Diamond Jubilee Camp
It was quite simply, the “Best Camp Ever!”
Greenock and District Scouts celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in style with a weekend of fun in the sun.he Jubilee Camp at Ardgowan Estate was attended by more than 600 young people and adults from every group in the District.
The camp was held between a number of sites including Ardgowan Estate itself, the nearby Everton Scout Camp, the skies above Inverclyde and the seas around Inverkip.
This was a weekend that will live long in the memories of everybody who took part.
Cameron, a Scout from the 85th group summed it up. He said: “I had a truly amazing weekend. This camp was great. I was on a rib on the River Clyde, I went fishing, and learned some fantastic new bushcraft skills.
“I have had memories and adventure that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thanks. The Jubilee Camp was the best ever!”
Activities at the camp were split into different zones and the young people were all split up to ensure that there was a wide variety of fun things to do. There were also special “sign-up” activities to take part in outside the normal zones.
District Commissioner David McCallum said: “I am extremely proud to be Scouting in Greenock and District. This Jubilee Camp exceeded my expectations and the buzz around the District is still incredible. I have parents stopping me in the street and bursting with excitement about what their kids told them about the weekend. This camp seems to have inspired and engaged hundreds of people.
“This was Scouting at its very best and it was great to see every group take part. I have always said we should remember that we may wear a different neckie but we are all the same family.”
The zones at the camp were:
Young people were given the opportunity to learn how to make fire, how to cook fish, bread and some simple pizzas using a fire, how to make “bush” spoons by carving wood with knives, how to build a bivouac, and the correct way to handle a saw. Some of the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers even got to eat grasshoppers, worms, and crickets – yeuch!
With the aid of Rotary International’s Shelterbox project the young people were able to learn about the troubles suffered by those affected by natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes as well as those caught in conflict areas. Several activities included role play and learning as well as games that highlighted the importance of water, first aid and even how to tie a friendship knot in your neckie.
This zone included a travelling roadshow from the Glasgow Science Centre where delighted youngsters found out about how the body works. We followed the path of food and drink from the moment it enters your body and the processes it goes through before it, ahem, leaves your body. This was gross, messy, disgusting but hilarious and drew screams of delight from everybody who saw it.
The Science Zone also featured a petting zoo with a difference. As well as cute and cuddly rabbits, guinea pigs and mice there was a rat, bearded dragon, hissing cockroach, snake and a tarantula to be handled – with care!
There was also a radio base where young people could try to contact other Scouts from Scotland and beyond. An Internet van was also on hand to be tried out.
The Rope Zone was at Everton Scout Camp and featured the ever popular zip slide along with the low ropes, Jacob’s Ladder, Crate Climbing (weekend record set by 42nd Group’s Beavers at 17!), blind man’s trail, archery, mountain boards and water slide.
At Ardgowan and other sites around Inverkip a plethora of exciting activities could be found. These included:
Cubs, Scouts and Explorers got to go out on a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) from Kip Marina and around the local area.
More than 30 Scouts got to take to the skies to see the camp and sights of Inverclyde from the air.
Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers got the chance to pilot a hovercraft around the Ardgowan Estate. Some were very good at steering it and others were not so good as one tree trunk found out!
Also on hand were Quad Bikes, Inflatables such as a bouncy castle and rodeo bull ride, Mountain Biking around the area, Face Painting, Water Guns, Sumo Suits as well as Heritage Tours of Ardgowan House by Lady Shaw Stewart who owns the Ardgowan Estate that we were camping on.
If that was not enough other entertainment was put on including Ardgowan’s Got Talent in the main field arena – won by the brilliant Connie Reid of the 45th who not only blew everybody away with her rendition of Good Morning Baltimore from the musical Hairspray but she went on to sing a song about the rain she had written herself to wild applause from the crowd.
Beavers and Cubs were delighted on Saturday night to be treated to a night time story by Laura Cameron Jackson, the co-author of Waterstones best selling children’s book "Badger the Mystical Mutt". All the children got a signed copy of the first novel to take away.
In the Sunday each group who had built a “bogie” racing cart got the opportunity to have a time test race down the road in Ardgowan Estate, cheered on by hundreds of onlookers.
Food was supplied by an army of helpers at Ardgowan and included breakfast, lunch and supper for hundreds of hungry mouths. Dinner on Saturday night was supplied at Inverkip Primary School who put on a great feast for the whole camp.
David McCallum said: “I am overwhelmed by the effort that went into this event from so many people. From the organising committee to those who gave up their time over the weekend to the leaders, the parents and the young people themselves everybody was a hero.
“This was a superb way to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and it was wonderful to see so many union flags and tributes to the Queen on the campsite.
“I sincerely hope that we can do something like this again in the future. The standard has been set very high indeed.”
Thanks for the Jubilee Camp are sent from everybody in Greenock and District Scouting to the following:
- Lady Shaw-Stewart for giving us her land to camp
- Constables Paul McGhee and Martin Kimmins for overnight patrols
- Scottish Scout Active support for Marquees
- Hugh Scott and Inverclyde Council for Internet trailers
- Bookers Cash and Carry
- Steve Cowie and Cameron Smith for rib and water activities
- Ross and Fullerton for waste and flag pole
- Inverkip Primary School, including Theresa McAllister, head cook
- Ardgowan Fishery
- The 6th Active Support team for the rib rides
- RT Cycles for the Mountain Biking
- Greenock Rotary Club for the Shelterbox display
- Dip N Doodle for the pottery painting
- Allan Marsh for the Microlighting (airstrip)
- All the parents and leaders who organised and ran the bases
- All the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Network, and Young Leaders who came along.
Click on to any photograph to see an enlarged view
Click on the photo below to view a further selection.