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Granton Explorers had a fantastic time at the Scout run Activity Centre in Lochgoilhead, Argyll and Bute. This camp was all made possible by funding received from Cashback for Communities. For most of our explorers, this was their first camp out with the scouting region and their annual summer camp location near Killin. Our explorers had a fantastic time taking part in the many activities provided by the qualified instructors at the centre.

The camp began on Friday 14th April with the Explorers loading their kit onto the minibus to set off for the first stop on the western shores of Loch Lomond. A short walk around Duck Bay and skimming stones on the calm waters of the loch gave the explorers a chance to stretch their legs before setting off in the minibus again. A traffic jam, which held our convoy up for over 2 hours, made a quick chippy stop in Arrochar a must before they set off on an evening hike around Cruach Tairbeirt. Arriving at the Lochgoilhead centre around 7pm there were the usual camp tours, teas and biscuits before they spent some free time exploring the site before the end of the day.

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Saturday began with an early breakfast before flag break outside the main building and instructions for that morning’s activities. Waterproofs were adorned for the raft building challenge on the loch’s beach where our explorers were teamed up with a scout group from Dundee. After an hour of planning and building, the teams were ready to head back up to site to change into clothes for getting wet; and wow did they need them! As soon as the blue barrels, staves and ropes had touched the chilly waters of Loch Goil, the skies opened up to lashing rain and high winds. No better feat for a newly built team and raft to keep together in conditions like that.

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After drying off for lunch the explorers were told to stick on some wetsuits (and advised to double up) for the most highly anticipated activity of the camp: The Burn Run – A hike on feet, hands and knees up a gorge filled with rocks, waterfalls, cliffs, ropes and of course, a freezing cold river. The explorers walked, swam, slid, crawled and climbed their way up the gorge – with a few stops for slides, trust drops and rope climbing – all lead by their excellent instructor Nelly.

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After the hike back down to the site, another quick dry off and some dinner, the group assembled at the indoor archery hut for their evening activity. An oddly large number of left handed archers led to a lefty versus righty stand off with many practices and a few team games. The session ended with the teams inventing their own archery games which were very creative.

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Sunday morning’s activity was to be rock climbing but due to the weather conditions (the kind where if you don’t like them, you wait 5 minutes) the explorers donned harnesses for a spot of abseiling instead. A few of them had done this activity before, but never on a real rock face. Speaking of faces, some of them were excellent. With a healthy mix of excitement, fear and adrenaline the resulting pictures are a site to be seen.

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Sunday afternoon’s activity was kayaking and canoeing on loch Goil. Thankfully, the weather held out for the most part and the explorers had great fun discovering the waterscape. A quick change of clothes (again) and loading of the kit back in to the minibus was the last call of the camp before heading back down to Granton on a much smoother journey (no traffic).
A big thank you from the Granton Explorers and the Explorer leaders to the Cashback for Communities fund which made this action packed, exciting and unforgettable camp more than just a dream.