Hi Everyone – firstly, to anyone that doesn’t know me, I’m Mike Jones – or Magic (just without the tricks) – Assistant Scout Leader here at Garland Scout Troop (the best group in the district – with easily the best GSL in the County, if not Country! That’ll be extra sausages and bacon for me next camp). I’m one of the Assistant Scout Leaders (or ASL’s) of Garland Troop here at 5th New Forest North (Testwood). We also have – Barry, Joe, Stuart, Julie, Vicky and Max.
Since last year’s AGM, Garland Troop has had a very busy year taking part in most of the district competitions and with some lucky scouts attending the amazing and fun packed County Winter camp. For the first time in a few years we managed to enter not one, but two very competitive teams into the Eagle Trophy night incident hike way back in the winter when it was very cold – I know it was cold as there was ice on the ground at the half way point! Both teams did exceptionally well and completed the course and activities well within their allotted time.
This coming year we hope again to enter teams into all of the usual district competitions and preparing for these will form a large part of our programme. Including our next camp which we hope to not only have a lot of fun on but also enable our young people to gain some valuable and very useful skills for camping. #skillsforlife
The troop held a week long summer camp in August last summer in deepest darkest (and as it turned out, dampest) Devon. Activities included climbing (indoors dodging the rain), renewal of our Scout promise on top of a Tor at sunrise, the biggest, baddest and wettest slip and slide ever made, camp pizza oven – this was on top of all the usual summer camp activities such as backwoods cooking, hiking, swimming, wide games and even a trip to a town I can’t remember the name of that had a charity shop with awful CD’s for Scout bus listening. #winning
After the successes of many a year gone by, we once again held a cycle expedition in September with the Scouts riding to Ferny Crofts on the Friday night and then on to Braggers Wood on the Saturday via a rather testing route. On Sunday we returned home, stopping for well earned ice creams at Lyndhurst.
Already this year we have held a Polar Expedition Camp to the wild wastes of Ferny Crofts in January, transporting equipment by the trusty trek cart, thankfully not as damp as last year, but not far off!
Early May Bank Holiday saw us on a light weight hiking trip to the Big Country – The Brecon Beacons in South Wales. Due to the heights of the peaks we wanted to cover we enlisted the help of Simon who is one of our groups highly trained mountain leaders so we could conquer Pen-Y-Fan. The weather was very kind to us (yes, in Wales, nothing but sunshine) and once all of the scouts had managed to find their sun hats we had everything covered. We also managed to take a trip to the most stunning of waterfalls; I’ll personally be going back there for another visit.
In between all of our trips, district activities and camping we’ve had a packed programme keeping us busy on Monday nights with night hikes, penny stoves, a very impressive array of carved pumpkins for Halloween, lots of cooking on stoves and fires, learning to iron a shirt, shelter building, rafting on Testwood Lakes and a night at Boulder Shack just to mention a few.
And finally this year’s summer camp will see us return to a very lovely site near Frome that we used some years back. A pleasant, peaceful (until we get there obviously) wooded site not a million miles from Cheddar Gorge. A simple walk around the site is an amazing trip on its own.
Find out more about how to join at the Scouts’ page.