Pack Holiday 2018 – Thrills and Skills

2018 is our 25th Pack Holiday anniversary!  Jo (Brown Owl) and Jo (Snowy Owl) have been doing pack holidays with 2nd Sedgefield Brownies for 25 years!  So this year we thought we would do something a little bit different.  We decided to go on an adventure and go to Thrills and Skills for Life for the weekend.

Friday 25th May 2018

The weather over the past couple of weeks has been sunny and warm, however this afternoon the rain starts with a vengeance.  So 18 Brownies jump on the bus fully prepared with waterproofs and wellies – actually Brown Owl puts her waterproofs on during the bus journey and nearly loses a welly.

We are met by Chris and his team and walk, in the rain, to the TASFL camp – our home for the weekend.

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Our first activity is to put on our camouflage gear and head off into the forest for some shelter making and larder making. We split into two teams and carry the branches we need to make our wonderful structures.

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Saturday 26th May 2018

This morning we are all a little bit tired.  The reason? Because the Brownies were still awake (and wandering between the two sleeping huts) at 4.00 this morning.  Yes 4.00 this morning!

Then, once the Brownies were finally settled, Jo T, Caroline and Beth had to listen to Jo L snoring – although apparently she wasn’t snoring but “just making snorty noises”.

The first activity of the day is bridge building.  We have to dismantle and rebuild 2 bridges across a river and get our team across.  We have two team leaders (Scarlett and Lucy) and we do a really good job of making our bridges – complete with handrails.

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We move on into the forest and try our hand at making fire.  This isn’t as easy as it could be due to the rainfall yesterday.  We split into 4 teams and each one attempts to make a fire.  However almost all of the leaves and twigs are damp (or plain old wet) and so we only mange to get one lit.  To be fair it is Sam (one of the TASFL team) who lights his fire.  We toast bread on rocks heated by the fire.  To start with we’re not sure that we fancy bread toasted on a rock but we quickly change our mind and everybody has a taste.  It tastes “firey” and “stoney”!

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After a trip back to the camp for lunch we head back into the forest for camouflage and concealment.  Chris explains the difference between Russian, American and British camouflage face paint and then each Brownie (well nearly all) gets some face paint.  We make sure we have hidden all traces of pink or yellow and add hats and scarfs.  Brownies add finishing touches by adding ferns to hair/hats/hoods/tops.  The Brownies go and hide and the leaders have to try and spot them – it’s not an easy task, the Brownies are great at concealment.  We enjoy this so much we have a good few goes.

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We head back to the camp for tea and a bit of chilling.

We make models of our camp out of stones, leaves and twigs and then head back into the forest for stretcher racing.

Finally we return back to the camp where we toast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate.  We finish the evening with some good old campfire singing.

Off to bed and fast asleep by the much more sensible time of 10:00.

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Sunday 27th May 2018

This morning we are much more rested.  We pack our bags and, as it is our 25th anniversary, we make a big 25 out of Brownies.

We head off into the forest for one last time.  This time we set some traps for the Leaders to walk through.  They are very successful and we catch the Leaders and Chris too.

We have a final lunch and then walk back up to the bus.

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What a fabulous Pack Holiday we have had.

Happy 25th Anniversary Jo and Jo.

And a great big thank you to Chris, Sam and John for making our weekend a very special pack holiday and one to remember.

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