Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Annual Westcoast trip Barrytown knife making

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
oldbearnews editorYup - every year we take a group of scouts to our wonderful westcoast and get them to experience with a hands on practical way some real westcoast comforts - let alone crafts and history.  This year we went to Barrytown where Steve and Robyn helped us make the knives!!  The weekend started in typical westcoast fashion - the confirmation of our booking of the local community hall has got lost in the System and we were not expected.  Ended up talking well after 9pm to some locals who know someone who knew someone else . . . .    by the time we got a key and we came back the lights were on in the hall and the door open.  hmmmm scratching of heads - turns out that our Scouts - ever helpful - suggested a urm *cough* semi legal - or is that ill-legal entering via a toilet window. Problem solved. (rest assured we did catchup with the owner who left us a key and invoice, of course - he never know HOW we eventually got in)

Army style camping at Barrytown Community hall
Bunked down and settled in for the night - next day we split the group in half - one lot went of to see local Doc (department of Conservation) lady officer and checked out the track conditions in the bush, while the other half went of in search of steel and forge and excitement.Oh it should be said too that the scouts got a good old fashioned reveille wake-up call bright and early!!

 Pretty much the only time we let scouts loose with the fire - in a controlled way.  Heating up the steel until it gets to a nice orange glow!!

Shaping the steel - which determines the final look of the blade.  It helps to visualize a big bad bogey man and use that as a stimulation for the hammering!!

In-between times when you wait for instructions to the next stage you can amuse yourself with some ninja stars or little throwing axes and AIM for the wall - amazingly some occasionally missed the wall altogether!!  Even more amazingly Ruru volunteered her NIC to hang five on the wall and well - the kids missed every time!!! Pheewwww poor Nic!!  Pic to follow)

Checking out the directions and the times it takes to get there.!!  3 hour hike - should be a breeze - and luckily for us it was not raining!!

Mini-conference - last checks - time clocks co-ordinated - water levels checked - chewing gum checked - urm lets roll!! Scouts walked in to Cave Creek - scene of a tragedy with a Doc platform collapsing and killing some youth on a outdoor trip!!  The area itself is just stunning - but this particular spot will always be tinged with sadness!!

If you stop long enough to smell the roses - you can also meet some of the locals!!  After suitable introductions were made, these two got on very well!!

Continuing on the hike - after all we had previously marked out a decent spot for a lunch stop.  It was a real hike - with the track at times ankle deep (or more) in mud and at times washed out!!  There is of course plenty of  scenery to see and admire.  The scouts also passed off some of their badge requirements!!

What are the first rules in the bush??? Shelter and nourishment.  So we took with us a tarp that acted as a roof - once suitably hung from surrounding trees by ropes - and used bowlines for knots!!

You know what they say - a watched kettle never boils - or in this case a duck soup with some real wholesome veggies and pre-boiled chicken stock! All in all it was yummy and rounded of nicely with fresh fruit and some high energy chocolate muesli bars!!
After we signed back out from our hike (yup - the idea is that you let someone know where you are going and then sign back out - if you fail to do so here in NZ they will start a search and rescue mission - especially if you are several hours late) we went across the road and stomped briefly around NZ's pancake rocks! An amazing rock formation complete with blowholes (need high tide for that) and booming sounds!!

Resourcefulness is one of the attribute that spring to mind!!  The single light bulb wasn't enough to see the food in the pot, let alone if it was boiling , soooooo problem solved, and as for height issues - this little pocket rocket is very inventive indeed!! Dinner at the end of the day was Spag - bog with veggies and a self saucing chocolate pudding with ice cream!!  Calorie count - be damned for the weekend!!
With the "what happens on camp stays on camp" folklore in mind - all we can say here is that a Dad who came with us pointed out to us a certain scout and said "well done for getting him to eat his veggies!" - we won't tell his mum that!!! shhhhh our lips are sealed!!

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