By: Blonde Two

I have a rather old and battered camp mug that I take to all of my camp events.  It is red, has no handle and has my Scout leader (good times) name painted in red nail varnish on the bottom of it.  I am very fond of it (sentimental Blonde) and when I was sipping my morning cup of coffee in the minibus the other day, it reminded me of one of my favourite funny Scouting stories.

It was my first Scout camp, I had been on many Guide ones as a child but this time I was there as camp cook.  As has often happened to me, I had glibly agreed to the task without really considering the implications.  Camp cooks, it turns out, work very hard – they get up before everyone else, cook all day because everything takes so long and then go to bed late.

This evening though, I had been given the night off and a few of cans of Guinness to celebrate.  In order to keep the Guinness secret, I turned it into Stealth Guinness by pouring it into my lovely (new but already missing the handle) camp cup.  To the casual observer, I was happily tucking into a hot chocolate with the rest of the leaders.

Our Scout group seemed to have an odd but successful policy of keeping the kids up until they were so exhausted that they fell asleep as soon as sleeping bag hit groundsheet.  On the previous night, this had involved a night hike through the woods which I had particularly enjoyed so as the Stealth Guinness started to have its effect (I am not a great drinker), I decided that another night walk would be a good idea.

It took a while to persuade anyone to come with me but eventually a couple of us donned hats and coats and left the warmth of the camp fire for an evening perambulation.  There was a lot of laughter and we must have been walking quite quickly because I can remember getting too hot and bumping into a few trees … but that is all I can remember.

The next morning, I woke up at porridge making time, safe in my tent.  My clothes were neatly folded over my rucksack and I was all tucked up in my sleeping bag.  The really odd thing was that I wasn’t wearing anything apart from my hat.  Not a stitch on, just a rather disreputable woolly hat.  I had no idea how I had got there.

Obviously Stealth Guinness is stronger than I thought it was, I still have no recollection of getting into bed.  I stuck to cocoa after that but we did all have a giggle about it in the morning!