Brass Monkeys 2014 at Overstone Scout Activity Centre

8 scouts and 3 leaders braved the elements on 1st and 2nd February to complete a brass monkey challenge. The challenge was to sleep under canvass for one night during the coldest time of the year and if the challenge was completed, each scout would be awarded the prestigious brass monkey pendant.

The scouts arrived early on Saturday morning to face their first challenge of the day, putting up their tents! Once completed they explored the campsite while the leaders played with mud pies, battled with flooding and built a fantastic mud oven complete with chimney!

The scouts ensured they got as muddy as they could as quickly as they could and soon returned to camp for a change of kit.

Lunchtime and the scouts enjoyed home-made chicken soup and tiger bread prepared by the leaders. After lunch Scout Leader Jay introduced his first wild food surprise. A brace of pheasants! The scouts set about plucking feathers and removing the innards so that the birds were ready to cook in the mud oven built earlier in the day.

Whilst on camp, 5 scouts wanted to complete the camp cook badge and in the afternoon set about preparing two different types of dessert for the evening meal. One was campfire fudge and the other was rock buns that would also be cooked in the mud oven.

The dinner was a spectacular spread. Pizza cooked in the mud oven, Chicken Curry prepared by Lance, Roasted Pheasant and the deserts prepared by our camp cooks!

After dinner and with very full tummies a roaring campfire was made and everyone went to toast marshmallows and sing traditional campfire songs which everyone enjoyed.

After a night time warm drink the scouts soon settled down to a good night’s sleep. The wind howled throughout the night but snug in their tents the scouts didn’t wake until the morning. The morning started with a hearty breakfast of porridge before setting off on a bear hunt led by Jay! Once reaching their destination the scouts had to fish for their next wild treat. Mackerel! Mackerel caught they all headed back to camp for a fire lighting challenge. Jay helped prepare the mackerel for cooking and the scouts cooked these over the alter fires they had made. Meanwhile the camp cooks prepared lunch for everyone. The main course was parcels of beef, vegetables and gravy that would be cooked on the hot coals in a flat pack of tinfoil. Dessert was chocolate muffins cooked inside orange shells, also cooked on the fire! Both were a big hit with the scouts and leaders. Finally and most importantly we had a new member to the scout section officially welcomed and invested on camp. What a great way to come into the group!

Following this, we witnessedthe quickest flag down there has ever been when our make shift flag pole decided to collapse itself!

The leaders and scouts had an absolutely fantastic weekend camping, the weather was really kind to us, the scouts completed their brass monkey challenge and we now have 5 new camp cooks! A huge thank you to the scouts for wanting to be part of this event, a big thank you to the parents for letting them be part of this event, a massive thank you to the leaders for being so supportive to one another and making the camp the best Brass Monkey Camp yet!!

Here’s looking forward to the rest of the scouting year. What else can the leaders do to top this one???!!!!