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text 2014-01-17 05:01
Westhill & Elrick Consulting: BB Camp 2013

BB Camp 2013 - Weather forecast – hot and sunny every day for BB camp with no rain……..70f min day time temp.


We’ve never had a camp like it – hot and sunny every day, usually it’s a mixture of rain and the odd dry spell but on this occasion our biggest challenge was avoiding sun burn!

What a good problem to have.


Westhill & Elrick Consulting - Our first challenge was to prepare ourselves for the Corrieyairack Challenge (mountain biking, running, walking, a day event all 48 miles) we marshal and compete, our senior boys Calum Ross, Ross Horgan, Mat Cole, Ian Christie and officer Steve Cole all competed and finished with some very commendable times, Calum Ross finishing in the top ten. The remainder of the boys helped out at the changeover point where managing the bikes, water allocation and some mechanics were the order of the day, various boys were allocated throughout the route and supported the event admirably – a great time enjoyed by all and of course helped by the beautiful weather..


As the sun continued to shine we adapted our programme to suit and headed to Loch Morlich on our bikes for a water sports day, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and generally enjoying Loch Morlich in the sunshine, plenty sun screen was the order of the day and we managed to have a full day of activity including “beach Volleyball” it was almost too hot cycling back to camp but, we managed and again a great day enjoyed by all. The day wasn’t finished as we prepared for our first night time cycle from Badaguish to Glenmore Lodge and around Loch Morlich and back to camp, we headed of at 11pm once our final checks were concluded and all lights were working. This was new for 2013 and what fun, the story’s and challenges this created was real adventure – luck would have it that there was no punctures or drama’s, given that there was 36 of us we all managed remarkably well especially in the dark..


Canyon-ing and Tubing was next on the agenda, we split the group into two sections one canyon-ing and one tubing, let me explain: Canyon-ing – the boys are prepared by wearing helmets and wetsuits, given some brief instructions and are then taken to an appropriate river where they slide down through the river including some serious jumps of 20 feet, it’s scary stuff but, we were managed by experience personnel and we have the confidence and support from our tutors, watching from above the river ( 30 to 50 feet ) meandering through the small tight glen  with the odd helmet just visible was amazing, the boys spent a good 3 hours or so in the river encountering all sorts of variations and challenges but, all managed with some serious fun had by all. Tubing, each boy has his own tube, like an inflated old truck inner tube, the tube has handles, you jump into the river with your tube and you take off literally, again the boys are under the eye of excellent tutors and guidance. Our boys have helmets and wet suits - this time the river is bigger and there is more white water which means more speed, this is the real deal and all the boys experience an amazing time rushing through rapids, swirl’s, drops and ducking’s, again the boys have real adventure and an amazing time had by all.


The sun continued to shine and it was time to discuss and plan our out camp, it was agreed that Bynock More would be climbed from Glenmore Lodge, an overnight stay at Glen Avon and that we would head back through Glen Nethy and back to camp….easy then!! Under the sun it wasn’t easy that’s for sure but once at the top of Bynock we were happy. Our decent to Loch Avon was hard on the feet but we finally made camp at Shelter Stone where believe it or not it was really quite cold.


The boys set camp and started to make supper “say no more” well it was supposed to be supper variations from burnt, fried, dried out, too well done, it looks good  pursued but, there was no hungry belly’s..


Morning brought some good Scots mist and some rest bite from the sun – after breakfast we got our rucksacks in order for the long walk back to Camp, before our departure we make sure the site is left as we found it “spotless” and then we head of along the tricky path along the shores of Glen Avon heading for the saddle and down through Glen Nethy. The sun is back out and the temperature is soaring, we have plenty water and take rest as required, before long we make good progress and can see various landmarks telling our group we are getting closer to camp. - Westhill & Elrick Consulting


Once back at Glenmore we pick up the minibus’s and drive the short distance to Camp, there is a feeling of achievement, enthusiasm and tiredness but, all finished and succeeded in challenging but beautiful conditions.


The week is full on and progressing well “guess what” it’s still hot and sunny - as we decide to have our annual mountain biking run at Anochmore Fort William – again this was new for 2013, Anochmore has many opportunities for cycling especially off road but also has some comfort with some relevant shops and catering generally for the skier, over the last decade the place has hosted the world downhill mountain bike championships and is a spectacular success year on year for this event and as this has developed facilities have improved and so has the quality of biking with the infamous Witches Trail, Nevis range and of course the downhill circuit, perhaps we will just keep it simple this time around as we prepared to tackle the more moderate but challenging rides. On our arrival as usual safety is paramount and we set about using the officer’s experience to check bikes and helmets once ready we set off. The rides are completely new to us and there is something special about not knowing what’s ahead. The temperature is hot with some light cloud just enough to keep us from burning up as we head into the wood and make our way. This time we have few punctures and some drama but, from this we learn and grow our skills level and confidence, once the run is finished we debrief and listen to the boys experiences!! Given that parts of the run we completed were used for the world championship cross country events the boys can be proud of their achievement. It was another great day full of surprises, new experiences and a new location for 2013.


In between the “big events” we have camp base activity which includes tent inspection, pancake challenge, time trial, team time trial and awards for boys support and leadership which all culminate in building points for the best tent at the end of camp. The boys are encouraged to take on responsibility and accountability, the Boys Brigade especially 1st Skene Westhill hang onto the spirit of adventure and we will continually look to challenge and provide facilities which you would not normally get too. As a consequence we see team building, personal development, leadership and new experiences making a positive worthwhile difference to the boy’s outlook.


Guess what? It’s still hot - easily into the 70’s, its Friday and we decide to have a morning in Aviemore and then head off to Feshie Bridge for the afternoon, there’s a great location at the bridge for swimming in the river, it’s safe but has great variation of jumps, deep pools and some meandering flows, the boys and officers have a great day with the final challenge on the day a swimming race from one pool to another, the tents are told to select their best swimmers, a marker is set at the finish line, its chaos but, order arrives as the starter gives the nod, lots of splashes, shouting and carnage but we have a winner with the winning points being allocated to the tent for the best tent challenge. The day comes to an end in brilliant sunshine as we head back to the camp, there’s an air of achievement again it’s just another brilliant day.


Saturday morning I’m afraid and it’s time to pack up and head home, this is done orderly and under more sunshine – it’s great putting the tents away in the dry but, sad to see them come down and packed up for another year…..here’s to 2014.


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Westhill & Elrick Consulting


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text 2013-06-30 17:13

Any other writers out there who will participating in Camp NaNoWriMo?


This summer, I am hoping to get the skeleton down for my newest project--a YA fantasy steeped in the absurd.


Want to know more about the challenge? Visit Camp NaNoWriMo.

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