Well Saturday came & went and after a slow start I reckon we had a great day! I came down Friday morning to setup the fire circle, get a wood pile etc and then SimonM followed on mid afternoon to rig up his hammock & the 'chute. He was woken in the night by two herberts who had decided to have a small fire using our pot hangers, Simon's freshly whittled tent pegs etc (both of us lost the first hanger we ever made ).
Still, a minor setback. We were pretty much ready to rock by 9 o'clock and after a full day of demos, chats, brews and the like in 30 degree heat we called time just after 5 o'clock. What I liked is that we had only been in contact via email and mobiles and yet we all came to the day and did something a bit different from the other: Simon mainly did stoves, flint & steel and ferro rods Jackunen did a couple of tables of kit talks including sharps and water and I did stuff in the fire pit like charcloth/ seeds, a rock oven, Birch oil and getting right royally dirty!
The players (Jackunen, me & SimonM)…
Part of my display including the 104 penny stoves with SimonM’s cookers & kit just beyond the table.
A rare shot of a surviving pot hanger
The organisers were very keen for us to do the bushy zone and Simon and Jackunen don't know this yet but the organisers posted the following on a pic I put on Facebook:The bushcraft team far exceeded my expectations with the amount of work & thought that had gone into their activities-praise indeed. Following on from that plans are afoot for next year's base-We've got one possible recruit for next year on the day and there's a good chance of a well known bushcraft trader/ teacher coming next year too.
The date of the next Gilwell 24 base will be July 9th 2011. if this has whet any Scouter's appetite on BCUK you can PM me to let me and I can pass your details onto the event manager-It's not legally binding of course but if we move from the small to the large fire circle (which is more visible and near a car park) there will be room for at least half a dozen of us and we could have done with that in the small one at times if truth be told.
There's plenty of scope for bushy additions eg, dutch oven cooking, making jerk, a tarp display, a solar still (which I ran out of time to build), cordage...
We sent a lot of enthused Explorers and leaders back into the madding crowd feeling very enthused and possibly with an appreciation of some bushcraft stuff being very accesible and easier than they might have thought.