Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting ready for winter

Above : Local explorers suddenly realise that there are slightly more tyres to be moved than Barrie had told them about...

Hopefully we should have an update and photos from last weekend's Jamboree On The Air very soon, but in the meantime here's a quick review of the past few weekends.

The winter's definitely well on its way and with the reduction in campers there's been a wee shift from all-activity weekends to maintenance and project work. There's been loads going on both outside and indoors, including...Dingly Dell being reclad in the same style as the staffhut and reception (see below), ongoing work in the staffhut and the biggest task - moving all the tyres from the quad track.

Above : Taking no chances in case the trailer gets a puncture on the way to scout camp

Although the centre has been running quad bike sessions for a few years now, it's been decided to stop offering this due to the high maintenance costs and problems with both reliability and the state of the quad track, expecially in bad weather (plus the rising fuel costs!). The plan now is to turn the quad area (next to the zipline) back to a camping area, which should be very useful for big events. Last weekend, phase one of the project was started when a big group of local explorers led by Fellowship member Barrie popped along to help out as a service project. Phase two will involve working out the best way to either use or dispose of the tyres in the best way, and we're already talking to a few local companies about the options.

Above : Add your own caption

Another task which needed to be carried out before the winter was the annual turning-off of all the outside water taps in the field a few weeks ago. Armed with radios, a crack team of staff were sent out to all the taps in the site to make sure all the pipes were properly emptied. All went well, except for Ali who (accidentally of course) was sent to the only tap which wasn't connected to the same water system as the others, with a radio which didn't work. After standing for well over 15 minutes with his tap still pouring out torrents of water, it became apparent that something was wrong as the rest of the staff had long since disappeared back to the hut to get a cup of tea.

Anyway, more news very very soon but here are a few photos for now...

Above : Nice new-look Dingly Dell

Above : Huge new notice board or small Craig?

Above : Britain's inflation problems start to hit Fordell after the global credit crunch

Above : Rare photograph of cloud-to-cloud rain refuelling phenomenon