Scouts Family Camp

I always thought going to Scouts was a bit of a middle class thing to do, maybe a bit churchy or just not for families like mine.  So when my eldest asked if he could try it, to be honest I wasn’t sure.  That was two years ago and now all three kids are part of the Rotherham 35th Scout Group.  Thom is in Beavers, Ellie is in Cubs and Charlie is in Scouts.  I have found the group welcoming and the kids have got so much from it.

We are a family of  atheists and I have no idea what ‘class’ we would be, I have always said working class, but to be honest I have no idea what makes people one class or the other… Some of the more religious parts we either don’t take part in, or we go along and learn something from it (church parades, etc)  Though the groups Christian traditions are still in place, the group is happy to accept people from any or no religion.

Im just back from a weekend at Walesby Forest Activity Centre with the kids.  They absolutely loved it and I had a great time, this weekend was family camp in Robin Hood country…

As always the camp starts with flag break, the group circles the flag in the centre of camp, the beavers, cubs and scouts salute and one child raises the flag for the camp.

I should probably point out now that Im not much of a grown up and snigger every time I say Beavers…

The kids love scout camp, it gives them opportunities to try out different activities but mainly they get a little bit of independence, they are in a relatively safe area and so they are free to explore the woods, build dens, climb trees and play outside with their friends.  I love to see them playing, not a ds or iPod in sight, running wild, looking out for each other and just being outdoors.  Im hoping to turn them into the next Bear Grylls…

Over the weekend we took part in the assault course, raft building and archery as well as group activities like camp fire and barbecue.  I never had chance when I was younger to do things like this so it’s great for me too – along with some of the other parents we tried all the activities with the kids and I haven’t laughed so much in ages.

Saturday night is camp fire night, singing Ging Gang goolie and Kumbaya… I know this sounds hellish but actually its a laugh.  The singing is run by the teenage leaders and they get everyone to join in singing songs, doing actions and generally looking like a bit of a nob.  But you know, everyone is doing it and you are at a campfire, the kids think its hilarious and you either join in and laugh or don’t and look like a mardy arse!  As well as more traditional songs they also sing songs that are a bit gross, rude and just a tad inappropriate… perfect for kids basically! Think songs about a shark attack where you act out losing legs and having CPR or about eating a banana, vomiting it up and eating it again… It has the kids and the adults howling.

Night time brings wine for the adults and giddy kids with head torches, glow sticks, hot chocolate and melty marshmallows.

So we are now back, all washed, fed and ready for bed…

After two years Im now over myself thinking that Scouts isn’t for families like us, it’s for people from all walks of life.  If you want to get your kids into outdoors activities, trying new things, camping, building dens and singing songs about eating vomit, try it, you might just like it.

To find out more about scouting visit their website.

Love Sam xx

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