By: Blonde Two

When you take a group of youngsters wild camping on Dartmoor for the first time, you expect a certain degree of chaos. Here are some of the usual issues:

Missing Equipment – typically this will include torch batteries, matches, spoons and usually a roll mat or two.

Canvas Confusion – questions asked are similar to: “What is the difference between a peg and a pole?”, “Do I really need to pull out all of these orange strings?” and “Why do the inner and outer doors need to be in the same place?”

Badly Behaved Food – bacon and eggs are all very well for a slow-start, but when you are sharing your Trangia with two others, something quicker and much cleaner is necessary. Pot Noodles are also a no-no (we do tell them); if you have ever tried rehydrating one of these in cold weather, you will know that by the time the noodles are ‘cooked’, they are also stone cold.

Over Friday night and Saturday morning however, we Blondes observed none of this nonsense from any of our youngsters. We had four tent teams, two experienced and two newbies; and were thoroughly impressed by the team work, consideration and attention to detail that they displayed. Here is what we saw:

In the dark, the two teams with tents that were completely new to them, listened carefully to instructions, worked together and achieved excellent results. There was the moment when one particular lad ‘got stuck’ behind the tent inner as he was hooking it up, this newbie error caused much hilarity and was corrected with a smile.

All four teams behaved in a most excellent manner, went to bed before they were told to, did a bit of sleeping (who could expect more on the first night) and were already awake and raring to go when their Blonde alarm call arrived (at dawn).

All four teams worked together, helped the younger ones and were dressed, breakfasted, packed and ready to walk almost within the time that had been given them. There was next to no faffing.

Very impressive I am sure that you will agree; and on top of the camp skills, they all walked a good distance.

We have high hopes …