Written by Louise Crichton, Assistant Leader at 1st Hurlford Guides

Simply Camping was a weekend long event at South Newton organised by SHQ to get more leaders through their ‘Going Away With’ and give them confidence to take their girls camping.

The weekend began with putting tents up (in the rain!) before learning some basic knots to use for flags, neckies, and gadgets. This is where Joyce Reid (Scottish Walking Advisor and general camping extraordinare) could baffle us with her black magic way of doing knots. She shared a website called Grog’s Knots with us which has loads of gifs on how to tie all different kinds of knots – definitely one to check out!

After a night sleeping under canvas in the rain it was time to get down to business! Gagets, firelighting, and catering were the morning activities. We had a scout leader come and show us some more knots and gadgets we could make and I have to admit, my first creation was a catapult… I also spent 15 minutes attempting to light a fire in strong winds with eventual success, before learning all about being a QM.

In the afternoon we played a great camp wide game which I was extremely competitive at (naturally) and put up an Icelandic Ridge Tent. As someone who is relatively new to the camping side of Guiding (as I only did Rainbows and Brownies when I was younger), I am in awe at how busy and challenging it must be to camp with no indoor provisions whatsoever. It’s also something I now definitely want to try.

The evening, as usual, was a campfire with all the girls staying at South Newton that weekend. I learned some great new songs, with my personal favourite being 12345, and got the opportunity to see how others run campfires.

The full weekend was jam-packed with lots of tips, tricks, and it was just a nice environment to be in with other leaders with the same goals of taking their girls camping. I’d highly recommend you consider the weekend the next time it happens because you can’t beat learning from your peers. You should also check out South Newton campsite as it’s a great facility.