Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
June 2020
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A winter Scout camp

I have to admit that it was a little unfortunate that last week’s balmy early spring weather disappeared on the weekend, as it would have been nice to have had a Scout camp where we did not have to set up tents in the pouring rain, and to have been able to plan activities rather than having to seize the moment between the intermittent heavy showers. That said, we had an enjoyable camp anyway, made a little easier by the fact that we were staying at a caravan park where we could use their camp shelter and had access to hot running water and a big sink. Looxury!


The campsite is by the side of a man-made lake (a consequence of a hydro power scheme that dammed a river), and the recent rains made it rather muddy underfoot in places. In the photo below, one of the Scouts led us astray into the marshy shore of the lake; and most people ended up with soaked shoes (what is it with the non-existence of wool socks in kids’ outdoor clothing collections?!).


In the afternoon of Saturday the rain cleared enough to venture out onto the lake in kayaks, for a paddle around the remnant tree stumps and logs and small bits of protruding terrain that resulted from the flooding of the valley behind the dam. The kids enjoyed this, although the rain returned just as the Scouts in the last group were having their turn, which meant that hot showers were very welcome afterwards.




The rain eased again in the evening, allowing us to escape for a game of spotlight: lurking, hiding and sneaking among the empty caravans and cabins of the winter-quiet caravan park. My sneaking skills can still cut the mustard, as I remained unfound in the first and third rounds, and was among the last to be found in the second (having successfully positioned myself up a tree I managed to break a twig noisily at an inopportune moment, thus giving away my location).

We then settled ourselves around the wood stove in the shelter for what remained of the evening, and amused ourselves with a lengthy session of “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John” (a campfire game that requires everyone to try to improve their current seating position—via verbal dexterity, mirth, frivolity and rather silly rules—in order to end up in the position of greatest honour: the Matthew chair). We also managed a few campfire songs (yay, says me, who has wanted to get this happening with this group for a while, but the moment had never been quite right … until now), and the retelling of “Herman the German” went down well (this is one of the tales in my collection of silly shaggy dog campfire stories, that I first heard in my early days of Scout leading).

The next day the weather was still fickle, but we did a walk to the nearby river and, among other things, amused ourselves with a game of Pooh sticks (although some of the sticks were somewhat log-like in their magnitude, which added to the air of general silliness).

There was enough sun that the tents were mostly dry when we packed up, but we did have a fairly significant game of Tetris managing to fit all the gear and kids into the vehicles of the returning convoy.

All in all it was a fun weekend.


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