Summer Camp 1997 - Lochgoilhead

The camp this year was an unqualified success. The activities were well run and challenging and were enjoyed by all the Scouts and most of the leaders too. In addition to the activities there was also a large number of proficiency badge work and progress award work done throughout the week. The centre ran two star canoeing courses which 5 Scouts and 1 leader passed. The leadership team ran 1 star canoeing courses which 11 Scouts passed. James and Margaret also ran first aid courses over two evenings which most of the Scouts attended. A Guide badge course and an Observers badge course was run during the week and a few Astronomy badge sessions were held until the astronomers were driven mad by the Midges. If the Scouts had any energy left after all that then there were impromptu football matches, volleyball, wide games,a treasure hunt, a quiz and of course the standard Lochgoilhead activity of midgie massacring.

So what's this Lochgoilhead place then?

The centre lies at the head of Lochgoil (surprisingly enough for a place called Lochgoilhead). The centre is run by the Scout Association and has dormitory accomodation and double and single rooms, some with en suite showers!
The meals are centrally cooked which means that all the usual camp arguements about who does the cooking and who does the washing-up is done away with.
Lochgoilhead centre activities are run by qualified volunteer instructors, whose patience, experience and enthusiasm made all the activities enjoyable for all concerned.


Rock Climbing and Abseiling

The rock climbing took place on a crag just a short (but very steep) walk up the hill. The Scouts climbed up and either walked down the path at the edge of the crag or else abseiled down.
Neil Campbell
Rock climbing was good fun, we climbed the hills, I was very tired because I was carrying my bag with my shoes in it.  We all had to put a harness on so we were very safe.  When we climbed up the hill we were all told to stay back from the edge.  The two ropes got thrown over the edge and there was an instructor top and bottom of the climb.  I abseiled once and climbed once.


The Scouts kitted up with wet suits, canoe cagoules and buoyancy aids and canoed in the loch or lust in the mouth of the river, depending on the height of the water.
By Neill Campbell
We learned a number of things tonight at canoeing, my favourite thing was ruddering, that's when you put your paddle in the water and swing it in and out to steer you.


The  Scouts were given buoyancy aids and ferried out to a large boat moored in the loch. They then spent a few hours dipping fishing lines in the water an not catching fish.
By Mark Battrick
Hmmm, interesting. I thought that fishing would be boring but I was proved wrong when my group caught 4 fish, 2 crabs and 2 jellyfish. on the boat from the 40th were James (the cub leader), Neill Campbell, Glenn Gibson, Craig Simpson and Kevin Penman.
By Scott Edwards
We went fishing. the speedboat took us up to the boat (or bathtub as we called it). there was millions of  little holes in the boat. About ten minutes later Moose (Greig Ramsay) lost his fishing line and it sank to the bottom of the loch. About an hour later I dropped my rod in but got it back half an hour later when it came to the top but it then went under the boat. then Michael dropped his line in and got hold of my line and pulled my fishing line in with a lot of seaweed on it and a Gummy Bear. Then we almost got a jellyfish when it came to the top of the water but it floated away.

Archery and Orienteering

By Mark Battrick
Orienteering , archery , Wall climbing - You got a choice of two activities.  I chose Archery and climbing wall .  At archery we were taught how to use , and the safety of  shooting an arrow. After that we went to the indoor climbing wall this was good fun but really tiring.


Not quite what you would imagine. The Scouts kitted up with wet suits and took tractor inner tubes up the hill to a large pool. They then spent a few hours splashing about in freezing water.

By Scott Edwards
Swimming was very cold, we went with Scruffy and Roddy . We went under the waterfall it was great but very cold. Roddy lost his bandanna in the water the day before but found it again at the bottom of the pool.  After about an hour and a half we rolled the tyre tubes back down a very steep hill and crashed it into a fence then bowled it over the fence all the way to the bottom of the gorge.  We got it back after 30 minutes up the hill and back down again, since it was now a bit deflated we had to go and pump it up again.


 A two man inflatable towed behind a speedboat. Very fast, very wet and very fun.
By Mark Battrick
Two words - absolutely amazing. We were taken out to the sea and pulled along really fast in a  doughnut. It looks more like an apple slice though. I fell off once and it was freezing in the water.
Tried the Donuts again the speedboat took us out to the longboat. Our attire was a short legged wetsuit, Tango orange waterproof and a buoyancy aid.  I was the first one on  and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I managed another go before the session finished.

Gorge Walking

Probably the most popular activity of the week. After getting kitted out in a wetsuits the Scouts headed up a river, climbed up waterfalls, slid down rocks and jumped into pools.
By Neill Campbell
I enjoyed the big river walk because I love swimming and getting wet, like the walk. I thought I was going to be thrown the river but Mark saved me by holding onto me. our Instructors were Roddy and another person from America
By Arlene Syme
We had to wear wetsuit,jacket,bouyancy aid and a helmet.  The start of the gorge walk was a little away from the campsite.  On arriving the first thing we had to do was jump into, what the leaders called 'The Jacuzzi'.  This was a pool ,which was frothy with lots of water falling into it.  We followed the stream upwards, walking and climbing over the rocks.  This was scary , especially on the parts where we had to climb using ropes to pull ourselves up.

By Graeme McGregor
At the end of the walk the final challenge was to jump off a rock the height of a lampost into a pool the depth of me (actually it was probably closer to 12 ft)  whilst shouting 'Banzai' , hence the name Banzai Rock.  Not Bonsai, which is a small  Japanese tree, lots of people got confused about that!


By Deborah Mason
Sailing was good but very cold. I got a shot of steering and a thing you pull the front sail tight with. I got a bit cold so the man told me to sit in the cabin and keep out of the wind.
By Lorna, David O, Scott W
Wayfarer - Two/Three man sailing boat with two sails, the main sail and a gib sheet at the bow.  After boarding the boat from the safety boat, our instructor (Nathan) gave us a quick guided tour of the boat and we began to help rigging the sails.  As it was quite windy we began to feel a bit green until we finally got under sail then things got a bit smoother and wetter!
After Nathan had given us a bit of instruction, we were given a chance to take the tiller, this took a bit of getting used to as the boat responded opposite to how you would imagine.  Going about (turning round) was a bit more complicated as it involved the whole crew working together, using various commands. Finally we were allowed to control both the tiller and the sheet and try our hand at going about which we managed without capsizing!


At the end of the session we then had to tie up onto a mooring in the loch, this meant that someone (David) had to climb out onto the bow and lean over the edge to grab the bouy, after three attempts we finally made it and then began to take down the sails and stow everything away before being picked up by the safety boat again and taken back to dry land.


By Arlene Syme
The Lochgoilathon was laid on by the Lochgoil crew. First of all we were tied up in a line of 4 by one foot each and we had to go over an obstacle course.
 Then we went canoeing without paddles on a windsurf board. 4 canoes were then tied together and we sat on them (team of 9).

Treasure Hunt

The Treasure Hunt was the last activity of the week. During the week the leadership team wandered around the village taking Polaroid photos of various objects at strange angles and distances. In addition to the photos, there was a list of questions about places and objects in the village. On Friday evening we put on the treasure hunt for all the Scouts (and quite a few leaders) in the camp. The winners of the treasure hunt were  Mark, Robbie, Moose, Mike and Sim. When we left the centre, we left the treasure hunt clues with the staff so that they could inflict it on another group.


The Troop volunteered to do a clean up of a nearby wood and after around half an hour had gathered two bin bags of bottles and cans and six of burnable rubbish. Among the more unusual items were: a full can of McEwans Export (three years out of date), half a plastic barrel and a fibreglass canoe seat.
By Mark Battrick
We went on a litter sweep and picked up about 6 bin bags full of rubbish. Mag made a fire and we burnt the lot

Hill Run

By Gaffer (Craig Marshall)
Me, Kevin P and Rab went walking up the Steeple which was the neighbouring hill on the Wednesday night. It took us about 15 minutes to get up to where Lochgoil do the climbing.
Another 10 minutes to get up to the first peak where we took a few pictures then made our way to the top of the Saddle where we took more photos and stayed up there for a while. Rab wrote a message and put it in an empty juice bottle.The message had Rabs address and some other details on it.On the way down we were sliding down the heather so we got down quicker than walking and ended up with rather dirty behinds!!!.


By Lorna
On a clear night, myself and several scouts took the chance to observe the heavens.  We began with a tour of the main Summer constellations: Lyra, Aquila, Cygnus which contain the three bright stars of the summer triangle; Hercules and the tiny Delphinus and Saggita; Bootes and the 'smile' of the Corona Borealis. With binoculars , we set about finding some binary stars.  First, the plough with its naked eye pairing in the 'handle' and a tricky pair in Lyra. Then to Andromeda, low over the top of the hills, to find the Andromeda Galaxy (our nearest neighbour).  The highlight on Friday night was when Jamie spotted a 'torchlight' on the edge of the hill, slowly the 'torch' rose away from the hill and began to move across the sky,  this was the planet Jupiter rising. Using binoculars mounted on a tripod we could  see three of its largest moons.

Patrol Good Turn

The Panthers and the Wolves got together as part of the Patrol Activity Award, the patrol decided to do a good turn for the Centre by helping to clear the new camping area of stones. They managed to collect five trolley loads of stones, which barely made an impact.

Night Camp

By Neill Campbell
Our night camp started at 10.30 pm and finished at 8.45 am I camped with Craig and Steven Mack. We had to put up two hike hike tents which were easy to put up for us. The first tent took 30 minutes to put up and the second one took 2 hours. We only slept in one tent and used the other tent for storage. We pitched our tent in the middle of a field which was full of rocks, which made it hard to sleep. We were meant to get up at 7 am for breakfast at 8 am but we took so long taking the tents down that we were late.


Camp Gossip

Is there any truth in the rumour that James Brown wanted more muscles in his legs so much that he stuffed a shellfish into his shin.
A team of international scientists are investigating a theory put forward by a team known as the 'Big Fearties', that feeding a big scary horse with custard cream biscuits will make it go away and leave you alone. Early results are not good.
There is no truth behind the story that Simon was almost murdered during the camp. A Judge has ruled that telling Paddy and Mick joke to large Irish Scouts is a form of suicide.
Jamie spotted a torch on the hill late one evening and wondered if we should send out a search party. However since the torch was, in fact, Jupiter nobody volunteered to walk all the way there.
1,2,3, Hee Hee Hee Karen and Nathan up a tree.
Did Kenneth really have an eating disorder that caused him to balloon up and slim down in hours? Or was it just a sleeping bag stuffed up his jumper.
Gaffer, Kev and Rab went up the hill to admire the view and watch the Moon rise!
Is it really true that one of the Irish Scouts fancied Heather so much that he named his virtual pet after her?
All the leaders jumped off Banzai rock except for Margaret who said "I can take the abuse for not jumping off". Margaret ya big feartie. Nah, Nah, Nah!!
Glenn, where are you? We have been waiting here for ten minutes.

 Badges and Awards


Tara Beardmore, Arlene Syme, Heather Tallis, Robbie Wilson, Mark Battrick, Richard Morris, Deborah Mason, Colin Mason, Glenn Gibson


Colin Mason, Mark Battrick, Michael Wilson, Chris Sim, Chris Ozog, Robbie Wilson, Greig Ramsay, David Syme


Jamie Eason, Colin Mason, Greig Ramsay, Richard Morris, Glenn Gibson, Arlene Syme, Deborah Mason, Heather Tallis, David Ozog, Neil Campbell, Scott Wilson


Robbie Wilson, Mark Battrick, Kevin Penman, Simon Radcliffe, Lorna


Deborah Mason, Arlene Syme, David Ozog,


Mark Battrick, Robbie Wilson, Chris Sim


Kevin Penman


Graeme McGregor, Craig Marshall


Thank for the excellent camp go to Lochgoilhead for the excellent instruction, accomodation and food. Thanks for the evening programme goes to Margaret, Karen and James for the First Aid course, to Neil for the incident hike, Lorna for the astronomy. Thanks also go to the Editorial team for putting this amazing magazine together and to the Scouts for allowing us to copy sections of their Camp Logs to put in this magazine.
I hope you enjoyed reading this magazine as much as I did.