This weekend saw 17 intrepid scouts head to their first ever Toohey Forest District Standards Competition Camp held at Guanaba Creek Campsite. This year’s theme was Mythology!
As we had to combine three patrols into two for this camp (limitations on gear, space and levels of experience) we had the following patrol combinations:
Penguin Patrol: Elliot (PL), Tadgh, Alex, Tash, Livi, Tom, Emily & Millie
Panther-Koala Patrol: Joseph (PL), Rodhana (APL), Laura, Declan, Nathan, Sophie, Ciara
After a bit of a late start on account of traffic, and a missing leader (Garlanja on account of being stuck when her car broke down – we missed you) we set up camp around 8pm.
Komodo and Hawkeye helped to oversee what was a very smooth and efficient process with all scouts helping get their tents and bedding sorted. After a quick supper (thanks to Panther-Koala patrol for sharing Tim Tams) everyone must have learned well from last weekend and were almost all asleep by 9.30pm!
Saturday morning dawned beautiful and sunny. It saw patrols from Victor, Tarragindi, Wishart-Chester and Upper Mount Gravatt together at opening parade.
Then it was on to constructing their campsites with Queenslander tents, kitchen flys, gateways and gadgets.
As leaders we were ecstatic that this beautiful site had an area from where we could oversee almost every patrols progress as we had a morning cuppa J
There was a quick morning tea break in the middle because building in the sun is hot work
After getting up their Queenslander dining tents and Kitchen Flys it was on to rearranging gear and making gadgets and gateways.
For those of you who don’t know a Standards Competition camp is a little different to other camps. Scouts have to work independently to completely erect their campsite and participate in activities throughout the weekend. Scouts are awarded points in the following categories: Campsite set up, cooking, hygiene and leadership which then contribute to an overall award. The marking is very strict with many of the assessors having marked for a lot of camps. This is not a competition against other patrols but more an individual competition. Everyone can earn Bronze, Silver or Gold in each category and the hope is that year to year patrols will improve.
For the Victor scouts this was an immense challenge that because quickly evident that they were up to. This despite the fact that only 4/17 had ever attended a camp like this before, 7/17 have only been in the scout section a month (with last week being the first time most had attempted even part of these activities). I was unsure of how they would go and just hopeful that they would have a go and get something together.
I was extremely proud of how well they worked together and achieved the various requirements.
After finishing camp setup and lunch the scouts headed out on a navigation challenge arranged by our District Activities Leader Wombat. Firstly the Patrol Leaders (PLs) were briefed
and then the whole group received further instructions.
Scouts worked in teams to practice their navigational skills through the bush to locate a mystery treasure stash – that was hidden up a tree 😉
After the bush challenge patrols headed back to camp to start preparing for their service dinner. Leaders receive an invitation (after opening parade) to dine with a patrol from another group. Our scouts were super excited about this part of the camp with themed dinner entertainment.
Penguin Patrol had the mythological theme of Dr Who. Their menu included Darlek break & Adipose (entrée), a sonic screwdriver with World Trees, disintegrating Tardis & Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff (main) and fish fingers & custard (dessert) with regeneration fluid to drink. Their guests for dinner were Raven (District Commissioner) & Kate (Wishart-Chester Rover).
Panther-Koala Patrol had the mythological theme of Chinese Sea Dragon Kings. Their menu included dim sims (entrée), chicken & veggie stirfry (main) and golden syrup dumplings (dessert). Their guest for dinner was Gecko (Tarragindi).
Panther-Koala’s were a little camera shy.
After dinner we all headed off to campfire. Victor scouts looooooove campfire! What can I say – they were awesome and amazing and soooooo enthusiastic.
Raven introduced us to his friend ‘Bob’ the fire sprite fairy and we watched enthralled as Bob fly down the hill and lit the fire (note that Bob was not nearly so co-operative during the daytime).
Then it was time for some skits. Penguin patrol did their classic “Little Green Ball” and Panther-Koalas enthralled us with “Genie Wishes”. Raven also got Millie to help out with the “3 camels,” Tadgh for “movie making” and Elliot & Tadgh for “follow me.” Livi, Millie, Emily, Sophie & Ciara entertained us with a dance too. Then of course there was the singing of “Cecil” led by Ellie, Tash, Livi & Joseph and “Roadkill Stew” by Ellie.
All up we had lots of fun at campfire as always.
After campfire everyone headed off to play spotlight in the dark. Panther-Koalas were the only patrol who successfully crept up to KooKai without him spotting them with his flashlight!
Another beautiful sunny day dawned. Unfortunately it meant that Panther-Koalas were down a patrol member as Declan had gone home with an ear infection during the night 😦
After a hot breakfast (that smelt fantastic from the leaders area) and morning parade we headed off to base rotation. There were five bases, four of which were scored for leadership and participation but the whole patrol.
Base 1 was playing both active and thinking games using only a scarf.
Base 2 was varied depending on the experiences of the patrols. It was making a bush stretcher and carrying an injured scout 500m or learning new knotting and lashing techniques.
Base 3 was again either learning about how to plan journeys or practicing our navigation skills.
Base 4 was lighting a fire under wet or dry conditions depending on what level scouts were working on.
Base 5 was a whole camp effort working in rotations to compete a suspension bridge over the creek together.
After rotations everyone had a great time playing on the bridge that we had all worked together to build.
After lunch it was time to start packing up.
Closing parade was called at 2pm and ribbons were awarded.
You should be all extremely proud of your individual scouts who worked together for the following amazing outcomes:
Campsite Setup – Bronze
Hygiene – Silver
Cooking – Gold
Leadership – Silver
Overall – Silver
Campsite Setup – Bronze
Hygiene – Gold
Cooking – Gold
Leadership – Silver
Overall – Silver
Well done everyone. Even with the Gold ribbons there is always room to improve but this is an absolutely amazing effort given the limited experience you all have! BRAVO!
In addition, every year Raven carves two special woggles which have the Toohey Forest badge on them. These are given to the two scouts who the leadership group feel have demonstrated living by the scout promise and law the best over the weekend. They can be earned by any scout regardless of whether they are PLs, APLs or this is their first ever camp. This year one of Victor scouts was a recipient. Congratulations Elliot! (Leaders who have children nominated for one of these awards do not contribute to the discussion or decision to award them one).
I’m pretty sure you all had a fantastic weekend of camping with lots of stories to share with your family and friends! Can’t wait until District Camp 2016.