Camping 1994-2000

Setting out for a hike on the fens
Aerial runway

After our two successive excursions to Longridge, we felt the need to return to home territory, but canoeing was still on the agenda. Accordingly we camped on a farmer's field known as 'the island site' near Billingshurst, where canoeing could take place on the River Rother. This was a very pleasant camp with a group of young Scouts largely new to the 24th style of camping, but supported by some very experienced Venture Scouts.

After this camp, David Carter took over as Scout Leader and for the next four camps we travelled to far-flung locations and enjoyed many new activities. In 1995 we journeyed to the Lake District, camping at Bassenthwaite, near Skiddaw. Gorge-walking, hikes on the fens, and caving, as well pioneering back on site contributed to a very enjoyable camp.

Dave also introduced us to Snowdonia at Easter, where we stayed three times at a bunkhouse, converted from the village school, at the foot of the mountain. Long hikes, sometimes camping out overnight, and bike rides on the surrounding hills took place.

In 1996 we took a relatively large contingent (about 25 Scouts) to a site near Brecon, quite high up in the Beacons and in sight of Pen-y-fan. Again adventurous outings, including rock-climbing and overnight hikes in the hills were the order of the day.

The '96 campsite
Ready for caving
The camp of '96

1997 took us to Aysgarth Falls in North Yorkshire, where, among other things, a visit was arranged to the famous Wenslydale cheese factory. A further activity new to us was introduced to the programme at this camp, when a day was spent bouldering at Brimham Rocks.

In 1998, a camp remembered for its extremely poor weather, we camped in the back of beyond in the hilly region of Mid-Wales near Lake Vyrnwy. Much enjoyment was provided by an extremely ambitious rope-bridge that we constructed over the river, which is about 25 yards wide at that point.

Unfortunately, this was to be Dave Carter's last camp with us, but the following year we returned, with a very small contingent of Scouts and several Venture Scouts, to the same farm as we had visited in 1996, although to a different field.

By the time of the 2000 camp, Neil Mackrell had taken over as SL, and he took us back to two previous haunts in succession. In 2000 to Tillington, where we had previously camped in 1988, and then to the island site of 1994. This latter camp rivalled the Tisbury camp of 1990 for high temperatures, but there were also rainy interludes.

Camp sites - 1994-2000
  • 1994 Billingshurst, West Sussex
  • 1995 Bassenthwaite, Cumbria
  • 1996 Neuadd, Brecon
  • 1997 Aysgarth, North Yorkshire
  • 1998 Melindwr, Lake Vyrnwy
  • 1999 Neuadd, Brecon
  • 2000 Tillington, Petworth.