Troop Camp

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Slanghoek, South Africa

It had been way too long since 2nd Rondebosch ran a traditional troop camp. Between our 110th birthday celebration and COVID cancelling 2020's troop camp, it had been two years since the whole troop had gotten together at our favourite farm in the Breede River Valley to disconnect from the world for a week and enjoy roughing it in a small patch of the Western Cape wilderness.

Day 1 started as all troop camps do at the hall, packing the trailer and driving out to the farm. This year we had a particularly green troop with exactly one Scout having experienced a troop camp before. We spend the rest of the day setting up the three campsites: one for each patrol (the Eagles and the Falcons) plus HQ. Besides a short dip in the Breede to cool off, the day was spent clearing brush, pitching tents and cooking spaghetti bolognese for dinner.

Day 2 started off with the standard routine of PT, followed by a wash and breakfast. The morning was spent further developing the campsites, adding a kitchen table, dedicated fire places, wash stands and washing lines. Lunch was then followed by an afternoon building rafts; the Scouters focussed on constructing the big raft meant to last the whole camp, while the Scouts competed to see who could build the best raft using just twine, staves from the surrounding brush and some black bags filled with leaves. We ended the evening with a game of Stalk the Lantern in the surrounding vineyards.

Day 3 turned out to be on of the hottest days of the summer, with the wind dropping and the mercury climbing past 40 degrees. The morning was filled with a variety of games, including tug-of-war and Red Light Green Light (from the recent Squid Game series). The afternoon was spent in the river or the shade, and the Scouts learned to light fires using just as flint and steel and discussed what to do in a survival scenario. The night then ended with a few campfire games in HQ.

Day 4 was mercifully cooler with a slight breeze, making it some of the best weather you could ask for. We were also joined by four additional Scouters who didn't want to miss all the fun. The morning started with some team sports and a marksmanship base; the Scouts at 1st Claremont were very generous in lending us five of their pellet rifles. Most Scout had never fired a pellet rifle before and there were some surprisingly talented sharpshooters in the group! After lunch we lit the fires to begin the best meal on camp: a two-course meal of roast chicken, roast veggies and apple crumble for dessert. While this was going on we did some more survival skills, including fashioning a natural water filter and learning about venomous snakes. We ended the final night with the traditional final campfire, which included all the usual skits, songs and shenanigans you only find at campfire.

The final day was pack up day. After PT and breakfast everyone worked hard to get all the camps cleared out and equipment packed. We had final parade just after lunch, where the Eagles narrowly beat the Eagles 484 to 478! They celebrated with their victory cake, after which we piled into the cars and headed home to Cape Town.

Thanks to all who made this Troop Camp such a great success this year. Here's to an excellent 2022!

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