Dragnet Camp 2012

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On the 16th - 18th March, we had our annual "operation dragnet", which is when we camp over a weekend with the focus being the Saturday, On the Saturday, the Young Leaders become a hunter patrol. The Patrols - normally led by their PL's, spend the day hiking using army ration packs whereas the "hunter patrol" go around in full combats and hunt the patrols by either taking their lives (cotton wrapped around their wrists) or preferably taking the nicer items from their ration packs.

We arrived on the Friday, and put up our tents. Young leaders have their own tents so we didn't have to put up the 'traditional' patrol tents. The scouts took ages to do this. The young leaders (yl's) set up the food packs and radios etc... while we waited. 
The scouts then collected their ration packs and practiced using a trangia by making hot chocolate on them. After that, the scouts planned their routes for the next day before playing a wide game where they had to 'steal' a torch off us (the yl's), and then going to bed. The leaders and yl's then chatted for about 30mins before also going to bed.

We woke up the next morning and packed up all our stuff, as well as dressing partially in combats. We left ahead of the first patrol and set up our ambush in a quad bike track that they'd have to cross. The first patrol (Kestrel's) came through first, and we successfully got all of their lives. The patrol then responded by running off with one of our day sacs.
After we'd got our day sacs back, and the Hawks had moved on, we waited for the next patrol (Eagles). They went for the run as fast as you can and re-group later technique, however we still caught them all. Most of the patrol then went off, and accidentally left two members of the patrol in the wood, who we had to return to the patrol before they got too far away. We then waited in the same place for about half and hour until after talking to the other two patrols over the radio we realised that they had gone wrong and wouldn't go past our ambush point.
We then went to the cars which drove us ahead of all the patrols to another ambush point. We ambushed the Merlins, who had somehow massively overtaken all the other patrols, first and quickly sent them on there  way. PJ and Lewis - two of the leaders, than met us and helped us ambush the Eagles and then the Hawks as they came through. The Kestrels then came through the wrong gate which meant that they saw us before we could ambush them. We made a quick emergency get-a-way in the cars so that we leapfrogged in front of them until we found a spot where we stopped for lunch with the Hawks, who were now in the lead by a long way. After the hour of truce was over, the Hawks left and we waited for the other patrols. We were 'camped' at a crossroads which each patrol would have to come through twice (except the Hawks who had already been through twice and the Merlins who had already been through once).
We cooked our lunch while we waited for the other patrols. The Eagles came through first, then the Kestrels, then the Merlins, then the Eagles again and finally the Kestrels did there second crossing.
After they past, we met up with Simon just as it was beginning to rain. Half of us then went back to the campsite while me and Alex went with James and Lewis to keep tabs of the Eagles and Kestrels who were both going quite slowly because of the rain and where quite a long way behind where they should have been.
We played 'sweat box' and listened to Disney songs in the car while we waited for the patrols to reach us.
When they did reach us, Lewis and I got out, while Alex and the most tired scouts, were driven nearer to the campsite. Lewis and I then attempted to motivate the scouts as we walked them further along the route while James dropped off the scouts he'd taken and then came back. The next 'batch' of the scouts then went back in the car and Lewis and I took the last 3 or 4 on to a petrol station where we waited for James. When James had come back, and taken the final 3 or 4 scouts, he finally came back and took us straight to the campsite where Tom was just about to leave (he wasn't staying for the second night). While the final few scouts came in, I went with James and one particularly cold looking scouts to the fish&chip shop where we picked up the nights dinner from a incredibly scary Chinese lady.
When we got back, we ate and chatted around the campfire for the rest of the night. Kathryn from WSJ also turned up because her parents had been invited by Simon as they are district commissioners for the area.
After the campfire we all went to bed.

The next morning, Alex and I sorted breakfast out for the scouts and drinks for the leaders before helping Lewis to set up a blind ropes trail.
Before lunch, the troop was split in two, I went with the Kestrels and the Hawks, and did archery first with Simon and PJ, followed by the blind ropes trail. We then had lunch, followed by striking camp and cleaning the hut. At about 4, we went home and the camp was over.

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