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cambridge district badge

Our neckerchief is green and black

Camp badge for Summer Camp 2007 at Eaton Vale

Thorrington Campsite
Summer Camp 2014

The Cubs went to Thorrington, near Colchester, for their summer camp at Thorrington Campsite at the end of July. It is a big wooded campsite set with mature trees and equiped with a n adventure course, go-karting, archery and a cimbing wall. It also has a rafting pond but it was dangerously clogged with weed when we were there.

Being close to the Roman provincial capital city of Camulodunum, modern day Colchester, the theme was the Romans, with all of the outfits, marching and chariots thrown in. As well as making chariots and hiking and swimming we got our campers badge by preparing, cooking and serving food, and of course living, under canvas.

We started by making some armour for ourselves - a Roman sword and a Roman shield each and we handed out a centurion helmet and this year's t-shirt which was of course in Roman red:

Hardboard left wet under bricks takes on a curve
We painted them (and ourselves) red

We stuck on some silvered card cut in a zigzag
and a circle and tied some rope for a handle

Foam pipe lagging with a point, cut in half
makes a fantastically safe sword

We used gaffer/duct/duck tape to make
the handle at one end

Having made our weaponry we had to undergo some training to make sure we knew how to handle our fearsome gifts from the gods:

A fiercesome band of Roman warriors

Swords drawn, shields ready for battle

The famous Roman Tortoise

Impenetrable and yet armed to the teeth

We had to go on a march, of course, proclaiming wildly and loudly to the whole of the campsite, whether they were listening or not


We also made some chariots, following the instructions we wrote down after our Ancient Britons camp

The axle is threaded rod which is cable-clipped
to the underside of the precut MDF base

Some hardboard is nailed round. wheels bolted
on and then the axle was cut down

Our completed chariots all lined up

The legionnary chariot of the MIGHTY 28th

And then we raced them!

Ben Hur had nothing on our chariot race

A charioteer in full flight

We would have gone to the Roman baths but there weren't any left so we went to the nearby Brightlingsea Open Air Pool (on a rather grey day) and then we hiked back to our camp. At one point we stopped where there was an owl box and we managed to find some owl pellets which we opened to see the grizzly remains of shrew and vole bones and skulls.

We hiked along the coastal defense dykes, through
woodland and pasture, back to camp

Some parts of the hike were
a tad overgrown

What an owl pellet looks like when fresh
This one was still soggy with owl spit!

Inside is the fur, feathers and bones
Pointing out the vole skull!

We made a fire to boil up some water and even made some popcorn. Just place a billy over a fire with some butter or oil and some popping corn in it, covering the billy with tin foil if the lids, like ours, are loose, to keep the steam in.

We made fires from scratch and boiled water
as part of our Campers Badge

We had to find a way to support the billy over the fire
Not all of them were as impressive (or successful)

Popcorn you made yourself, over a fire
you made yourself, tastes amazing

The food was, as ever, magnificent, provided by Sharon and Justine (with a little help from Denise) from their kitchen under canvas. We feasted like .. Romans:

A Roman feast, complete with Legion-sized banana split

Legatus Legionis, Akela

Camp meeting with Praefectus Castrorum, Baloo

We managed a myriad of adventurous activities, like archery and climbing, as well, but the abiding memory from this camp has to be the occasional glimpses of Roman armour lying about the place!