International Tasters - Part 3
In this blog: Wayne visits Chamboree in Cheshire and Red Rose, West Lancashire’s International Camp at Great Tower in the Lake District.
Eight activity zones ensured that I had a busy morning at Chamboree after my drive north to Cheshire. My luck with the weather continued as the raincoat stayed in the car for another day. 3,500 participants, with an extra 800 Cubs on site last weekend for their own Chamboreee experience and the Beavers in for the day on Wednesday. All this, and visiting Scouts from Africa and Europe gave the camp a real buzz.
I was particularly struck by the popularity of the Skills Zone where Scouts, and their leaders, could try their hand at a variety of Scoutcraft skills with a full range of fire styles being built, large and small scale pioneering (I loved the roundabout) and backwoods cooking to name a few.
Global Zone was a large area where participants could enjoy a full day learning about a variety of challenges some communities face, raising money to buy a well for a village in Zambia, tasting a very wide variety of foods and drinks or just chilling out in the Indian Tepees.
The young media team were very active and many parents and friends have been following the activities through the camp’s website – you can check out the very testing interview that I had with Jonathan (surely a job with the tabloids awaits) just after my early morning arrival!
The leaders don’t lose out either, with a chance to do some of the activities and also to catch up with their training, or do refresher courses. Not only are the County running skills sessions, but also putting on other courses during the day and evening.
Time for a quick sandwich before my drive further north up the M6 to the Lake District and Red Rose 2010.
Red Rose 2010
The 10th Red Rose camp for West Lancashire is being held at their fantastic site, Great Tower, near Windermere in the Lake District, for the first time and makes great use of the natural beauty not to mention adventure that the area has to offer.
First stop is Splash, a wide variety of water sports on Lake Windermere and based at Moor Crag, Great Tower’s very own water sports centre right on the lake shore and just five minutes from the site. Sadly, time doesn’t permit me to get on the water although several of the Guides who have inadvertently been testing the water whilst sailing assured me it 'wasn’t that cold' really.
Red Rose tests the participants' camping skills just a little more than most of the International Camps as its 95 acres makes the most of the terrain of the Lake District, and the largest single flat area is just about large enough for the odd mess tent. This clearly hasn’t stopped the campers making the most of their five sub camps and our rather energetic walk around the site (I certainly haven’t needed the gym today) shows how successfully everybody is mixing and making the most of their surroundings.
After a little searching (I’ll leave Craig and the YSPs showing me around to explain why!) we find the Dutch contingent and admire their impressive camp gateway - a working windmill. We also make it to the highest point on the site, Tower Rock where a Troop are making the most of the spectacular views across Lake Windermere.
As well as the adventurous activities you would expect in the Lake District, Red Rose also offers a range of traditional country skills – the Scouts on Tower Rock had just been dry wall lining (a good excuse to get muddy I think!), visit attractions in Lakeland and also to learn about partnerships such as ShelterBox who were manning a stand on site for the week.
After a very hectic and fun-filled day I bid farewell to red Rose and head towards Harewood House in Yorkshire for Fusion, Girl Guiding’s Centenary celebrations on Wednesday.