Wintercamp 2011 takes place at Gilwell


Hardy Scouts are drying off after another successful Wintercamp event at Gilwell Park.

Around 3,500 Scouts, Explorers, Guides and Rangers braved the cold and rain to participate in an exhilarating weekend of activities.

This year’s biggest challenge was the wet and muddy conditions, which caused some traffic delays getting on to the site, and organisers have already said that this is something that they will be working to improve for next year’s event.

But according to Nick Iles, who led the event, the one thing that the rain couldn’t dampen was the spirits of the Scouts attending.

‘Participants seemed to enjoy rolling around in the mud – and getting muddy was certainly one of the things you had to do at Wintercamp.’

A hectic programme of activities

There were around 30 activities on offer, including classic Scouting pursuits like climbing, archery and wide games, alongside exciting modern activities such as laser clay, quad bikes and Robot Wars, with something to suit everyone.

One of the participants was Lauren, from Silver End Scouts.

‘Everything was really good, but I enjoyed the Zorbing the best.  It was great fun rolling down the slope inside an inflatable ball.’

Rich, an Assistant District Commissioner and Scout leader, brought a group of Bristol Scouts for their first Wintercamp experience.

‘All of the kids enjoyed themselves very much. Being able to quad bike and use the diggers were the best bits, they said, as they wouldn’t normally be able to do these. A lot thought it was a really good experience and are already asking if they can do it again next year.'

And according to organiser Nick, it’s this positive response from those attending that makes it all worthwhile.

‘Probably the highlight of my own camp was when the first young person came into the event office to say they were having an amazing time, and could he have an activity map so he could find all the activities. That and seeing young people driving the Argocats – I so wanted to have a go!’

A word of thanks

In the aftermath of another successful Wintercamp, Nick is quick to give thanks for the support of all the volunteers involved, whether they were working on the event team, as leaders of groups, or helping in any other way.

‘What we need to remember is that the participants are the ones whose opinion really counts, and they had a great time. A massive thanks to the volunteers that helped, and the participants that made it what it was.

‘Also thanks go to my co-organiser, Caroline McLaurin, who single-handedly co-ordinated 300 volunteer staff, and 50 contractors who made the event really happen.’

Next year’s event will be held on 6-8 January 2012.

Did you attend Wintercamp this year? Leave a comment and let us know what you thought.

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