Father & Son Cub Scout Weekend Camp

June 21, 2011

In a male-bonding exercise, nine Cub Scouts, each accompanied by his Dad, spent a long weekend on the eastern portion of Long Island in the Great Sound 17th to 19th June.

The Father/Son weekend is a longstanding tradition with the Cubs of the 22nd Bermuda Cub Scout Pack, and has been going on for more than twenty-five years.

The Father/Son duos go on to the Island on Friday evening and come back on Sunday morning. That part of Long Island is not equipped with hot or cold running water, flush toilets, or even basic shelters.

bermuda cub camp 2011

In fact, this camping experience requires Fathers to go right back to basics, and to create and provide almost everything necessary for human survival and comfort – which is exactly what men did hundreds of years ago.

Each Father/Son pair comes fully prepared with their own tent, spare clothes, small first aid kits, eating utensils, etc… The Cub Scout Leaders bring food and water and ice for the group.

All cooking is outdoors over an open wood fire – no gas barbecues – with Dads doing all the food preparation and cooking and serving. The young Cub Scouts hunt down and collect the needed firewood.

During the day, the Cub Scouts do or complete badge work for various stages of their Athlete’s and Swimmers badges; take part in Diving and Fishing competitions; take part in a Tracking Activity; and with their Dads, and using only materials found on the Island, they make a ‘camp gadget’ or something useful. They also do an Island clean-up that usually sees them collect up to six bags of harbour garbage.

This year, using driftwood, two of the Cubs/Dads combined to make a three stump cricket wicket with bails and cricket bat. With that and a tennis ball, the nine Cubs later organized and played an interrupted two-day long game of ‘tip-n-go-one’ cricket, with the odd bit of umpiring from the ‘Dad’s stands’.

Hitting the ball into the water meant ‘out’, but all other rules were as for ‘tip-n-go-one’. When the first driftwood bat broke, one of the Dads got another piece of driftwood and, using a machete, fashioned a second bat; whih was later signed by all nine Cubs with the understanding that it would be brought back next year.

Other Cubs/Dads made a swing, survival shelter, fish measuring device, throwing stick, fishing spear, and two pairs combined to set up an awning shelter. The tree-stump and driftwood table that can be seen under the awning shelter had been made the year before and has lasted from then.

For high tide, Dads worked together as a big strong team and, using block and tackle and their combined muscle-power, set up the high-tension ‘Flying Fox’. This is a zip slide over open water.

The Cub starts out about fifteen feet above high water, grips and hangs from a bridle, steps off the cliff and gets a fast downwards slide of about ten seconds until he crashes into the water about 90 feet from where he first stepped off.

This weekend camp normally takes place at the end of the school year, but this year it had to be brought forward two weeks. As a result, this special Father/Son event was underway on Father’s Day, Sunday 19th June.

Long Island is privately owned and the 22nd Bermuda Cub Scouts use that portion of Long Island with the kind permission of Mr Jim Butterfield and the Butterfield family.

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