Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Bivouacs and Bacon Butties

Posted: October 13, 2014 at 09:52 am Author: Karen

On a Friday night in early October, 24 senior guides and their leaders from Mid Gloucestershire Division braved the elements, the wildlife and the dark (even the compost loo), to be the first community group to spend the night at Westonbirt Arboretum.

Opting to make their own bivouacs rather than pitch tents, the group set up their temporary homes in Silk Wood before cooking dinner for 30 on the campfire.

First community camping group

After washing up by torchlight, we headed out into Silk Wood to explore the trees by moonlight. Not a great deal of wildlife was heard except a lone female tawny owl - no one was brave enough to shine their torches into the trees to see what could be seen moving around in the undergrowth.

Back to camp for chocolate bananas (lots of chocolate bananas!) before bed and for some, their first ever camping experience. A predicted weather change in the early hours meant a few midnight adjustments to the community team’s shelter! All was then quiet apart from the loud sound of the strong breeze in the trees and the occasional owl or two, who chose to hang out above our shelter.

First camping experience

Camp breakfast

Thankfully the rain stayed away until nearly 7am - which was time to wake up anyway. As the girls dismantled their shelters, staff cooked up the bacon and one group started on the mammoth task of buttering 100 slices of bread!

Back to the woods

All fed, but slightly damp and very tired, we headed back through the woods to meet waiting parents. Packing is never as neat on the trip home and both girls and wheel barrows were loaded up as high as possible, much to the amusement of the few early dog walkers!

Thank you to all who took part and made this wild night out possible.