October 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Angela Hutton writes about the Scout’s summer camp spent in a traditional Welsh mining town
The Scouts are back from their summer camp in Snowdonia, Wales, with a surprising array of tan lines and tales of adventure.
Camping in the heart of a traditional Welsh slate mining town, the Scouts were keen to discover more about the history of the area and complete their heritage badge in the process. The first hike route explored disused local quarries and certainly whet the appetite for more underground adventure. To discover more about the lives of the local slate miners, the Scouts visited the Braich Goch slate mine in Corris. Under the careful watch of one of Wales’ leading mine explorers, they were led through tunnels and tiny passageways, climbing Victorian slate piles and peering down in to the depths of the mines.
Turning our hat lamps out created an eerie darkness and a brief feeling of what it would have been like to mine so far underground with only the light of a faint candle for comfort.
After four hours climbing wobbly ladders, wading through knee high water, and avoiding sticks of abandoned gelignite the scouts emerged with tales of finding bones, old shoes, match boxes and even an ‘ancient’ toilet deep underground.
The highlight of the camp was our day working on the narrow gauge Corris Railway. The railway was originally built to transport slate from the Braich Goch mine down to the port at Aberystwyth and then beyond to all over the world. The line is now partly restored and much to their delight, the Scouts were invited to help out for the day with the ongoing preservation work. The day finished with a special Scout only train ride back down the line, with one lucky leader riding on the foot plate.
The sun rarely shines on Scout camp but this year, we had some amazing weather and hit the beach at Aberdovey, home of the Welsh crabbing contest.
Crabbing was an instant hit with the scouts and leaders alike. Armed with bacon and fish heads as bait, we crabbed away off the pier, and on our best day, managed to haul in 181 crabs in two hours!