"HERE WE GO!" to Rover Crew Camp 2012

By:  Eli Chan

Over this past weekend, the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group drove out to Camp Whonnock in Maple Ridge, British Columbia for our annual Rover Crew camp. Throughout the 3 days and 2 nights at camp and amongst new and existing members, we were given many opportunities to get to know each other better through many team-building activities ranging from fun outdoor games to serious strategy group games.  For a group of our size, it was important for us to take time out and to hold this camp in order for our group to build new and stronger relationships. As this camp was planned to be a weekend of relaxation, fun, and learning all blended into one, besides making people think about things they’d never done before, each activity had moments where people would fall to the ground with hands clutched to their stomachs from laughing way too hard at comedic moments that regularly happened.

What made the weekend even more entertaining and memorable was that it had a Mario theme! Prizes were to be awarded to the individual who had the most entertaining Mario costume and also the team that put in the most effort and creativity to give their members a Mario-themed look. As you can see below, people did take their costumes very seriously!

The camp was also open to Rovers’ close friends who wanted to come meet new people, have an enjoyable weekend, and learn more about Scouting. On the first night of the camp, we all sat in a big circle. On the first night of camp, many of us sat around a campfire underneath the stars mingling with each other.  In our busy school and work schedules, we are often limited to contacting each other from behind a computer monitor, so this kind of genuine face-to-face contact with each other is a rare occurrence that we all treasured.  This beginning sets a tone of light-heartedness and camaraderie that permeated all that we did for the duration of the camp.

One major team activity that we did on the first afternoon of the camp was an Iron Chef Cooking Competition. Each team was provided with ingredients to cook a three-course meal for themselves and which would also be judged based on presentation, taste, and creativity to panel of three senior Rover Crew members. However, before cooking began, each team was required to start a small fire with the purpose of teaching this basic-but-important scouting skill to people who never had this experience before.

Nick Pearson, one of our senior members of Scouting, showed us how to make a fire using various shavings of wood of different sizes and gave us tips and tricks on how to build one successfully.  Even though many of our Rover members already had the basics covered from previous camping experiences, this was definitely a great refresher lesson for everyone, Scouters and non-Scouters alike.

Another activity that introduced Scouting practices to those who didn’t have it before was our orienteering activity. In our respective teams, we went around our campsite with a list of bearings and a compass to visit a number of stations that required us to execute various Scouting tasks. Examples of tasks were: estimating the height of a tall tree by using only our body height, tying 6 different types of knots, and brainstorming an appropriate list of what to pack for camp. Aside from being able to practice teamwork and cooperation amongst team members, this was a great way to introduce Scouting to our non-Scouters at camp.

As a participant in this camp, I discovered how much team spirit can really get a team going and bring members that much closer. By coordinating through e-mail prior to camp, my team really showed enthusiasm to do our best well before we got to camp. We were determined that we would aim for excellence during the time we would be there and nothing less. To boost our team spirit, I also crafted a Mario-themed team poster and brought along a Luigi cut-out to cheer us on as our team’s mascot.

As a result of my team’s efforts and commitment to excellence, we accumulated the most points in our team-building games and won the overall competition! Each team member was awarded a home-made Mario plush mushroom made by one of our very talented Rover members, Karen Wong.

This fantastic weekend of fun in the sun definitely was a highlight of my summer and I cannot wait to be back next year to win the competition again!



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