt about and tried various methods, including grips, blocks, attacks, and weapons. With laughter, failure, and success, we can now say that we know at least the basics. Better watch out!
Always time to be fabulous
On Tuesday night, our venturers attended a Wellington Zone Venturer event called the McFormal. This event requires attendees to dress up in formal dress, and go out to dinner at the most posh restaurant of them all; McDonald’s. This was the biggest McFormal yet, and the venturers can’t wait for the next one!
The venturers spent a wonderful evening ice skating at a picturesque rink. Those who weren’t struggling to stay upright, were showing off their moves, putting a nice end to winter.
We arrived at Saywells Camp (29km South of Featherston) after sunset. Pitching the tents (using torchlight) we then had dinner in the dark as the solar – LED light system in the cookhouse wasn’t working. A large fire provided evening warmth while we watched a near full Moon rise – it became so light we could have put the tents up without torches!?
The next day Terry took us on a long journey up through the farm on his trailer. This meant quite a few stream crossings and a few bouncy moments. We went for a walk up into some stunning bush at the ‘end’ of the farm, and Terry pointed out the ‘sign’ left by deer. We also came across piles of used automatic machine gun rounds which were later explained by a local farmer – the Territorials had recently been training in the area. It’s a pity they didn’t tidy up after themselves!?
We tried the latest Whittakers Chocolate rehash of an old Kiwi favourite, the K-Bar; it received a thumbs down from our sweet connoisseur, Terry!
Nicholas (a Kea – not a small scout!) found a Common Skink in the wood pile. We had two German exchange students with us (one is a Venturer) and they really enjoyed a trip to the cow shed where two day old calves were being fed. The calves quickly learnt there was no point in sucking their fingers!
Sunday dawned fine and after Sophie and Ina had cooked pancakes, we headed off to the south coast where we drove about as far as we could down Ocean Beach Road (through giant mud puddles and fording several large streams) to get to Corner Creek, a small community of hardy fisherpeople who launch boats from the beach with the help of bulldozers. An leisurely hours walk along the beach (collecting sea shells) left us in a rush to make it back to Wellington on time
Thanks to Sebastian for organising the camp. The numbers attending were down on expectations, and I heard that some thought it would be too cold – actually it was actually quite mild and very calm. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
We arrived full of anticipation on Friday night (in the dark) to find Terry had pitched most of the tents (yay!). A fire was quickly established as it became clear that we were in for a frost! After dinner we sat around the fire until sleepiness kicked in and the chilly night drove us to the relative warmth of their sleeping bags.
Two cubs were initiated into the joys of camping with one of the colder nights one could ever experience in a tent. Everyone coped well with the exception of one Scout who will now be fixing his sleeping bag’s broken zip so he doesn’t roll out into the cold.
A waining crescent Moon greeted us in the morning as we unzipped our frost covered tents. Initial awe at the extent of the frost soon gave way to cold toes for many. Venturers soon distracted people from any discomfort with a superbly cooked breakfast followed by a series of games and activities. Bivy’s were built lashing poles together and tested for weathertightness with a bucket of water.
We all waited for the Sun to rise, bringing warmth, but light cloud meant it remained cool into early afternoon. A Northerly change lead to a more mild (and frostless!) evening on Saturday.
We joined First Wainuiomata cubs a the Kauri fire pit after being treated to another great cooking effort by the Venturers. We exchanged songs and performed short skits for each other, before returning to our own fire to cook damper (thanks Sophie!). This was cooked with much enthusiasm on sticks over the fire (in the dark).
Sunday’s highlight for many was exploring the adventure playground. Many personal and group challenges were undertaken before returning to camp for lunch followed by a visit to the outdoor chapel to reflect on our experiences.
Thanks & Cheers
The Venturers got given a set of things to make with lego. In two groups, they competed to finish their creations first and to the best of their abilities. Here we see the feature items of the night: “Casa de Pan” and “Casa de sol”