A party of 42 Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and leaders spent their Summer Camp at Waterside Lodge, a residential centre on the shores of the Marine Lake in Southport, with a small area for camping outside.
With such easy access to the lake, it was a perfect location for all our water activities. The cubs, scouts and explorers had a full programme of different water activities, sometimes dictated by the weather conditions, which in some cases, were quite challenging. Quite a number of cubs and scouts had to go just that bit out of their comfort zone, but they all agreed it was well worth it. We were using the boats from the centre, which gave us the opportunity to try out different sailing dinghies from our usual boats available at Budworth.
As we were situated very close to Southport beach, the town centre and the Wirral coastline, it gave all sections, the opportunity for a variety of off site visits too.
We were very lucky with the weather and our little corner of Southport seemed to have its very own weather system. We did have a thunderstorm, but as it was during the evening, it did not curtail our programme at all.
Although I spent most of my time in the galley, I had no reason to complain; the view down the lake from the window was superb. We also had the benefit of a fully fitted industrial kitchen, including a dish washer! I did sort of get a day off when the Explorers took over the galley duties for the day and did all the food preparation, cooking and washing up. They did very well too. Next step is to transfer all those skills to cooking under canvas!
I believe that all our cubs, scouts and explorers had a really good week, shown by some of the comments below. They are very lucky to have a leadership team who work very well together and are willing to give up their time so willingly to provide quality sea scouting for all its members.
Plans are already being made for next year’s group camp, which is to be at Beaudesert Scout Centre in Staffordshire. This will be during Spring half term. We have visited Beaudesert several times before and it is an ideal location and allows plenty of opportunity for cubs, scouts and explorers to develop more traditional scouting skills.
Comments received from some of our young people about their camp experience.
Suzie (Cub Scout)
Waterside Lodge was absolutely terrific. I absolutely loved the view ! I loved kayaking and sailing on the Marine Lake and I especially liked going in the power boat! I liked having the beach right next to us and I also enjoyed going along the pier and into the arcades. I loved the shopping arcade in the middle of town and there seemed to be hundreds of shops.The food was absolutely delicious, really nice and really healthy.
I would love to go to camp next year. I’ve learnt lots of new things.
This was Suzie’s first time at group camp and she overcame some of her initial fears and bravely stepped outside her comfort zone. Well done Suzie.
When we arrived at Southport, after unpacking, we went to have a look around. It was a nice area and we had the lake on our doorstep.
Most of the week, we went kayaking or sailing. We capsized a lot of the time, which was fun, but the water was freezing! We had a great time on the beach building sandcastles and paddling in the sea.
The meals were really tasty and one day the explorers had to make everything, breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Overall, we had an amazing time in Southport!
Lucy has been to several group camps and is always keen to take part in all activities. It’s good to know, that provided you have the opportunities to practise your skills, you can have great fun on the water, even if you end up falling in sometimes!
Waterside Lodge was one of my favourite camps. There were lots of activities to keep us busy. One of the land activities was ‘whittling’ which was really difficult, until you got the hang of it. My favourite activity was sailing and everyone’s sailing improved a lot, because of the testing conditions.
All in all, this camp was brilliant and I would definitely go to Waterside Lodge again.
Cameron is always keen to go to camp, wherever it is. As one of the older scouts, he has improved his sailing and kayaking skills during the summer boating programmes. so he really enjoyed the challenge and the changeable weather conditions on the lake.
Joe (Explorer Scout)
This year’s summer camp was totally different from any other camp as it was almost in the town centre! Expecting the usual rural setting, my pocket money didn’t last long given the wealth of things that surrounded us.
We had lots of water activities using the centre’s boats. The weather conditions proved quite a challenge for the explorers. At one point, the wind changed direction completely whilst we were out on the lake. We had to take shelter in the lee of one of the islands as the safety boat had to tow back the scouts on the katakanu. When it returned to our group, we had to battle against the wind in our kayaks. It was quite exhausting.
The Explorers took the cubs to Pirate Island, one of the islands on the lake, looking for Captain Flint’s treasure. Unfortunately, the trails were cub sized, so fighting through passages of brambles and nettles was a bit difficult for us. Sadly, although we found Captain Flints grave, the treasure was no longer to be found. The cubs seemed to enjoy it just the same.
Still, it was a good week and everyone left with smiles on their faces.
This was Joe’s first water activities based camp with the group. As a Watch leader. Joe took responsibility for the Explorers at camp, including Josh, who joined us from the scout section. All the explorers proved that they are more than capable of taking on responsibilities at camp, whether on or off the water.