The Malta Independent 25 June 2019, Tuesday

Cumbrians join Stella Maris Scout camp

Monday, 20 April 2015, 14:27 Last update: about 5 years ago

Another year, another Easter, and, obviously, another scout camp.

The Stella Maris College Scout Group has once again kept its annual Easter Camp appointment, this year with a difference. For this camp, which was held between 6 and 11 April and which however saw its initial preparations several months ago, the Scout Group hosted the 1st Keswick Scout Group from the UK.

The two Groups have been in regular contact since 2007, when the Stella Maris College Scout Group Group visited the UK. The Groups got along together so well that two years later, they entered a twinning agreement which paved the way for a number of visits and joint camps both in Malta and in the UK. In fact, the Stella Maris College Scout Group have hosted the 1st Keswick Scout Group on several occasions over the past years, whilst the British group reciprocated with a memorable camp in the Lake District in 2013.

During their stay in Malta, the Keswick scouts first attended scuba diving courses held in various locations around the island. They were then invited to participate in the Stella Maris College Scout Group's Easter Camp, which saw a privately-owned site turned into a fully fledged, all-canvas campsite, ready to accommodate the 100 cubs, scouts, ventures, leaders and helpers attending. Around 20 large tents were pitched, which included sleeping quarters, a kitchen, store, shower and a large marquee tent that served as a dining area.

As usual, the camp was jam packed with activities such as archery, crate stacking, laser tag, obstacle course, crafts, sumo wrestling, abseiling, backwoods cooking, day and night hikes, treasure hunt, games, sports, cultural visits to St Pauls' Catacombs and the Mdina Dungeons, and the traditional camp fire which this year was animated by Frank O'Neil, an ex-scout of the Group. A Maltese Night and fundraising event was also held during this camp, which also featured a traditional folk band to reinforce the Maltese aspect of this event. The scouts also had time to mingle and network, and to strengthen both established and new friendships.

However, as the saying goes, all good things come to an end, and the camp closure was held on Saturday 11th April when everyone pitched in to restore the campsite back to its former state within a few hours. and return all equipment back in the stores awaiting the next activity.

The British contingent left the Island shortly after the camp, but not before inviting the Stella Maris College Scout Group back to the UK in two years time. The Groups also hope to meet again this summer at the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan, where members from both sides will be joining their respective Scout Associations' contingents.


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