Last weekend, I spent two nights in a muddy field with some dirty Scouts. When I say 'muddy field' - that was just the Scouts. I was tucked up nice and warm inside, thank you very much. I wasn't joking about the mud though. There were muddy fingernails, dried mud up to the knees; I even saw one lad with mud splashed across his face! The Twitter feed is here which has some muddy photos, to give you an idea. The event itself was Wintercamp, run by the Scout Association. Split over two sites, it's the largest camp run by the association.
As well as being inside to sleep, I was also inside to do activities. I turned up ready to do whatever, and the 'whatever' I was allocated was:
Because there are rules about publicity photos and the internet etc, I didn't take any photos of the young people who were at the event, which is a shame because the stuff they created was amazing and creative and colourful.
In the craft room, we had Jean
who was doing something with paint on the first day and duct tape roses on the second:
She's married to:
who declined the offer to have his photo appear on the internet, but was happy for me to take a photo of his name, so I could remember who he is. (If you can't read it clearly, it says Mike). He was making stuff from fantasy film, the plastic stuff you dip wire into:
You know Hama beads ? We had those too:
The young people were making coasters, by putting them into a circular tin and melting them all together with a paint stripper type torch. Wish I'd taken photos of those, just for the colours.
There were knotted phone charms:
I did these in Sweden (for the World Scout Jamboree in 2011) in the faiths and beliefs zone. If the body of the man is slid up, it means the person is happy, if the body of the man is slid down then it means he's unhappy. There's something about the six knots which make up the body being related to six somethings in Buddhism, I just can't remember what the somethings are.
There were proggy squares:
This is a form of rug making. Whilst I understand the technique is used all over the country, the name is specific to the North East. There's a BBC article here, a blog article with examples here and Tyne and Wear museums have a detailed tutorial sheet here.
As for me, I was doing dreamcatchers from floral wire and acrylic yarn. This is the example I made to show the Scouts what they were aiming for.
I did think about bringing my knitting to do in the moments of waiting for the room to get busy, but decided that an orange cotton/alpaca mix wouldn't go very well with mud. Instead the Scouts challenged me to knit with bits of spare floral wire, which I sort of could and sort of couldn't do. Casting on was easy. The problem was with the ends of the wire, which had been cut with scissors rather than wire cutters, so kept catching the yarn each time I made a stitch. There was a small internal shudder every time I called it wool instead of yarn, but I don't think anybody noticed.
There were dreamcatchers with stars on, with hearts on, without the middle circle, with the middle circle. One Scout made a dreamcatcher with a cat sitting on a mat. I wish I'd taken a photo of every single one, because they were so clever and creative. The two below were both made by Scouts. The swan dreamcatcher was made by a female Scout who gave it to me. (I don't think she liked it). The red and black one was made by a male Scout on the last day. I offered him yarn to take with him, so he could finish it at home, but he said he didn't think he'd have the time - so I finished it for him. The black and red were his choices; I chose the green:
And then on the journey home, from dreamcatchers to sweet dreams.....