Our 26th Milton Keynes Scout Troop travelled back to Saxon times over the half term when they joined the UK branch of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) at their 2022 “Fall Camporee” event. The BSA were running their camp at the Quarries for the first time!

A sight to strike terror in to even the most battle-hardened warriors!

We brought along 16 Scouts for the two-night camp, and despite the rain and gathering darkness on the Friday they managed to help the Scout leaders get all the tents up by sunset, before settling in for some camp games and hot chocolate. It was a wet evening and we all went to sleep to the sound of rain on our tents!

MK 26th Scouts – ready for action on the Saturday morning!

Saturday we were up bright and early for the opening ceremony before the Scouts embarked on their main challenge of the day – working in patrols to complete their 11 varied activities to win a bag of imported U.S. sweets!

The theme of the camp was the Anglo-Saxons, with lots of different activities for the Scouts to try. This included some practice in their battle skills, as not only did they try out some target archery, but they also got to have a go at axe throwing! The leaders were careful to stand well clear!

Jack trying his hand at axe throwing

Games have been a constant throughout the ages, and there were a variety to try over the day, from traditional stone-laying board games to more active ones like “Kubb” (a kind of skittles where two teams throw sticks to knock down each others pieces) and even a field sport a bit like a cross between rugby and lacrosse!

William, Alex, Nico and George trying Nine Men’s Morris
A game of “Kubb” in progress

Both of the two halves of the troop we split in to were successful in completing all their activities and tasks over the weekend – which not only means that they got to try everything the camp had on offer but also meant they got their hands on the prize sweets as well!

Proudly displaying all their Runes for completing activities

The range of activities our hosts had put on for the Scouts to take part in was fantastic. It wasn’t all action – they also got crafty making shields and helmets, and their own Saxon ships! We were really lucky with the weather on the Saturday, which stayed dry for most of the day in contrast to the days either side!

“Damboree” shields at the ready!

One highlight was the Saxon re-enactors who came to the event with a selection of arms, armour and even Saxon apples! The Scouts got the chance to help dress a warrior for battle, and to form a terrifying shield wall!

Aaradhana, Jack & George find out how heavy Saxon armour is!

The Saturday evening was the centrepice of the weekend – a campfire with traditional Scout skits and songs, performed by the Scouts themselves. It was fantastic to be able to do this at a large camp, and hopefully will inspire our Scouts with some new ideas to perform at our Christmas campfire later in the term!

Chris, Jessie and Alex singing the Baby Bumblebee song at the campfire

Overall, this was a fantastic event which we all really enjoyed. A massive thank-you to the BSA for inviting us and for putting on such a great camp!