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Scouts Camp Fire

camp fire
camp blanket

What springs to your mind when you hear the word ‘campfire’? No camping activity for our Scouts would ever pass without the lighting of a fire as dusk falls. For me, the words call up memories from my Guiding childhood of marshmallows on sticks; flour and water dampers wrapped around my carefully whittled stick (yes, a knife hanging from our uniform belt was essential equipment then); watching the sun setting; singing favourite campfire songs, and laughing with each other as we performed really silly skits patrol by patrol (Gang Show style). Not forgetting, of course, all those call and response items – getting louder and louder as we sat round the fire! Telling ghost stories to each other was also part of the evening event – scary stuff as we sat in the safety of the firelight, but with darkness falling all around...

Thinking back, it was then that I discovered the worldwide aspect of the Scout movement – many of the songs I learnt were from countries where Scouting flourished. I also
learnt about singing in rounds as I snuggled into my camp blanket. This ‘family heirloom’ blanket now lives in Australia, covered with my Guide badges, my husband Keith’s 1st Crich Scout badges, our daughter’s Guide badges, and now our grandson’s Australian Scout badges! There’s not much space left for more!

Drumming cub scout

Many of our current Crich Scout members are great musicians and are working their way through the five stages of the Scout Musician badge. The badge consists of an assessment in their skill, performance, knowledge and interest in their chosen instrument(s), which can include their singing voice (our mouths are the first instrument we learn to use as a child, of course!). The badge is linked to the Royal School of Music Exam grades which many of our local children are guided through by our local schools – for example, the Crich Junior School Band is well known in our villages.

One Scout in particular is a keen drummer and was the winner of the local ‘Cubs Got Talent’ competition; since then he’s played live at a Derbyshire Scouting event and has progressed to Grade 6. Soon, he’ll be playing in a band at the Hot House Music School in Derby. Another Scout plays double bass with the Nottingham Youth Intermediate Orchestra. Both Scouts are playing at the standard required for the highest Scouting music award: ‘Musician – stage 5’.

Boy playing double bass

Our community has benefited hugely from our young people playing and singing locally for Day Care, Careline, at church services and many more events. We’re thrilled that
a lot of our Scout members are part of that larger community music picture.
Meanwhile, how about jogging your memories with these songs? Campfire’s Burning; Come, Come, Light Up the Fire; Quartermaster’s Stores; Land of the Silver Birch...
Excuse me now: I must stop writing because I’m off on a bear hunt through the long grass, the short grass, the mud...