>> Sunday, August 07, 2016
...without the shower afterwards obviously!!!
Bear with me here...
Leading up to my latest adventure I had completely had enough of Guiding. Of girls not turning up. Of parents complaining or not responding to emails or even requests(begs) for minor help. Of accounts. Of writing job references for girls. Of paper work. Of, of, of.
Marriage is a long haul journey, if your vows said "I will not get annoyed even though I have asked you thirty-millionith times not to do that, I will not get naggy even though your arse appears to be super glued to the settee despite the grass being higher up the window than a decent snowfall" you probably wouldn't bother. But the odd date night, sex and an occasional flirt in the kitchen seems to hold off the order for the spade to hide the body.
Guiding is a lot like marriage.
Accounts are the wet towel pick up. Just when you think you left the bathroom clean and tidy (or accounts up to date) you turn around and there is another badly folded, soggy towel (pile of receipts to put through.)
The Ranger's lack of enthusiasm to even the greatest of adventures you have ideas for is the wet fart vibrating through the en-suite door just as you are trying to drift off to sleep.
You get the picture (can't unsee or unhear!)
But I have just come back from a camp. 1 pre-camp afternoon and evening, 8 days, 7 nights in a field with 5000 other Guides and Scouts. The work leading up to it nearly broke me but within a day of being there I kept hearing words like "next time" falling out of my mouth, whereas before camp I was in the "never-a-bloody-gain" zone and "I'm giving up as soon as this is over" (although take that with a pinch of salt as I booked winter camp whilst sat in that zone!)
But there is something amazingly special about Charnwood. It hits you as soon as you walk through the gates. There is an ambience of fellowship that is hard to describe. An aura of happiness, a genuine core of all the best parts of Guiding and Scouting and of what that means.
Don't get me wrong, put 800 leaders together and there will be fallouts somewhere along the way. You'd have to be incredibly attuned leaders to not have some issues in a full weeks camp with the general living difficulties of toilets 2 fields away and showers 4 fields away, water taps a long walk, time pressures, tired kids, tired adults, high winds, broken tents, neighbours with different noise tolerances. You can see that at some point a snap will happen but we all have a lot of duck-tape in our repair kits.
So like a morning after a rather successful date night, I have come back from camp shattered from being up half the night(s) but wandering around with a stupid grin on my face.
I guess there are a lot of posts to write about why it is so amazing. I said I would do that 5 years ago and didn't get around to it. I will try harder this time.
But in the mean time, here is the last song of the last night in the main tent and I'll let you mull over it alongside the media image of Guides and Scouts....sometimes I have to remind myself how uncool Guiding and Scouting is supposed to be, or those of us on the inside would forget it!!!
My favourite band of the week was Hill Valley High, they recently played Download. but I didn't take video of them, no idea why...
..possibly because I was over excited already for being allowed to be an official steward for the night (ok, I'm bigging that up - I volunteered - we always need extra hands - but I got headphones and a radio for the night!!)
But maybe I'll leave you with the Seniors, who had the best party evenings:
PPS: there were also lovely evenings with campfire with songs in a different part of the site, but I just prefer the louder events!
I'll honestly try to do I post with the more traditional elements in it at some point.