Every May Day bank holiday, 1st Caterham head for their annual Group camp. This year was no different … ah, well, yes it was, it was a virtual camp! COVID-19 restrictions meant that our camp at Broadstone Warren wasn’t to be, so we adapted our plan and held it at home!
The aim was to try and emulate our fun Group camp as much as we could; encourage everyone to participate in outdoor activities, make it fun and especially important this year, make it fairly straightforward for parents.
For many of the Beavers it was their first experience of camp, so we planned at our Zoom meetings as far as we could for the real camp. Friday night started with a Zoom flag ceremony. In all, thirty leaders, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers all saluted the flag. We then broke into our individual sections using the Zoom rooms. The Beavers viewed each other’s tents and dens. The sense of excitement was palpable. When asked were they excited about camping out, there was a bellowing group shout of ‘Yes’!
Saturday morning we ‘zoomed’ again and briefed out the day’s activities – they were going to be busy! Bug hotels and nature pictures for Beavers; the Cubs making family breakfast, doing good turns around the home and making a thank you poster; and the Scouts hiking on what was the hottest day of the year so far!
We met up again for the traditional campfire. Tired and happy we sang/shouted/laughed into the Zoom bonfire! Yes, it was a challenge; call and response songs worked the best, and our traditional favourite Cecil the caterpillar had to be much smaller on Zoom!
Sadly, we missed some members because of unstable Internet connections, but still, it was fun and yes, definitely mad! I had to do a sanity check on shouting “boom chicka boom” at my laptop as it perched on top of two deckchairs in the garden – much to the amusement of my neighbours who were trying to eat dinner!
We finished the Beaver’s camp with a bedtime story; lovely to see them all lying on their sleeping bags ready for bed after a long, fun day! They were tired and very happy!
It wasn’t the same as our normal camp, but did we all enjoy it – a massive resounding ‘Yes’! We are very lucky that parents and guardians were very game to support their Scouts and many families all slept out. We had a real sense of community that weekend – it may have been virtual but it was very precious. Thanks to everyone who made it such a success!
Rachel S, Beaver Leader