What are you going to do when you have a camp-out called “Rainbucket” and you don’t actually get wet?
Last year, the Hope Venturers (teenaged Scouts) attended their first Rainbucket camp and it totally lived up to its title. This year — not so much.
“It rained a bit when we drove in on Friday night, so we were a bit worried,” said group commissioner Crystal Medlock, Monday, Nov. 21. “But it stopped while we set up camp, then it rained mostly when we were sleeping. It was sunny on Saturday for most of the day.”
The annual camp for Venturers and Rovers (young adult Scouts) has been held on reserve lands east of the Popkum fire hall for the past ten years, though Hope Venturers were only old enough last year to get their first crack at camping in late November, when the clouds can usually be counted on to empty their load.
About 300 teens and “advisors” from the Lower Mainland and B.C. Interior gathered at the grounds on Friday, Nov. 18 night, had a full day of fun on Saturday, Nov. 19 then packed up after breakfast on Sunday, Nov. 20 morning.
The Hope contingent included more than a dozen kids and three adults: Scott and Crystal Medlock and Yvonne Hambly.
“We’re mostly there to advise them against doing something silly or dangerous,” said Crystal, laughing. “The kids do their own cooking and setting up and taking down the camp.”
You can’t get the full camping experience if you don’t have a campfire — and the Venturers were also involved in collecting the half cord of firewood that was hauled down to Popkum.
“Four of the kids helped with the Lions firewood fundraiser the week before, splitting and stacking wood, so the Lions gave them some of it,” said Crystal.
“Our kids generally like the social aspect of camping — but they took part in the fun events,” she added. These events are organized by various groups, who take on leadership roles.
The theme of the weekend was “Throwback,” bringing back some of the best events from the past ten years.
“One was bicycle jousting,” said Crystal. “They had a couple of bikes with no chains and they had pool noodles duct-taped to the handle bars. You couldn’t pedal — but there were two people pushing your bike and you tried to hit the other rider with your lance. Joseph Tuivai did really well.”
There was also a 4×4 truck in a mud hole, with a line of teens trying to pull it out with a towrope. They eventually did, after going for a flyer when the rope broke.
Then there was the eating contest. It would probably be a stretch to call it “food eating,” as the taskmasters were cruel in their culinary creations.
“They had to eat hard-boiled eggs with wasabi in them, then there was whipped cream and bananas, with blueberries and wasabi,” said Crystal. “Wasabi was a popular ingredient.
“Sequel Adamson and Joseph took part — but Ben Tuivai won it again, for the second year in a row. There were about 25 kids in it and it wasn’t even close.” said Crystal. “Ben can eat anything. It was like he trained for it.”
Saturday night was capped off with a dance around a huge bonfire on the gravel parking lot. “There’s always someone who volunteers to bring a big sound system and music,” said Crystal.
“The thing I like about these camps is they’re so welcoming. There are no cliques and everyone is accepted as they are. Our kids have made friends with kids from all over B.C. They put them on Facebook right away, then look forward to seeing them at the next camp.”
It’s pretty well a guarantee there’ll be no rain at the annual “Rovent” camp, on the February long weekend — as the annual event is held at Allison Pass in Manning Park.
“We’ll go up on the Friday night and come back on Monday,” said Crystal. “And this year, the fourth-year Scouts (Grade 7 and 8) can join us.”