12 of our youth were lucky enough to be invited to join with about 350 other Canterbury Scouts and Venturer’s on what turned out to be a magic and fun (but at times challenging) activity filled week long camp. Second only to a Jamboree in terms of scale, the youth got to choose their activities (unlike a Jamboree) and there was much more time to wander around the site and socialise!
Our Scouts were supported by David, Terry and myself. It wasn’t a promising start though, as both David and Terry travelled ahead of our flight and I was left to coral the 9 youth that chose to fly (and I was not that familiar with the check-in process either – I don’t fly much)!? Needless to say, several youth took charge (a management model that I encourage!?).
We arrived to find the camp largely set up (bonus!) and quickly set about getting ourselves organised and integrated with the rest of the contingent before the opening ceremony and dinner (which we soon learnt was always of the ‘meat and 3 veg’ kind!).
Two activities were undertaken each day and ranged from carving Oamaru stone, rock climbing, fire fighting and flying to rafting, shooting, overnight survival and fishing. One popular activity, Weld ‘n’ grind, involved scrounging around in buckets for old metal components (truck bearings, gearbox gears, valves, camshafts, piston-conrods etc.) to make anything from helicopters and cats to Daleks and candlesticks. Some activities took us into beautiful beech forest where we saw Tomtits/Miromiro and Bellbirds/Korimako.
Those flying home returned exceptionally clean due to an overnight ‘urban survival’ bonus activity on the way home: a night in the 4 star luxury Christchurch Airport Hotel, followed by a swim in their pool (as Wellington airport was closed due to fog). Thanks to Air New Zealand for coming to the party and providing us with somewhere to sleep (and eat)!
A HUGE thank you to the Richard, from Ellesmere Scout Group, for extending the invitation to join with his Scouts, for running us from and to the Airport and for introducing us to deep fried jam wraps (a jam filled donut coated in cinnamon and sugar – yum!). We met Richard on the last Jamboree where he joined with us to form the Wellington Southerlies Contingent. We will be hosting his Scout Group in Wellington sometime later in the year!
And THANK YOU to the organisers of the Staveley Adventure Camp for organising such a great event! Is it better than a Jamboree? – we’ll see!