At 10 am on Thursday, June 1st 2000, the two minibuses and the luggage van left the Church car park, and this year's Junior Girls' and Boys' Brigade Camp had begun. Numbers were a bit down from usual because we had been unable to get our usual booking for the previous Saturday to Tuesday (when we usually go) but the date change had saved us from what would have been the wettest camp ever!
The rest of Thursday was spent on site - moving into the tents, which the intrepid setting up crew (thinly disguised as the more mature members of the staff, plus Dave Hearn, who appeared whenever he could escape from the Power Station! - not forgetting Thomas and Hadyn) had erected on the Wednesday. The games equipment came out and soon everything was in full swing.
Thursday evening was time for the now famous walk. Would James get us lost again this year? (To be fair, it only happened once, but it has passed into camp folklore and I don't think he will ever live it down.) This year the route had been changed for us because it involved crossing and recrossing the Channel Tunnel Rail Link building works, but it still ended with the footpath across the field - and you will remember that there had been a lot of rain the weekend before! The path started off muddy and got wetter and wetter and not many of us had worn our wellies (sorry about the trainers and socks, Mums and Dads!). James took pity on the young lady with the shortest legs and toppled over in the mud as she climbed on to his back... someone's trainer was sucked off by the mud... but eventually we got back to the site and hot drinks and bed.
Friday saw us on the beach at Joss Bay for the day. And what a contrast to last year... it was warm and sunny with no east wind. Lots of people went in the sea, but can anyone tell me why some of them insisted on doing this with their clothes on? - including two young men who appeared to be suitably dressed, but had their ...underwear on under their swimming trunks? Then it was back to Honeyhill but no dinner for quite a while because the lock on the door of the building had gone wrong and we couldn't get into the kitchen!
Saturday morning and it's time to get clean so it was down to the swimming pool in Mote Park - always very popular because of the wave machine, the flumes, the waterfall and all the other squirty things and currents. By the time Joan and George arrived at the site to spend the afternoon with us we were running a bit late, but so what... we were all having a wonderful time and there was still plenty of time for the archery and other games in the afternoon. (George comes for the archery... and the tuck shop!!)
The highlight of Saturday evening was of course the campfire, wonderfully constructed by Gary and Thomas. Lots of hot dogs around the fire and then the essential marshmallow toasting. Followed by the disco for anyone still awake. Sunday was a mixture of activities and breaking camp, which was much enjoyed by some of the older Juniors as it gave them a chance to learn some campcraft.
A lot happened in a very few days because of all the work put in by all the staff both young and more mature. I should like to thank them all - Alan Bramley, Mavis Hearn, Gary Giffard, Tim Orr, Hazel Golding, Kate McCafferty, James Clark, Gareth Longhurst, Alison Cocks, Julie Hearn, Karen Jolley, and Thomas Giffard.
Carol Clark, Camp CO
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© - 1st Ash Green Boys' Brigade & 1st Ash Green Girls' Brigade - 2000