Daniel Price (Swansea University Guides and Scouts)
Monday 13th of November 2023
SSAGO Members from Aberystwyth, Swansea and Bangor were Castaways on a Desert Island at the end of October – well camping in Machynlleth near Aberystwyth, which is close enough!
Throughout Friday evening there were the various arrivals and setting up of camp, as well as meeting the Freshers from the other groups, before everyone retired to bed ready for an early start to Saturday!
Saturday started as all days should, with a cooked breakfast, followed swiftly by an opening ceremony, and our first chance to see the wonderful view in the light.
Activities got of to a start by assembling into teams – but to mix things up, they were based on finding matching-coloured blocks hidden somewhere on the site!
Once we had our teams, we were thrown straight into our first challenge – defending our camp from “snapping turtles” (ice packs) with many different techniques on display, including makeshift nets, flicking with sticks, tyre “boats” and even a chariot!
After a short craft break, it was time to “win lunch” by searching (with a blindfold) through bowls of mystery stuff – including spaghetti with oil, feathers and jelly – luckily there were no bugs available.
After lunch we went on a short walk to see the local waterfall, which was an impressive sight.
Then it was time to try our hands at long distance communication – without phones! There were a few techniques tried out at first, but eventually everyone settled on spelling the words with their arms and legs – quite a challenge!
Of course, you can’t travel to a desert island and not try to make a map. Luckily, we had one to copy – at the other end of the site! Eventually, everyone ended up with a good map of our island – including everything that got added as the task went on.
As dinner was eaten and evening fell it was time for the traditional campfire – once we eventually got it to light! (Thanks to the Welsh weather for making the wood nice and damp!)
Everyone appreciated the extra hour in bed on Sunday morning, because it was time to raid the leftovers, pack up and go home, but not before the closing ceremony and a performance of the “Lettuce Dance”!
Thanks to Aberystwyth for hosting/putting up with us at the weekend, and thanks to Swansea and Bangor for coming along as well! Hopefully, none of our Freshers have been scared away by seeing what a weekend with us is like!