Maybe the unit has got out of the habit of the traditional "Summer Expedition" or the destination of South Devon didn't quite fire the imagination of the rank and file, for there were only 3 takers for the trip. Yet Chris, Hugo & Iain will certainly endorse that what the trip may have lacked in exotic location it certainly made up for in other ways.
Journal Entries & Photographs
Grey. Wet. Cold. So began the annual Youth Dragon Boat Races at South Cerney. And - disaster! No kitchen dishing up warming hot chocolate and delicious bacon butties to the 400 or so competitors and their supporters! Something had to be done. As the heats got underway and with the 44th contingent swelling the Gloucestershire numbers to 40 and a second boat, swift plans were hatched and teamwork of the best Scouting tradition swung into action as the ESL organised the reinstatement of the vital kitchen. In conjunction with leaders from the 1st Wanborough Scout Group, a shopping expedition was dispatched, the kitchen prepared and soon the enticing aroma of sizzling bacon and sausage was drifting across the lakes, drawing in the now damp and shivering competitiors to some welcome and much-needed warming soup and hot drinks and sustaining sausage and bacon rolls.
Meanwhile on the water fine competition was being forged, despite the rain and cold. And as the day progressed, the rain eased and even ceased for the final heats. By the time the presentations put a final seal on yet another year's successful and enjoyable, albeit damp, dragon boat racing, even the sun was threatening to break through the grey curtain of clouds. And in the Junior section, Gloucestershire Scouts 2 had achieved second place, pipped by the Pirates' faster average times.
What a glorious day for walking out through the hills and valleys of the Gloucestershire countryside! Josh Powell, Andy Turner & George Hart joined the ESL and his good lady Celia on the demanding but thoroughly enjoyable 21 mile jaunt down into and up out of the 5 Stroud Valleys. The weather was superb - summer had at last arrived! - and the walking and cameraderie en route extremely pleasant.
It must be said that it was rather difficult rejoining the walk after the fantastic lunchtime stop at Honey Hill, where homemade cakes and freshly brewed coffee were on offer to the limb-weary walkers. Nevertheless we tore ourselves away (pocketing several delicious samples for later consumption!) to complete the rest of the circular route.
Balloons over the Valleys
Honey Hill Rest Stop