3rd Gidea Park Scout Group
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HQ. The Rowswell Hall, St Michaels Church, Gidea Park.
 Beavers (6 - 8 years) Tues & Fri | Cubs (8 - 10.5) Tues & Fri | Scouts (10.5 - 14) 7:30 Thur



The Biblins campsite is owned and run by the Forestry Commission and is for the exclusive use of youth groups. The camp site sits in the middle of a large forest, right on the banks of the River Wye about a mile down stream from the village of Symonds Yat. The River Wye is very popular with canoeists.

The picture on the left is a view from the bank opposite the Scouts kitchen shelter.


We were given a large amount of space in which to set up our camp site. The Scouts lived at one end with the Venture unit at the other end and the leaders and store in between.

On summer camp we do all our cooking over wood fires. As Biblins is in a Forestry Commission managed woodland and conservation area we cannot simply pick wood up from the floor, we have to use the wood provided. Unfortunately this wood was only very recently felled so didn’t burn very well at all. This situation also required the scouts to saw and chop the wood up first.

The Scouts became very proficient with the use of the axes and no accidents occurred despite hours of time spent chopping.

Here a Scout can be seen relaxing on the Scout's stock pile after a successful trip to the woodpile.

Due to the problems with the poor quality (freshly felled and unseasoned) wood the leaders were often required to give the Scouts assistance with the fan.

Once the fire was lit, wood needed to be stacked above it in an attempt to dry the sap from it before it could be placed on the fire. The fire needed constant fanning from at least one person and was normally built up for around an hour until it was hot enough to cook on.
Meanwhile the food would be prepared in the dining shelter. On the left the Scouts are seen cooking whilst on the right Lisa fans the flames for the chefs.

The Scouts normally sat down to a hearty dinner together before moving on to the washing up. We were very luck with the weather, only one evening meal was cooked in the rain and for that meal all the leaders mucked in.


The first night in camp was one of the Scout's birthday and a cake was carefully packed and brought to camp for the celebration. After dinner the Unit visited the Scouts kitchen to sing happy birthday.

Life at the Venture end of the Campsite is far less stressful, dinner just seems to happen with minimum amounts of fuss or work.




This year's Ventures made their kitchen a harmonious tranquil and peaceful place to live where you could almost forget that the boisterous scouts were camping only a hundred meters away..



Near our camp site was a small network of disused mine tunnels that we could explore. The picture on the left shows the patrol and Scout leaders at the end of the main shaft.


During the middle weekend of camp, when the unit were out on a 4 day expedition the Group Scout Leader and his wife paid us a visit. We decided to throw a dinner party for them.


As the Scouts will tell you, it doesn't take much to upset Mark's car and the journey to Biblins plus a trip to the Mountains and back certainly upset the breaks. Here Andy is discovering a worrying lack of break pads. This problem was resolved whilst the Scouts swam in Chepstow.


One of the first activities for the scouts after setting up the campsite was to explore the local area. This was done in the form of a short hike. The Scouts were under the impression that they were out on their own and were unaware that the leaders were tracking them from behind.

To cross the river the Scouts used the Biblins suspension bridge (maximum load 6 people.) They then followed the old railway line along the river before climbing through the forest to the view point at Symonds Yat Rock.

At the viewpoint the Scouts were able to talk to members of the RSPB about the local Peregrine Falcons and use binoculars and telescopes to see the cormorants.

We then descended back to the valley floor and visited Symonds Yat East where we met up with the Venture Unit.




We returned to Biblins via the Chain ferry across the river

Our first major hike was a trip into the Brecon Beacons National Park. The Ventures used the Sugar Loaf trip as a final practice for their Duke of Edinburgh's Hike later in the camp. The Scouts used it as part of the hill walkers badge. For that reason they had to walk 14k (about 9 miles)

The first lesson the Scouts learnt was that the shortest route is not necessarily the quickest or easiest route. They got stuck in some firns.

The Scouts eventually got to the top in thick fog. After resting from the wind the hike continued. Unfortunately during a lengthy period where the older boys weren't concentrating they missed a turning and added an extra couple of kilometres to their adventure.

We went canoeing on two occasions during summer camp. The first time we drove 16k up stream to Kerne Bridge. We then slowly canoed on the current all the way back to Biblins.


 Scouts and Ventures were given the opportunity of using both the kayaks and the Canadian Canoe.

We stopped for lunch after a short patch of faster flowing water at Lower Lydbrook.


Our second canoeing session was on the last day of camp. It was a little more light hearted to say the least.

 As much swimming was done as canoeing.

Neil decided to have a go in the Canadian Canoe, Lisa decided Neil needed a bath, along with everyone else in the boat.




Half way through camp the Scouts spent a day completing team building challenges. If they successfully completed them all the leaders would cook them burgers and chips for dinner. A failure on the orienteering in the morning meant the Scouts would have to wash up.

The Blind Sheep Shepherding (Left) went well.

The longest challenge involved the whole patrol negotiating an obstacle course whilst half the team were blindfolded. They also had to carry a billy without a ladle suspended from the handle touching the side.

In the picture on the right the youngest Scout has just led the boys up the hill and told them to hold the tree so at to be sure they don't fall off a cliff…… they didn't know that there was no cliff.

As the Scouts completed tasks they were given clues that eventually told them that their goal was to find King Arthur's Cave. The final challenge was to use rope and a rubber ring to remove some water from within a radioactive circle. In tank of water was the grid reference for the cave.


With the Kings cave explored it was time for the Scouts to take a leisurely stroll back to camp and have a shower. The leaders were cooking.