Assistant County Commissioner International
Summer camp 2016 for 7th Woking Scout Group was a bit different from the usual. Instead of a couple of mini-
The expedition party comprised 27 Scouts / Young Leaders (aged 10 to 15 yrs) and 11 Leaders, for a trip that was almost 2 years in the planning. But finally we were off, and by late afternoon on the day of departure, our convoy of vehicles wound their way off-
At any one time over the course of the summer, there can be as many as 300 Scouts onsite, across the sprawling wooded terraces cut into the hillside below the main village centre. Since 1990, Griebal has welcomed Scouts from all over Spain and Portugal, with regular visits also from Scout Groups from Belgium and Germany. As the very first U.K. Scout Group ever to visit Griebal,
we were welcomed enthusiastically by our Spanish hosts. But it was pretty easy to spot us -
We couldn't quite carry everything with us to Spain. We hired a number of patrol tents from the campsite to complement our own lightweight tents, as well as hiring a large cook tent with both fridge and freezer (a legal requirement in Spain), a single large Paella burner, and a single cooking pot that could have accommodated an entire Beaver Colony.
After a day exploring the site, and an evening trading campfire sketches with groups from Mallorca and Zaragoza (entertainment that stretched long into the night), on the following morning we drove out further into the mountains, for a day white-
A highlight of the expedition late on in the trip was a day spent with mountain guides in a still more remote valley on a "canyoning" adventure -
There was time too on the expedition to explore the cultural offerings of the region. The ancient fortified local town of Ainsa, with its narrowed cobbled streets, was an exciting place to visit in a late night trip by minibus from the campsite. Market day in Ainsa was a further opportunity for the Scouts to practice their Spanish -
But an important part of our trip -
It is hard to summarise succinctly what the trip meant to all who took part. It was hot, physically demanding, and the toilet blocks weren't necessarily quite everyone's cup of tea. The logistics of travel (maximum of 9 seater minibuses!) required both careful planning, and the extraordinary commitment of a brave team of leaders. Shopping for 38 mouths in small village supermarkets, and then cooking for 38 on a single burner presented its own challenges: planned Menu A, was soon abandoned in favour of Menu B, which embraced the local produce and patterns of eating.
But the mere existence of the beautiful and awe-