Pack Holiday 2010 – Billy Tinkler’s Circus – Diary

In 2010 we had a Circus Pack Holiday, to be more specific it was ‘BILLY TINKLER’S CIRCUS EXTRAVAGANZA’.  Below is the diary of our holiday

Friday 16th July 2010

We arrived at Minsteracres, Consett at 6.30 pm by bus, with only three ‘are we nearly there yet’ questions for the entire journey.  And what a beautiful place.  Giant Redwoods line the lane leading to the Youth Centre which is surrounded by woods, which hopefully we will explore throughout the weekend.

A quick game outside was followed by a supper of pizza and juice and then the start of our crafts for the weekend – always a popular part of the weekend.  We decided to do things differently this year – the Brownies were shown the crafts on offer over the weekend and could do them in any order they chose during the craft sessions.  So we had a combination of masks, wooden trains, cars and horses, juggling balls and key rings.  Oh and of course the dreaded scoobies!

We then went for a walk with our torches, although it wasn’t that dark, to try use up some energy. We found some squidgy trees, we may have hugged a few.  On the way back we saw a bat.

So, feeling slightly more tired we got into our jim-jams and introduced our teddys to everyone.  A hot drink was followed by bed.  Bed at about 10.30, sleep at about midnight.  At least one hour before our normal bedtime on the first night.

Saturday 17th July 2010

Cooks up first at 7.30 (although obviously everyone was already awake by 6.30) who set about making eggy bread, bacon and beans.  Eggy bread is a firm pack holiday favourite and was enjoyed by all.  We then went on a walk.  We had a map and a route to follow, however, this proved to be far too difficult and so we went on our own way merry way.  It did rain but only a little.

After lunch we had the main event of the weekend – our Circus Workshop with Marty Bloomfield.  And this was spectacular.  Magnificent Marty came and showed us a myriad of circus skills from spinning plates, and juggling to hula hoops and flower sticks.  Ellie and Rebecca did some spinning plates.  Cleo, Eleanor and Jasmine showed us how to perform the flower sticks, Anna and Megan danced with the Chinese Ribbons. Georgina and Hollie showed the Poi and Jo, Bethan and Charlotte hula hooped.  Lauren had a very brave (and successful) attempt at both the ‘Chinese Wheels of Doom’ and the ‘Wibbly Wobbly Board of Death’.  Now we all knew how to use each of the pieces of equipment we spent the next hour and a half choosing our piece(s) of wizardry and practicing an ‘act’ to perform at ‘Billy Tinklers Circus Extravaganza’.  Our performance was absolutely fantastic with a variety of circus skills.  Almost everyone had an act to perform and some had more than one.

Jo (T) spent the entire afternoon practising and practising spinning a plate and did eventually achieve it, much to her excitement and to our relief. However, both Jo’s loved this so much that they actually bought their own plates! Lauren spent a great deal of time learning how to juggle and so very very nearly got there (and again bought her own juggling balls to keep trying).

It was a truly brilliant afternoon.

Marty runs Circus Skills and Drama Workshops, you can contact him at  And we thoroughly recommend him!

And then came the party.  The Pack Holiday Saturday night party.  This year we were dressed as clowns, ring masters, acrobats and even an elephant.  We played musical statues, musical bumps, pass the parcel, right/left pass the sweets, pass the hoop and pin the nose on the clown.  We ate delicious food and danced the night away.

And to finish our night off we sat in our jim jams and sang songs.  We sang Little Green Frog, My Poor Meatball, Lion Hunt, Take a Boy Take a Girl, Swimming Swimming, Froggy Went a Calling and Kum Ba Yah.  I am sure if you are unsure of any of the words, your Brownie would be happy to tell you :0)

And then Brownies off to sleep and the two Jos to continue practising with their plates.  At the time of writing this (Saturday night at 11.30) Jo L has become a complete pro and can spin a plate in a very casual sitting down kind of way, however, Jo T has given up completely and the plate is currently in the middle of the floor!  Lauren is doing particularly well and will be juggling in a matter of days.

Sunday 18th June 2010

The Sunday morning is spent eating a fabulous breakfast and tidying away our things.  You would think this would be easy, but you would be surprised at the amount of Brownies who seem to have far too many things to fit into their bags, and have sleeping bags that are far far far too big to go into their sleeping bag bag!!!

We have had a very enjoyable holiday, as ever, and now home and, for the Leaders at least, to a long soak in the bath . . . .

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