Hello Dear Reader
Wednesday 28th July
I woke up early on the Wednesday bloody freezing, I had been intelligent (for once) with my packing, knowing that for the walking part of our trip we would be sleeping mostly in building, and the fact that is was summer in Germany I had brought my 1 season sleeping bag (if you interested go HERE) and a cotton liner for when we were in the tents at the end of the camp. However all the best plans and all that, one of the scouts in my walking group has also brought a thin sleeping bag and I had therefore donated my liner to him (Still maybe shivering will burn a few more calories and make me slimmer).
However being awake I decided I might as well make the most of the early morning and headed down to have a shower ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… (You don’t need to know the details of that) heading back from the shower the sun was trying to come out but was fighting a loosing battle, it was going to be a wet day.
Today was a transition day, getting to know the camp site, putting up the tents, trying to keep dry, welcoming the remaining members of the group back from their walking and hearing their stories. I also managed to prove that I was a better table tennis player than any of the guys who went on the trip (it was not that hard a challenge really).
We closed Wednesday with a campfire and each group had to do a play or a freeze frame or a song to convey to the rest of their group how the three days of walking had gone.
So we tucked into our sleeping bags with the hope that tomorrow would be a better day (weather-wise) I had been to the site shop and bought a fleece blanked with Whinie the Pooh on it and I was feeling much warmer as I snuggled down to sleep.
Thursday 29th July
I was woken early by the sound of heavy rain drumming on canvas, it was nice to hear it, and it’s a sound that I have not heard for a long time. as an adult I have predominantly camped in a small tent with a Nylon flysheet and the sound is very different. There is something very calming about the sound of rain drumming on canvas (or maybe that is just me).
I lay there listening to the sound of the rain with the big decision of the morning in my head, could I wait for the rain to stop or was I going to have to get wet running to the bathroom five minutes later I had decide I was going to have to get wet, so packed up my shower bag and put on my coat and headed outside. With impeccable timing the rain eased to a light spatter making it a dry walk to the showers.
We had been informed the night before that the plan for today was to head to the town of Radolfzell am Bodensee where we would play the game Apple or Egg in the morning the have a picnic before going swimming in the lake in the afternoon.
Now I was given a little insight into the Apple or Egg game and I have to say I did not believe it would work.
The premise is you split the YP’s up into groups of 3-4 and you present the group with an Apple and an Egg they take these two items and head off into the local town. They then must barter with the apple or the egg or both to gain the best item possible; they barter with shops or by knocking on house doors etc. So for example one group swapped the egg for a chocolate bar they swapped the chocolate bar for a can of nuts and two chocolate bars they swapped one of the chocolate bars for some cereal, then the other chocolate bar for some tinned tomatoes, then the tinned tomatoes for a bag of crisps and two chocolate bars. They were quite disappointed no one wanted the apple. I thought they had ended with a really good haul of goodies. One group went into a shop and the shop keeper said I will take the apple you can have anything you want from the shop they took some Pasta.
It was an amazing display of trust and respect, the shop was a fine example the YP’s took 1 item when they had free reign of the shop [TRUST] and they took something that was not to expensive but useful to the camp as a whole, pasta [RESPECT]
I was trying to see a situation in the UK where the same game would work, ok if you did it in your local village and you had done a leaflet drop letting shops and locals know that the scouts were doing this. But we were in a large Town and at the other end of the country it would be like scout from Bristol going to Carlisle and playing this game without any prior notice given. Maybe I am jaded but I think if you had ten groups, eight would come back with the apple and the egg and two would have made a trade.
However in Germany every group came back with more than they left with they had all managed to make a profit on their apple and their egg. Each group was then challenged with selecting one item from their haul and discussing with the group why this item is the most beneficial to the camp.
While the YP’s had been out bartering their way round the town the adults had been trying to work out if there was somewhere we could swim in the lake. We established that there was but as we gathered to have our picnic the heavens opened the rain came. It was the kind of rain that even though you were in to of a second you looked like a drowned rat.
We eventually found a leisure centre in a nearby town and we headed there for the afternoon.
There was a plan for the evening however, due to some confusion with trains and buses we ended up about 4km away from the campsite with no mode of transport except Shanks’s pony so off we headed. It was nice walk and the weather was kind keeping dry. I spent most of the walk discussing English language, German language and International Scouting with one of the German Leaders.
We finally made it back to the campsite about 22:00 and enjoyed a very tasty pasta with cheese & ham sauce.
Well I think that is enough of my diary for now Part 4 will follow shortly.