On November 18th and 19th 1st Madrid celebrated its second combined winter camp in which all sections took part in the campsite “Hoces del Duraton”, in Cantalejo, Segovia.

Once all the scouts were settled in their cabins – after a bit of fuss with the enumeration- they were called for the opening  ceremony.



After the open ceremony,  our guide  came to collect us and we went on a 2 hour long hike. Along the way we picked up lots of material to add to the Woodland scene craft and for the nest-making craft in the afternoon. We collected leaves, sticks, feathers and moss. The guide explained why some birds like certain types of wood better than others to make their nests from. He also showed us several mushrooms and explained why some are poisonous and others aren’t.

When we got back to camp we ate our packed lunches outside in the sunshine. After lunch we had our opening ceremony where we introduced ourselves to the two new Beavers and discussed what we had written on our “About Me” sheets last month.


Then we began the serious business of preparing for the show. Assistant Beaver Leader Manu brought a mouth organ and taught us the Gruffalo song. We discussed how best to act out the story and the Beavers decided which animal they would like to be. We practised with the scripts a couple of times and then played a wide game to burn off some energy!


Afterwards we went indoors to work on the craft activities: making a nest and creating a woodland scene to put the Gruffalo creatures in.


We also learnt how to do three simple knots.


The afternoon flew by and before we knew it we were back in our cabins having our face painted for the evening show.

After dinner each section acted in a show. The Beavers were first and we did The Gruffalo which was lots and lots of fun.


On Sunday morning we finished off the Woodland scene and then went to our cabin to make Gratitude Pumpkins and listen to the story about why Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. We discussed all the things we were grateful for in our lives.

Finally we went on another hike, this time to look for minibeasts. Even though we hadn’t expected to see them because of the cold weather we were actually able to find ants and butterflies. We also saw worms, birds and spiders.
When we came back from the walk we went straight to the closing ceremony with the rest of the troop and after that we had a Beavers closing ceremony where we named the Beaver of the month and were awarded lodge stickers.
We loved this campsite and can’t wait to go back.


Cubs also enjoyed a long hike in the morning, surrounded by trees. A natural surrounding to play some games too.


After the lunch, our Cubs became “arquitects” building towers with spaghetti and marshmallows.


After that “sweet” construction, a bit of rehearsing before dinner.

And finally,  after dinner, the night show!!

Every section had a different show that they had been rehearsing before dinner.


A new challenge was waiting for the Cubs on Sunday morning. This time they became “engineers” building catapults.


And they had to show  that they worked!!


But not all was hard work. They also had time to play some games as “Giants, Wizards and Elfs”, “The Hot Potato” …

They had a really good time!!



After settling in to their Cabins, the Scouts split into two groups and concentrated on building & launching Rocket Ships as part of their Astronautics Badge work, discussing Spaceship design and why a ship might have wings or not, why it might need engines at the back or the front, lots of ideas from inventive young minds!


After lunch the Scouts worked on their Navigator Stage 3 Badge work, which involved using maps of the local area to plot “8 figure map references” themselves, using their compass and scale ruler along a loop route starting and finishing at the campsite. Once the Scouts had plotted all the points, they connected them to form the route to take and we set off! The Scouts each took turns to lead the hike, relying only on their own plotting and map reading skills and responsibility for keeping the group together. Part of the Five Kilometer Hike was through farmland, part through local woodland, and the expanse visible when walking through the open fields up in the beautiful mountains was very impressive.


After the two hour Hiking activity, the Scouts worked on their Show rehearsals, with a rendition of a very old and traditional Scout song, usually sung at the close of a camp or the final song at a Campfire, “I want to linger”. You can see a video with the lyrics  here.

After dinner the Scouts performed their song, to great effect, applause and emotion! So much so that we plan to sing the song as part of our Camp closing from now on. The song performance will count towards both their Entertainer Badge and the Outdoor Challenge Award.

Sunday started with breakfast and cabin clean up with inspection, then quickly moved on to First Aid training with Alan the Group Scout Leader. The training included what to do when someone is unconscious, bleeding, burnt or having an asthma attack. All the Scouts treated the training seriously and understood the importance of knowing the right thing to do at the right time.


We  finished with an exhausting “Wide Game”, with the Scouts split into teams and chasing each other around until all were tired and hopefully soon asleep in the back of parents cars!

All in all, a fantastic Camp, we believe enjoyed by all, and we are already looking forward to the next one!.