The intrepid 159th Scouts left the Scout hall on Friday evening and soon arrived at SubZero Auchengillan around 10:20. The temperature was 0°C and would fall to -2°C overnight. The Scouts had to put up the two patrol tents and this was done very efficiently. The marquee and the leaders tent had already been pitched earlier that afternoon. The tuck shop was next on the Scouts radar despite most of them bringing ample emergency rations. According to the organisers there were a thousand people on site and similar to the biblical story the one hog being roasted on the spit seemed to feed everyone and manage to provide a tasty vegetarian option for Nigel......a true miracle.
Scouts were woken at 07:15 as we had to get to breakfast in the Allander Chalet, tidy up the camp and get ready for the activities. Taking the catered package may seem to be the soft option but the opportunity to warm up, sit on a comfy seat, and eat plentiful tasty hot food prepared by someone else, seems to be the logical thing to do when you are at a camp such as SubZero.
We had a quick inspection of their tents back at the camp and the boys then headed off to their 'extreme' activities.
Paintballing, Laser Quest, Crate Climbing, Swimming, Segway trail, Pole Climbing, Abseiling, Climbing, Para-drop, para-cord craft stuff, rifle shooting, axe throwing (!) and archery were the activities on offer.
Meanwhile the wind was picking up. More than a year ago a tree felling operation at Auchengillan commenced because of concerns with the stability of the trees. The views are better but there is now little shelter from the wind.
By late morning the two patrol tents were suffering with wind gusts up to Force 7.The poles were not built to withstand this and were damaged. We took the tents down and Nigel drove down to Glasgow and picked upthe smaller foot-print hike tents for the Scouts to stay in. The leaders tent suffered some fabric damage and we had to beef up the guy-lines for this. A number of other Scout troops suffered significant damage to their tents with some abandoning the camp
The evening meal was a choice of Haggis/neeps/tatties, Chicken curry, vegetable curry, Pasta and tomato sauce, beef and sausage stew or you could have it all. Melon to finish and a visit to the tuck shop before settling in to Ice Age 5 in the Chalet. A wide game called Hunt the Yeti followed this and then we had our own camp fire. Thankfully overnight the wind stayed within the limits of our tent poles, guy-lines and fabric of the tent.
Sunday dawned positively balmy at 1°C. Another fine breakfast and back to the activities for the Scouts. Clearing up the site didn't take too long with us leaving Auchengillan in the warmth of the cars at 2pm.
Despite the wind we were in one respect lucky with the weather. Rain would have been a lot worse and having some sleety snow showers were part of the hopeful plan for SubZero.
A big thank-you to the drivers (Karl, Harbal and Craig) who helped with the transport. A really big thanks to Robert Webster who came out of (early) retirement from the Scout group to assist the leaders. Finally a thank-you to the parents who got the bags packed, warm clothes purchased and had the muddy washing to do on the return.
Pictures of the event are on the secure page which you will need to log in to view or register. We are trying to use the website for dissemination of information to make it easier for us all, so registering will be worth while.