Pack Holiday 2012 – Desert Island – Diary

In 2012 our pack holiday was Castaway, here is our diay of events.

Friday 18th May 2012

It’s Friday night and 18 brownies arrive at camp house with enough luggage for a weeks stay.  All goes well until the lights in the dormitory blow and, although not dark, things became interesting while unpacking. All parents leave and 18 excited brownies begin their pack holiday adventure.

Our first activity – a camp fire. We haven’t had a camp fire for a few years and this one was particularly spectacular.  Well done to Jo and Eleanor for lighting the fire in a such a  strong, chilly wind.  We sang songs around the camp fire and had a good chuckle and enjoyed soup which kept us warm.  We tried bananas filled with chocolate which several of the Brownies were very unsure of, but really enjoyed. We also toasted lots of marshmallows – lots and lots and lots.

We then came inside, defrosted, and started our first craft which was Olly the Octopus.  This involved plaiting eight legs and creating a body, all out of wool, which turned out to be much more complicated than we first thought. In fact we spent so much time making Olly that we had to have a quick change into jim-jams and then straight off to bed.

So the first night, the usual late night of the weekend, was indeed quite late at about 11.30, but we have had worse.

Saturday 19th May 2012

And so the first noises were heard about 5.00 am, followed closely by Jo who mentioned that it was possibly too early to be chatting!  At a much more sensible time of 7.30 am the cooks were up to start cooking eggy bread, a firm pack holiday favourite. So a quick breakfast, no duties and all ready for Chris Hall from Thrills and Skills for Life.  The day’s fun begins.

First of all Chris explained the plan and the rules for day.  We then applied camouflage paint, in a very attractive manner to Brown Owl, and to most of the Brownies, and we dressed in our camouflage clothing. We were split into two teams – Rebecca Adlington and Lady Baden Powell (names chosen by the Brownies as successful, strong women). The first activity of the day was to build a shelter.

We braved the rain and wind and we set off to make our shelters. One team made a shelter that was against a tree, a kind of upright shelter.  The other team against a fallen tree, a kind of horizontal shelter. We carried logs and branches and twigs and made excellent shelters. We nearly managed to get all 18 brownies into the shelters too.

The next activity was to build a bridge over a stream. We walked down a very steep hill to the stream, and then realised that the wood we needed to build the bridges were at the top of the hill. So a few brave brownies went to collect the wood.  We lay the wood across the steam and tied it together with rope. Once we were had built our bridges we had a race. All team members had to cross the bridge, climb the hill, shout our team name, come down the hill, cross the bridge again and get to the finishing line. It was a very close run thing and we all showed great team spirit helping our team up and down the hills, especially as some of us were a little scared of the climb.

Then followed a well-deserved lunch.

The afternoon started with stretcher building. Strong branches were tied together to make the stretcher and then we carried our lightest team member.  We had a race. We had to run with someone on the stretcher and every time Chris shouted ‘change’ we had to put the stretcher down, swap to another team member on the stretcher and run again.  Unfortunately one of our stretchers collapsed but we did really well.

Chris showed us how to camouflage ourselves with leaves and twigs. Each team took turns to camouflage ourselves and then hide from the other team. Some brownies hid so well we didn’t see then even when we walked straight past them.  Even pink wellies could be hidden!

Our final activity of the day was a puzzle to get two barrels from one tree to another, without the barrels touching the ground. Half of the team were only allowed at one tree and the other half at the other tree. After some time experimenting and lots of great ideas both teams worked out the solution. We had a competition to see how many times we could move the barrels between the trees in 3 minutes. This involved a lot of encouragement and shouting.

A well-earned rest hour followed and then getting ready for our party. The party theme was Castaway and we had 18 castaways dance the night away. We played lots of party games, ate some burgers and enjoyed lots of dancing.

Sunday 20th May 2012

The following morning the brownies didn’t wake until 7.30, possibly a little tired from the previous day’s activities and partying.  Sunday was spent making our crafts.  We made shell photo frames, sand art, magnetic fish and mini art on easels.  We also packed all our things into our bags, which is by far the most stressful time of the pack holiday for our leaders. It seems that the bags shrink while on holiday as there is no way that all things fit in the same bags they came in, especially sleeping bags.

And so to the final meal, our usual Sunday roast which is enjoyed by all. We finished with our  pack holiday presentation in which we presented the winning team, the Jamaicans, with their prizes.  The best brownie this year was a close contest with Jade coming a very close second to Lucy. Well done to both.

In fact, well done to all Brownies – Lucy, Jade, Madeline, Sophie, Chloe, Lucy, Amy, Kate, Millie, Molly, Greta, Jasmine, Izzy, Hannah, Emma, Eleanor, Isobel, Lucy – you were a pleasure to take on holiday. Roll on next year.

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