Ranger & Young Leader Summer Camp 2023

In July, a group of Young Leaders and Rangers from across the county came together for a very wet weekend at the second annual MNW Ranger and Young Leader Summer Camp! The weekend was held on 14th-16th July at Willow Tree. Despite the weather morals were high and everyone joined together to persevere and have a great weekend. The resilience shown by the young members who attended was admirable and they proved themselves to be the leaders of the future.

The young members arrived on the Friday evening in the pouring rain but all got stuck in straight away chopping wood for the fire and helping prepare dinner. They also had time to settle in and meet everyone before our first meal. Once we had eaten and the weather had dried off a bit it was time to set up camp and get the tents put up.

After the tents were up, everyone set off into the woods for a night hike, with lots of singing and chattering along the way. They then headed to their tents to hang out and play games before bed.

“My favourite part of the weekend was getting the wood for the fire, mealtimes and socialising.” – Young Leader (Ruislip Victoria District)

In the morning, everyone headed over to Rickmansworth Aquadrome where they had some free time, which they spent walking round the lakes, on the playground and in the cafe. After lunch it was time for a raft building session, everyone had so much fun and worked together as a team to build two functioning rafts.  Just as the session was finishing up the skies opened, and the torrential rain started meaning everyone got a ride back to shore in the speedboat!

“I enjoyed being with everyone and laughing. Especially, the rafting activity” – Ranger (Hatch End District)

“I found the raft building exciting & games in free time were good fun” – Young Leader (Pinner Village District)

Once back at camp the rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing, chatting and doing crafts. The young members used wildflowers and leaves they collected from round the site and hammers to transfer the colours onto fabric to create gorgeous designs. After dinner everyone then got together for a campfire with lots of s’mores, singing and silliness.

“Art and crafts, having meals and playing games with new friends” – Young Leader (Ruislip Victoria District)

“The food provision was brilliant. (Thank you for the catering for the dietary needs!)” – Young Leader (Wealdstone District)

Sunday morning started with a lie in followed by a yummy breakfast. The young members then spent the morning glass painting and also enjoyed some time on the adventure playground. They then teamed up with some young members cooking lunch whilst others helped get the tents down and the camp packed up. After lunch we continued to pack up and after a lovely closing ceremony, they headed home, exhausted but having made new friends and having a great weekend.

A massive thank you to Ciara, Jenni, Piper and Rachael for volunteering over the weekend and to Valerie, Alison and Alan who joined us on the Saturday, we could not have done the weekend without you!

“The Camp was a wonderful exploration where I get to meet new people and try out activities like crafts and raft-building. I sincerely recommend this camp to any Ranger or YL who wants to get out of their comfort zone (four walls and school friends) and better enjoy their summer!” – Young Leader (Wealdstone District)

Alice, Ranger Advisor – Girlguiding Middlesex North West