Twelve Pfadfinder Scouts joined 400 scouting friends at Camp Cottermouth this summer, for a full week of exciting summer camp activities.
Pfadfinder camped together with Les Explorateurs (French scouts), Amaroo and Duntroon-Campbell scouts, together creating Alpha Troop (or Le RooFinder, to use our nickname)… photo above.
We braved the incredible heat, and kept cool with a lot of water… water bottles, water fights, water slides, water bucket dumps, soaking our hats and scarves, a dunk tank, a visit to the Big Splash water park, swimming in the Cotter River, and of course multiple trips to the Well of Wonder (our campsite tap)!
The scouts participated in a variety of on-site and off-site activities. On site, there was orienteering, geocaching, first aid, woggle-making, t-shirt printing, circus skills, rock climbing and abseiling, archery, a water slide, and more. Off-site, we got to visit Old Parliament House, the National Museum, Questacon, go canoeing, and go bowling with our friends.
There were other activities each evening, such as a disco, a talent show, more water activities, and hanging out with friends. Many card games were played, songs were sung, stories and jokes were told, and there was a lot of joyful noise and laughter.
One night, the scouts all planned a camp-wide market night. Everyone was given 25 camp-dollars (Robbles) to spend, and each troop tried to earn the most money at their stalls. There was face painting, ice ping-pong, sponge-tossing, low ropes courses, games of chance, slippery dips, foot and shoulder massage, dry ice chunks to go in your water bottle, pancakes, popcorn, billy cart rides, and much more! The whole camp came alive that night as scouts ran to and fro enjoying the festival atmosphere. Alpha Troop elected two very astute young business managers and earned a record breaking 1700+ Robbles, including auctioning off the camp’s coldest Magnum ice cream at -78.5 Celcius (on dry ice) for 75 Robbles. We were narrowly beaten by a troop from Biralee in the end, though.
Of course, the scouts also had to feed and look after themselves the whole week. Each day there was a duty patrol who were responsible for all the cooking, serving and keeping the camp kitchen clean. Each scout was responsible to wash their own dishes (which they all did an admirable job of… and will no doubt continue to do at home!!)
It was a joy to see the scouts having such a good time and getting involved, making friends, growing up, taking responsibility, getting where they needed to be on time, looking after each other and themselves, and smiling and joking around.
The leaders kept a safe distance, and let the scouts do as much as possible by themselves, learning by doing. Everyone returned home safe, happy and exhausted at the end, and we still had the same two incident forms we started with… still blank, by the end of camp. Whew! What a ride!!