Following months of planning, fundraising and excitement, twenty-four cubs and four leaders (Mairi, Dave, Toni and Peta – Gregor took the easy option and drove the luggage!) from the 7th Inverness (Kirkhill) Scout Group met at the train station during the Easter holidays to start their adventure! Even the most hyperactive cub had butterflies (and the leaders too!). We were heading to Dalguise in Perthshire for a PGL activity weekend. Uneventful journey over we settled in, had dinner and then played ‘wacky races’ – a silly relay game to win equipment to protect a water bomb from bursting when dropped from a tower! Most were successful, celebrated with a loud rendition of ‘Staying Alive’! ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ rang out when one team’s efforts failed to protect its cargo!
The first day’s activities started with the GIANT SWING – like the one at the park but a lot higher! Cubs were hoisted 30 feet into the air in pairs by the rest of the group to 30ft then had to pull a ripcord to send the swing towards the ground at high speed. And, as if we hadn’t had enough high-up things to do, abseiling and zip wire were also big hits, with many of the kids conquering their fears. Later navigation skills were tested with orienteering and one group entered a time of 55 minutes the 2nd fastest time ever set!
There was no rest in the evening as the cubs donned dark clothing and war paint (MUD!) and hit the woods for a game of Ambush! Many cubs said that this was the best bit of the weekend. A good night’s sleep was had by all!
On Sunday morning, following some rushed sleeping bag stuffing and shoe hunting (packing for the journey home), we set off on a hike where we heard scary and magical stories, some of which were acted out by the cubs. We found the original whomping willow, hugged the wishing tree, and ran with sticks on our heads for protection through drop-bear woods (the haunt of escaped, pre-war, genetically-engineered bears!). Later there was time for fencing and problem solving.
For thirteen of our cubs this was their last camp as a cub scout – we hope that they will move on to scouts, eager for even more adventure!
Without the enthusiasm and support of the cubs, leadership team and parents, we would not have had such a fantastic time – many thanks to all who have helped.
By Peta Koczy, Young Leader Kirkhill Scout Group