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”
O Thursday night, the Venturers had a cooking challenge night! We were split into two groups and one group had to make anzac biscuits, the other stuffed peppers. The most efficient team won! A fun time was had by all, and the food turned out deliciously!
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.
Three of our Venturers just came back from an amazing weekend up at Kaitoke, taking part in the Velocity course. Velocity is a course which all Venturers are encouraged to take, and it teaches them about how their unit works, what makes a good team, the importance of communication, and many other important skills. Not only was it useful, but all who attended had a fabulous time, and they are all keen to go on the next course, Cooksey, next year.
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!!
Venturers doing a BBQ fundraiser to help get some of us to the jamboree at the end of the year as Youth Service Team. Hopefully more BBQs this term, so keep your eyes out when you’re at Bunnings!