This weekend saw over 50 Young People getting a taste for Winter Camping at the inaugural Vale District Scouts Winter Camp.

37 Scouts, 16 Explorers and 12 Leaders braved the January weather to set up camp at Gorwelion campsite, near Porthcawl. 

After battling the wind and rain just to get to the campsite (which threatened to rival Glastonbury for mud at one point) the Scouts enjoyed a quiz, as well as a chance to meet the Area Commissioner.

Although storm Gertrude threatened to spoil the party, the Friday night wind and rain died away to leave a dry (if chilly at times) Saturday with the sunshine and breeze drying out the mud.

The Vale Explorer Group had spent the last few weeks preparing number of challenges for the Scouts who had to navigate their way around a 10km hike, tackling the challenges on the way. The challenges were all designed to test the Scouts ability to work as a team and included First Aid scenarios, Nail Balancing, Human Knots, Blindfold rope patterns and barrier crossings. The teams were made up of Scouts from Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and St Athan so that the Scouts all had a chance to work with new people and share ideas.

After the hike, the teamwork challenges continued with some table-top pioneering on the campsite, working together to design and build scale model rafts and bridges from willow twigs.

After dinner, the Explorers built a campfire to keep off the winter chill and the combined leader team provided the entertainment before cocoa, biscuits and bed to re-charge after a long day in the fresh air.

With so many of the older Scouts having moved up to Explorers over Christmas, this camp was the first opportunity for some of the newer Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders to show off their skills, leading teams through the hike and the various challenges.

A big thanks to all the leaders from across the Vale District who worked together to make this camp a success  and to the Vale Explorer Group who did such a great job of planning and running Saturdays activities.