With the suspension of all Scouting activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed Beaver Sleepover in the Shack grounds on 4th July had to be cancelled.
Undeterred, the Beaver leadership team decided to organise a virtual camp, for the Beavers to sleep in tents with parents in their own back gardens instead. As the date co-included with American Independence Day, a Cowboy and Cowgirl theme was set for the camp.
40 Beavers and their parents signed up for the camp and all entered into the spirit by dressing as Cowboys and Cowgirls and decorating their camp sites accordingly.
The first of the weekend’s five Zoom meetings, opened the virtual camp and the Cowboys and Cowgirls then spent the Saturday afternoon undertaking themed craft activities and games, including:
- Wild West Gold Rush – Treasure hunt for gold coins or nuggets hidden in the garden
- Making a Wanted Poster
- Hobby Horse Grand National
- Knot tying
- Making a Sheriff’s Badge
- Tin can shooting gallery. – With Nerf guns and/or super soakers
The Cowboys and Cowgirls had to cook supper for their respective families and most enjoyed toasting marshmallows on a camp fire afterwards. The smokey fires meant that the smelly Cowboys and Cowgirls needed a bath before changing into their pyjamas and onesies. The resulting soakings were captured on film and the clips were subsequently edited into one video.
The final Zoom meeting on Saturday night enabled a number of our Cowboys and Cowgirls to perform in a talent contest, for our older Cowboys to tell some awful jokes, for a few songs with actions, and a Cowboy bedtime story to be told.
The overnight windy conditions tested a few tent pegs but all of our Cowboys and Cowgirls remained safe under canvass: On Sunday morning the campers had to go indoors to prepare breakfast for their families before logging into another Zoom meeting. They were able to view two videos, prepared by Ben Davies and Pamela Forsyth, of montages of photographs that had been submitted of the camp exploits.
The final challenge of the weekend involved designing a Cowboy/Cowgirl Camp Badge. At 11am the Cowboys and Cowgirls assembled online for the final Zoom meeting. The Cowboy Camp Flag was lowered for the last time and the final “Yee haas” were shouted loudly.
On behalf of the leadership team I would like to thank all of the Beavers and parents who took part in the Cowboy Camp for their enthusiasm and for their photographs and video clips. They provide a lasting testament to a memorable weekend. In particular, we are very grateful to Ben Davies for his exceptional technical support.
Best Cowboy Outfit. Marlin Oxby (Toronto Colony)
Best Cowboy Camp Fin Marsh. (Montreal Colony)
Best Wanted Poster Benjamin Briones-Edwards (Toronto-Colony)
Best Grand National Course Jacob Alcock. (Montreal Colony)
Best Cowboy Jockey Alfie Keech. (Montreal Colony)
Most appetising supper. William Grant. (Toronto Colony)
Talent Contest Winner Ava Winteridge-Palmer (Toronto Colony)
Best Cowboy Camp Badge. Tommy Rainbow. (Montreal Colony)