By: Blonde Two
When you are taking lots of young people to camp out in the middle of nowhere, it is almost traditional (if you are Blonde) to leave one vital piece of equipment behind. Things that are particularly important to remember are;
a) the youngsters (embarrassing to leave them in the car park).
b) the sleeping bags (cold kids have a tendency to wake their nice warm adults up).
c) the tent poles (tents look very unsatisfying if they are lopsided).
When we arrived on Dartmoor on Friday night, we discovered that, this time, we had opted for option c and arrived without one key tent pole. Rather than suffer the embarrassment of being in charge of a camp with a lopsided tent (I used to know a Scout leader who carried a metre rule and insisted that all tents were perpendicular to the field boundary), we did some quick sorting out and ended up with three rather over-stuffed tents instead of four comfortable ones.
No harm came overnight to bulging tent or young person, although some complained of being too hot (that will almost certainly never happen again!) and we carried on with a successful day’s training.
When we got back to the stores and I was putting equipment away, I noticed that one tent pole had managed to sneak onto the shelf all on its own. A quick count proved my suspicions to be correct. We had not forgotten a pole after all (I knew I was right to have faith in our young leaders), someone had had it in their bag all the time.