• Tim Beard

Halloween Camp

So, Freshers’ Camp is a critical activity in that its designed to show any prospective new members what OUSGG trips are all about. And this year, it was held at Youlbury Scout Activity Centre, for three days, over Halloween.

It could have started of slightly better, in that we didn't all convene at the starting point for the hike to Youlbury at Oxford Station until about an hour later than planned, and so we set of at twilight, laden with our bags, and arrived a few hours later, when it was near enough pitch black. We had a little trouble finding our camping spot, but when we did, Mathew was already there with his carload of equipment, so we began setting up camp. Once finished, we decided to get a good night’s sleep, as there was a long day ahead.

On the Saturday, we had to get up and have breakfast quickly, as our first activity was booked for that morning: Crate Stacking. Working in a pair to build a tower out of wobbly stacked crates would normally be hard enough, but to make it even more difficult, this entailed standing on top of the tower as we built it! By the end, the stackers were blindfolded, further complicating the matter! This was a great activity, and lots of fun was had by all.

After lunch, we went on a long ramble through the countryside, towards Abingdon and back, which included finding a geocache, visiting a playground, and lots of chatting! The route allowed us to take in in loads of different scenery, including villages, fields and forests, and also observe a great sunset as we walked back to camp.

Once we’d cooked and eaten our baked potatoes for dinner, we each carved a pumpkin for Halloween, which included one with OUSGGȄ cut into it, and sang lots of different songs, with a campfire roaring in front of us, keeping the cold winter weather away.

On the third and final day, we packed up most of the camp, which was definitely easier than setting it up, as this time we had light to see by! There were kebabs for lunch, cooked on the fire, and we did archery for our afternoon activity. Popping balloons has never been as fun as it was with a bow and arrow, and I think we all did pretty well at it!

Then, we unfortunately had to say goodbye to each other, and to Youlbury, which had been a terrffic place to stay, and one which we’ll certainly be returning to again.