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 sun was shining when 31 of us set of tramping along the Orongorongo Track to the Turere Lodge.
The Scouts had a great time finding out information on NZ Police from Constable Hamish Knight of Johnsonville Police station. They were shown what tools Hamish has available to him, which started with how to control people by using certain arm locks, with a couple of lively scouts happily volunteering to be pinned and handcuffed!!
The scouts had a great time having all their questions answered. Afterwards the scouts got the opportunity to be fingerprinted, view the police cells and see some of the guns used by NZ Police and try on some of the gear.
Thanks Hamish, the scouts had a great time.
We had a busy weekend in Hastings with 13 Scouts, 3 leaders and 1 parent helper making the journey to Hastings.
Saturday was a day full of learning activities:
- Fire building/Lighting and axe safety
- Tent Pitching (Centre pole)
- Find your way – GPS, Map and Compass
- Food Safety/Hygiene/Menu planning
- How to storm lash tents
- Gas Safety
- Tent Pitching (continental)
- Lashings and chariot racing
The rest of the weekend was putting the new skills we learnt to the test!! With the main focus on FUN.
We had a full on weekend, once again our youth showing dedication and outstanding hardwork. When we returned home everyone was ready for bed!!
A BIG thank you for the great turnout for last weekend’s working bee.
It turned into a real family day –mums and dads and scouts working together –and pizza in the sun for those still shifting clay late in the afternoon.
We managed to transfer two cubic metres of concrete from the truck to post holes and our new storage pads under the porch in 40 minutes. How is that for team work!! And then we shifted a vast amount of clay by trailer to the tip. It became a long but very productive day for some.
This is a major step forward and Terry and I feel very supported after a pretty intense week preparing everything for the pour.
By the end of the school holiday you should see the bearers and joists in place ready for decking to go down.
Keep an eye out for the next working bee
Rex and your committee
We held our first Zealandia sleepover on 8 April. The Zealandia team commented on how good our kids were, and their ability to walk round quietly as night fell meant they were able to see three kiwis in the wild – a real highlight.
In addition, they saw heaps of tuataras, kakariki and many other of the native birds. Sounds like Harry could have done without seeing the wetas in the cave though!
We have another sleepover group heading to Zealandia this Friday night so we look forward to hearing of more adventures.