Matlock TG Camp Challenge
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Matlock TG Camp Challenge

Matlock Trefoil Guild recently took up the challenge of participating in a camp skills competition – old style – at Glenbrook, the Girlguiding Outdoor Adventure Centre in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire.   This was the first time the Manager at Glenbrook had thrown out such an invitation.   Always keen for some publicity for our Guild my suggestion that we sent a team was received with some enthusiasm.   Many years have passed since some of us took Guides to camp - in my case it was the 1950s and 60s - but we thought we could muster enough energy to set an example to the youngsters.  Definitely a trip down memory lane, the day was filled with much laughter, and of course the inevitable rain.   The challenge was to pitch a canvas tent, cook a 3 course meal on a wood fire, and make gadgets for camp stores, bed rolls, wash stand, washing up stand and wood pile.  So we arrived at Glenbrook with car boots full and the depressing news that heavy showers were expected all day.   In no time at all the canvas tent was erected, and the wood fire lit as the steamed pudding required some lengthy boiling.   There was a difference of opinion regarding the correct method of pitching a tent.   We were not all born and bred in Derbyshire, but it was agreed to do it the Derbyshire way.  The camping skills passed on to us by Baden-Powell had not left us.   We proudly made our gadgets using tripod, square, west country and snake lashing - and they were all functional, including the washing up stand with drainer.   I think the "grease trap" may have let us down on our markings.  In my day we dug a hole and covered it with sticks covered in greenery renewed and burnt every day.  Apparently the current method is a pair of tights over a tin!  The judges couldn’t fault the chicken stew and steamed syrup pudding with custard, all served with finesse sat round a table with candelabra and of course wine glasses.  (Neither was that allowed in my day!)  Timed to perfection the heavens opened after lunch, so it brought back memories of many “wet strikes”.   Nevertheless we all agreed that we had really enjoyed ourselves.   There was much fun and laughter and the true spirit of Guiding, and in particular the Trefoil Guild was upheld. Report by Beryl Miller. (See the photos in the Gallery section)

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