Woking District Scouts
10th & 11th September 2011
Fun Friendship & Integration
During the second weekend in September, and with a Wild West theme, Woking Scouts held their 26th annual Handicamp where nearly 70 Explorer scouts from the borough and children with special needs from Link Leisure based in Board School Road, Freemantles and The Park schools in Woking and Abbey school in Farnham and Kings College in Guildford converged on Woodlarks Campsite in Farnham for a weekend of fun challenges.
All the young people camped in tents and the scouts aged 14 to 17 years old were buddied and looked after the pupils for the whole weekend. They all took part in new and challenging activities such as climbing and abseiling, backwoods cooking over open fires, cooking popcorn, tasty and spicy beans cowboy style with Mexican chicken, and making a refreshing drink of sarsaparilla. They also tried their hand at kayaking and rafting on the River Wey, air rifle shooting, archery, constructing water rockets and building model aeroplanes and taking part in flying competitions.
The huge three face climbing and abseiling wall was constructed by Harsco with HSS Southern in Old Woking supplying some of the safety fencing.
The 26th year of Handicamp was funded by the Chobham-based Children with Special Needs Foundation and the Surrey Army Cadet Force, The Kelsy Trust and also received donations from Roberts Butchers in St Johns, Repropoint in Woking and Waitrose in Farnham.
On a chilly evening, Saturday ended with songs and laughter when the whole camp enjoyed a roaring and fabulous campfire led by Cub scout leader Neil Jones from Sheerwater accompanied by some of the Explorer Scouts..
During the weekend, Woking Mayor Cllr Ken Howard visited the camp and experienced the thrill and enjoyment being had by everyone, which included climbing and abseiling the 30 foot tower and trying his hand at Archery.
The weekend enabled 160 young people, leaders and teachers to integrate and learn from each other and enjoy a memorable weekend.
“Handicamp is a very unique camp and for most of the youngsters, this was their first time away from their families’’ commented Brian Pinto, Explorer Scout Commissioner and added “ the friendly cowboys and girls enabled the young people to experience new challenges in a safe environment and the chuck wagon made sure they didn’t go hungry.”