Summer Camp 2023

Our first Summer Camp in three years at Glengoyne Lodge, Auchengillan

Three years have passed since our last Summer Camp at Meggernie in Glen Lyon, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our return to a week away was a real adventure, and this page is a log of what we got up to!

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Day 1: Settling into Camp

After three years it was with great excitement we finally arrived on the field to start Summer Camp. It’s also the first time we’ve used our newly refurbished Glengoyne Lodge at Auchengillan.

We settled into our Patrols – themed around Mario this year – and got to know each other. The weather wasn’t amazing so we headed up to the barn and started making our own crazy golf course using anything we could find lying around. The Patrols were then scored on creativity, best feature, difficulty and all round quality of the hole before having a go at each of the courses. We finished off our first day in camp with a campfire and headed to bed.

Day 2: Taskmaster and Nerf Wars!

Our first morning waking up at camp! The sun was shining for breakfast which was nice, then it was onto a game of Taskmaster. The Taskmaster (Andy) set us a series of challenges and sold us the equipment we needed to complete them. The challenges kept changing and we had to keep up with his demands!

After dinner we went back to the barn for a Nerf battle. Some of us had much better aim than others! We had some individual battles then worked as a team to try and get to a specific part of the barn. It was a lot of fun but tiring too! We headed back down to camp for a campfire, singing some of our favourite songs before hot chocolate and bed.

Day 3: The James Lawrie Shield

Today is the day for our annual James Lawrie Shield – named after one of our volunteers who tragically died in his early 20s and who had a real passion for backwoods outdoor skills. This is an annual challenge for all our Patrols to ‘survive’ in the wilderness all day, cooking their own lunch over a fire and making sure they construct their own shelter as well as dealing with some challenges which emerge during the day, such as first aid incidents.

We’re very grateful to our judging panel made up of our own leader Michael Love and three Scout Leaders who joined us for the day – thanks to Sharon, John and Jim! All the Scouts did amazingly well but in the end it was the Magic Stars Patrol, led by Ross Proctor who emerged victorious!

Day 4: Sunshine and pirates!

We woke up this morning to glorious sunshine and had breakfast outside our tents. Then we packed up our swimming kit and headed to the brand new Allander Pool for a swim (and a much needed wash!) When we got back to camp we did some Spare Time Activities in our Patrols for some extra points.

After lunch we were invaded by some pirates who asked us to bury treasure making maps to identify where we had hidden it. Black Beard made an appearance, as did some trader guy from Cuba who we weren’t quite sure about. However on the plus side he did open up the tuck shop! We had a lovely sunset campfire tonight after our first full day of sunshine!

Day 5: Theme Day!

To anyone who hasn’t attended a 77th Summer Camp theme day may seem like an unusual experience! We pick a theme and spend the entire day emersed in it – this year the theme was Mario! So of course firstly we attended the wedding of Mario and Princess Peach, but out of nowhere everything went off on a different direction when Bowser disrupted their big day and started the ball rolling on the wide game fun! 

After a series of challenges which we had to complete (including a Mario Kart race where we made our own vehicles!) we could finally enjoy the wedding without disruption…. except… we voted to punish (in the usual manner) Mario and Luigi! And if you can’t remember the sound of the day…

Day 6: Water sports and Glasgow

We had a very quick breakfast then headed off to Pinkston Water Sports Centre in Glasgow for a day of canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. For many of us this was the first time trying these activities and we all really enjoyed getting into our wetsuits and buoyancy aides so we looked the part (and so we floated if our sailing wasn’t as good as we hoped!)

We really enjoyed watching Scott, Gregor and Ewan fall in over and over again on their giant paddleboard! 

After lunch we went exploring Glasgow through the new Sighthill development and across the brand new ‘rusty bridge’. We had to find many different places on a scavenger hunt list which spelled out a secret code – the secret code unlocked us being able to buy our own dinner wherever we liked!

Then it was back to camp and some very, very heavy rain! We didn’t even have a campfire it was so wet – straight to bed and a night listening to rain battering off the tent roof. 

Day 7: Abseiling, archery and packing up

This is our last full day in camp! We went back to the Allander for another swim this morning – wanting to be nice and clean for going home tomorrow! Then after lunch we had a go at some activities at Auchengillan – some people went on the climbing tower to try rock climbing and abseiling while other people tried archery.

After dinner we started to pack up our own kit ready for going home, then had a long final campfire with a special birthday treat for one of our helpers, Harvey! Today was a much nicer day than yesterday so we could sing all the way to bedtime!

Day 8: The official opening of Glengoyne Lodge

Today is our last day in camp but it is also the official opening of Glengoyne Lodge now it has been all re-developed. We’ve enjoyed using the Lodge all week so it was nice to see it all spring cleaned, decorated with lots of bunting we made ourselves and ready to have the ribbon cut!

We all packed up our kit, put on our uniforms and headed to the Lodge for a celebration. His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant was there in his very smart uniform to cut the ribbon along with one of our Explorer Scouts, Kieran. We had lunch, then found out the winners of the points competition, lowered the flag and headed home.

Tired but very happy after a week filled with memories and new friendships.

Until next year…