What a fantastic time we had. Over 1500 cubs and adult helpers gathered at Gilwell Park for 6 days of CubJam. The Finch contingent had 18 of us, 10 Cubs, 1 Beaver, 1 Guide and 2 Scouts plus 4 adults.
We turned up on the Saturday to beautiful weather and set up camp next to some very nice nieghbours. The opening ceremony had a parade of flags from all the packs attending and then we really got CubJam going with a live band and lots of music to party to……it felt like it was going to be a great week.
Sunday gave us more sunshine, could this really last the week, and the opportunities to go and expereince lots of different activities from climbing to grass sledging, archery and pistol shooting. The Cubs had lots of flexibility as they could choose their activity and didn’t have to stay with 1st Finch so they could go off and make new friends.
There were also activities in the Sub Camp, we were part of Notting Hill [ yes it was a carnival theme but being in Rio or New Orleans would have been more glamorous. Sunday night came and we wandered down to watch "CubJam’s got talent". No entries from Finch and certainly no Susan Boyle’s on display but, as expected, a steady stream of cubs who told some very good jokes and a few that could sing and dance aswell.
Monday came and the sun still shone…..are we really at a Finch camp? Today enabled us to go off and learn some circus skills and the Cubs also enjoyed a great Magic show. And of course the opportunity to try more activities, includign African drums and It’s a Knockout. In the evening it was off to the onsite cinema to see Garfield 2….the leaders opted out!!!
It’s Tuesday and it’s raining. What did we expect, it’s Notting Hills tunr to go to Chessington World of Adventure. Well it turned out not bad. By the time the M25 had clogged up and delayed our arrival the sun had started to shine again. We all had a great time and the Cubs even managed to drag a couple of nervous leaders onto the Vampire ride…..and we all screamed really lous.
Food is getting eaten at an incredible rate. How hungry can these Cubs be? Well, if you put them outside all day and fill every minute with excitign activities then the answer is very, very hungry. The bonus for the leaders? When the Cubs go to bed they sleep and sleep and sleep!
Colchester Zoo beckons for us on Wednesday. it’s cold , gery and drizzling but that doesn’t mater at the Zoo. We fed elephants and Giraffes, watched the sea Lion show and were in awe at the grace of the Cheetah. A great zoo and if you’re ever over Essex way make a point of dropping in. Back at camp it was more food, Ruth’s Pasta surprise, undoubtedly the meal of the week and then off to do challnege vally….the assault course to end all assault courses. And why Challenge Valley? Well the challnege is to get round as amny times as you can in 30 minutes. Our record was 5….that’s how long the course is. Did they sleep well on Wednesday night? You bet they did.
Thursday is our last full day and Notting Hill is the only sub camp on site so we get to do lots of activities. 11am is our swimming slot. The sun is shining so it’s going to be fun. But wait a minute…..why haven’t they heated the pool? It was freezing, apparently [the leaders declined to go in!]. After 20 minutes we had a few shivering Cubs. What do we do know? A warm shower…yes that would be a good idea and a first for many of them this week!!!
It’s the last night and it’s carnival time. We didn’t put on as good a show as we did for the Wokingham Carnival but we had fun parading through the other Sub Camps. Now we’re off for the closing camp fire. We like camp fires at Finch so we’re all excited. But hang on a moment, something is missing. Where is our very own Tim Booth? You can’t have a camp fire without Tim. And we were right….the only lowlight of the week was a mediocre camp fire but you can’t get everything right.
Friday morning and the sun is shining. it’s time to take the tents down and head off for the closing ceremony. What a week it’s been. Fantastic activities, new friends, new experiences. Do we have to go home? Well yes, the leaders would like a hot bath and a clean up……but we’ll be back for CubJam 2013!!!
The Cubs were fantastic. Perfectly behaved, willing to have a go at everything and great fun to be with.
And the crowning moment for the leaders was a lovely thankyou letter, signed by all the cubs and presented to us at our own little closing ceremony. This leader was certainly choked up…..!
Thanks to everyone who helped in many ways to make the week a great success….and most importantly thanks for the home made cakes. They don’t do the wasteline any good but they keep the spirits high