Golden Givendale

Dawdling has never felt so indulgent. The cries of the benign but boisterous mob of youngsters echoed from the steep valley sides, as they charged distantly down-dale.

An unexpected bonus of helping out at the Givendale scout camp last week was the stunning golden rays of evening sunshine, the beautiful wolds landscape, the long shadows, the mighty trees and the blissful peace and birdsong of Givendale…

… It was shattered only by the cacophony of shrill, gleeful shrieks as a couple of dozen nine and ten year old Cubs were unleashed down the track to this hidden valley scout camp.

We are so grateful for the re-commencement of outdoor Cub Scouts evenings, which are now allowed again, outdoors and with Covid measures in place.

As a designated adult helper for the evening’s scouting capers I would have to catch them up soon enough.

There was time, though, before they were corralled, quelled and briefed, for me to snatch a few moments of communion with this beautiful place. I captured some photographic grabs of silence, majestic sunbeams, still shadows. Meanwhile youthful exuberence some quarter-mile ahead was tamed and Cub Scouts calmed… Long enough at least to reach them with quickened-pace and still be ready to receive my allocated quotient – Six of them plus an Explorer, to teach them fire-lighting and marshmallow toasting.

We are fortunate to have this hidden gem only twenty minutes’ drive from home. So strange not to have explored it other than with the scout group. (I have once spent a night there under canvas, when our bundle of joy was a new and wide-eyed Beaver.)

We are more fortunate still to have amazing, patient scout leaders who will take these young bundles of effervescent energy and take them off our hands for one or two hours every week to let them safely let off steam.

Last week it was my privilege and pleasure to accompany them. This week, without a shred of guilt we had the rare gift of an unhindered grocery shopping trip, a take-out coffee and a quiet layby with leverets and a lovely view. That’s a story for another time, though. The leverets, not the shopping…

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