Winter Adventure Camp

Written by Bob Teasdale

Over the weekend of the 4th and 5th March, South Yorkshire Scouts ran a two day winter adventure camp for a group of 10 to 15 year old Ukrainian refugees. Following last August’s event, we again utilised the county site at Hesley Wood, this time based in the Howard Walker Building.  The weekend was modelled on a typical scout weekend with outdoor activities, fun challenges, loads of great food and finishing around the camp fire.

The kids had a great time taking part in crate climbing, pioneering, bread making, cannon racing, indoor challenges, orienteering (with yet more challenges), tower building and a camp Olympics (with Ukraine bound to win). We also had some of the best food I have ever tasted on a camp.  Our two Ukrainian chefs prepared meal after meal of amazing traditional Ukrainian cooking including their national dish of Borsch.  One kid told his mum he’d had five bowlfuls! 

What we learned:

  • Ukrainian kids are all brilliant at orienteering
  • The kids like a LOT of jam on their bread
  • Flavour can be added to soup by plunging fiery sticks into it
  • Ukrainian kids like the Tuck shop as least as much as any English kids

This was a fantastic opportunity for these children to come together with countryman, to play, speak their mother tongue and enjoy a shared experience.  This was such a great example of local Scouting continuing to make our Ukrainian guest feel welcome and to share our ‘skills for life’ beyond our own groups.

The children’s parents are always super appreciative, as you can see from the below …

  • “Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to visit Winter Scouts Camp”
  • “I want to express my gratitude for this opportunity”
  • “My daughter spent a wonderful time there”

The event wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution of leaders from across Sheaf plus our special guests from Ukraine.  As is the Scouting way everyone came together, worked together and made the magic happen.  Thanks also to Adventure Funding Sheffield, who provided the funding for the event.

So, a big thank you to everyone below who put their time, effort and most importantly enthusiasm into it.

James Bargh, Phil Bennet, John Cuckson, Jake Parfitt, Rich Garret, Simon Harrison, Barrie Hocking, Rich Hollingworth, Megan Hughes, Sasha Malieiev, Nina Malieiev, Mark Mitchell, Andrew Phipps, Dawn Spier, Arina Stepanenko, Svitlana Stepanenko, Nick Taylor, Bob Teasdale, Richard Teasdale, Jon Widdup.  We were also greatly supported by the team from Woodseats: Alfie, Ben, Fintan, Harriet, Lucy, Max and Tymek plus their special guest Vladyslav.