If you’re going to have a Scout campout called “Rainbucket,” holding it on the second weekend in November would be a very good idea.
Eleven Hope youths and four parent chaperones joined about 335 other Venturer and Rover Scouts for two nights of camping at Popkum and the weather fully cooperated.
“Both nights, it just poured,” said Yvonne Hambly, who went along as chaperone for the 14 to 17 year old Hope youths of the First Hope Venturer Company, now in its inaugural year.
“We had some tents with waterfront property,” she added.
Group Commissioner Crystal Medlock said, “We were the last to arrive on Friday night and we had to set up in the dark, with the help of car headlights. We couldn’t see where most of the puddles were and we had water problems by the last day — not inside the tents, though, just at the front door.
“You certainly didn’t have to hammer the tent pegs into the ground. You just pushed them in with your hand — the ground was so soft. We had tarps to cover all the tents, so no rain actually got inside them.
“It wasn’t a skills camp, like in the summer. It was social camp,” explained Medlock, whose husband Scott and fellow Scout leader Shanon Fischer also went along for the weekend. “Within half an hour of setting up camp, our kids went around to the other groups and came back with about 30 other kids. They’re such a friendly, social bunch. Good kids.”
The camp was hosted and organized by the older Rover Scouts of the Fraser Valley. Medlock said the Rainbucket campout has been going on since 1982 and held at the Popkum site since 2007. The camp is located on land owned by the Cheam First Nation. Campers came from as far away as North Vancouver and Summerland.
Monty Python was the theme for the weekend and this left many of the Hope youths wondering “huh?”
“It was way before their time,” said Medlock. “So a week before the camp, we all watched Monty Python in our living room.”
Saturday was the big day for activities, including a scavenger hunt, slingshot shooting — and flinging rubber chickens and Spam with a catapult. Speaking of Spam: there was also a “food” eating contest. Spam was the main course, accompanied by over-done hardboiled eggs, artificial bacon bits and canned beans.
“They had four rounds,” said Medlock. “The first was two hard-boiled eggs and half a can of Spam.
“The second was half a can of Spam, a hard-boiled egg and a quarter cup of bacon bits. Josh Ogren came second in the first round — but he couldn’t stand the smell of the bacon bits, so he quit.
“Sequel Adamson went pretty far, too, but she got sick later.
“The third round was another half a can of Spam and cold baked beans,” said Medlock, who looked a bit ill from recalling the gruesome cuisine.
“There were only three left for the fourth round: a quarter cup of Spam, a hard-boiled egg, beans and bacon bits.”
The winner? Ben Tuivai of Hope. “Ben had never eaten Spam before — but he finished first by far in each round,” said Medlock.
The most memorable event of the weekend had to be the outdoor dance, figured Medlock.
“It was in a torrential downpour but we had a huge bonfire made from pallets and milled lumber,” said Medlock.
“Someone had brought a travel trailer with a laptop and big speakers and they had lights flashing in the sky,” added Hambly.
“The kids were saying ‘Listen to the new music’ — but it was actually so old,” said Medlock. “They were downloading it when they got home.
“We had to drag them back to their tents at 11:30 p.m. They were so drenched but they didn’t care.”
By noon on Sunday, they were packed up and ready to head home. Medlock said she is usually a night owl but she crashed by 8 p.m. that night.
If you’d like to talk to Medlock about the local Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Venturer Scouts, call her at 604-750-8294.