Easter camp is one of the biggest yearly events on the WWESU calendar, after fireworks and summer camp. This year seemed pretty summery, though, as we had been lucky to get the most gorgeous weather last weekend as we headed off to one of the Unit’s favourite destinations- Snowdonia!
Thursday evening the motley crew all congregated in Scout Park, preparing all the kit for the four days ahead, and preparing themselves for the lengthy five hour minibus journey to North Wales. We rolled out of Scout Park at 5pm, and after a brief stop outside Birmingham to pick up some more Explorers and stretch our legs, we finally made it to the campsite a little after 11. We pitched up quickly and got to bed, excited for the long weekend ahead!
A misty, chilly morning met our groggy eyes as we emerged from our tents on Friday morning. That day we spent our time canoeing and kayaking on a local lake called Llyn Padarn, and exploring Llanberis, a town just next to the lake.
Friday was the only day where camp teams had to cater for themselves, so a range of weird and wonderful grub was cooked up for dinner. These eclectic dishes ranged from the fairly standard pasta packs to an entire gourmet, flame-grilled steak and potato dinner made up by the ever-eager John and Ryan.
A few Leaders went off to explore the local bouldering spots that evening too, but everyone got to bed in decent time after the stupidly late night before.
Saturday morning, feeling rather more refreshed than the morning before, the Unit split up into different groups that would rotate through the activities of the day. Some of us started with climbing on some of the more remote rock faces in the Snowdonia national park with a local guide, whilst the others were SUPing (stand up paddleboarding) on Llyn Tegid, a massive lake at Bala. At lunchtime we all came together and ate our packed lunches on the Bala waterfront before surprising Arno (whose birthday it was that day) with not just one but TWO caterpillar cakes!
That afternoon we swapped over activities, and had fish and chips on the shores of the lake after we were done, before heading back to camp.
At camp we quickly unloaded our canoes and kayaks and piled onto Llynnau Mymbyr to (very appropriately) paddle down to Plas y Brenin for an evening talk on long-distance canoe expeditioning in remotest Canada. On the way back to camp we paddled in the dark, lit by headtorch, led by an inflatable unicorn, and with a gorgeously clear view of the stars.
On Easter Sunday the unit split up into four different groups for various different lengths of hikes. Two groups tackled the (very busy on Easter Sunday) Mount Snowdon by various routes, one trekking in and around its foothills, and the last team attacking a scrambling route up to Glyder Fawr.
That evening we wrapped up the last full day on camp with a massive BBQ cooked up by the inimitable Phil before going to catch some well earned sleep.
The morning of Monday was filled mostly with our very efficient taking down of camp. After constructing a massive wall of duffle bags and holding a tent packing up race, we hit the road again heading for Betws y Coed.
We spent the early afternoon doing an orienteering competition in the woods surrounding the town, and holding a Scout’s Own to wrap up the camp as we sat on the rocks by the Betws y Coed waterfall. We got back to Scout Park at around 8:30pm, exhausted, sunburnt and happy, ready for our next adventure!