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Zippy's Nights Away Record
Monday, 1 September 2014
Topic: Record

2nd to 9th August.

WINGS is a jamboree  held every 5 years in the deer park at Windsor, Imade J-W cycle there with all the camp stuff only two days after coming back from Iceland!  We did about 28 miles going as J-W tried to use the cycle ways and back roads.  The weather was good.  How come you humans think it is a good idea to only put a single sign on a four way roundabout, and that will be on one of the exits so you can only see it as you leave the roundabout, or have no signs on them at all.  J-W was not best pleased.  We took about 2.5 hours to get to Windsor. 

Sarah Jane of the Gojam crowd found us as we were setting up the red tunnel tent.

We were given a bag of goodies, but they were no sweets! So how can that be a goodie bag.  Found some of the archery team on that evening, so was able to arrange when to go over the next day to the site at Bears Rails, and there were no train tracks or other Bears there!  Did meet up with some of the Archery Crew from 5 years ago, Mike and Ducky from the USA and Toady who ran it last time. J-W's socks got full of the arrow type seeds from the long grass in the park.  This was not so much of a problem after the first couple of groups of kids had walked over the route.  Had to go back in the evenings to the main site.  We also meet up with Mary and her guides again, including one from last time.  We went round to her site and got given food.  Also on camp were Cranleigh Scouts, and Robin from S&P was there with the unit from where he is based now. We also found Mary's Mum's unit as well.  Are you confused yet?

They had this large event tent they had given a funny name to, some thing a Squircul of something. (J-W here, it was the front of Square and back or circle).  J-W had fun with the word, so got to calling it the squirrel.  Saw some Explorers from Guildford on the junior work team.

 J-W got me my own beer glass to sit in.  We also had a go at playing and teaching Kubb, the fun game we had been using in Iceland in the Past Zone.  J-W was ok as long as he had more than one stick to throw.

J-W was scanned into the food tent and on and off the main site, but they missed me each time.  The plastic forks and knives liked exploding and going all over the place.

We were meant to have taken down on Saturday, but we did it all in an hour on Friday. So on Saturday morning we went round and round in circles in a truck picking up and dropping off all the camp kit for the units, so they could load the coaches quickly. What is it with guides and welly boots, do the leaders own the factories!

Due to the forcast of some really bad weather on Sunday I let J-W pack up in the afternoon of Saturday and then cycle home about 3pm.  It was a bit windy from the front most of the time and we started with the hills as a warm up for J-W's legs.

8 nights, making 212 nights in total.

Posted by ny/jwbrown at 8:46 PM BST
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Saturday, 30 August 2014
Landsmot 2014.
Topic: Record

14th to 30th July 2014.

We went on one of those plane things again and went to Iceland again.  We were up graded from the seats by the door to comfort class! So we got to sit in a darkened room in the airport and on the plane J-W could have the normal food without having to pay for it!  Also the seat was one of a pair not of a three, do you think the airline knows some of the seats have left.

Landed about 3pm, so got to the camp site about 5pm.  The coach was quite full.  At the camp site it was a bit confusing as where we had camped last time is now under paving and a new building they were still moving into.  Also there was a second new loo block.

Found some Danish Scouts on site.  Also on Wednesday night J-W found 4 French Leaders who were also going to be IST at the Jamboree.

We went to the open air musesum again, the engine and vechile sheds were being altered so they were shut!  There were diffent short term displays in the biuldings.  No Scout display this time.  We walked two different routes to get to the museum. J-W got a bit wet.  J-W forgot to ask for milk with the Tea!  He got given a selection, so tried the green tea.

We allso went around some of the bits or Reykjavik again, and some new bits on the other day.

Got up earily on Thursday to get cleared away before 06:30 and onto the bus to the bus station.  We may have been able to get the free transfer bus, but we were not sure.  The buses are strange as there is one fixed fare and the bus has a display which tells you when you are getting near the next stop and what it is!  So you ring the bell when it changes.  Also you get off in the middle of the bus.  Along with the french 4 we went into the Bus station to find a whole load of others in different Scout Uniforms.  The Bus was one from the noth and it was very late turning up.  BSI is the bus station and BIS is what the Iceland Scouts are known as.  THe rep from BIS got on the phone. THe driver seemed to have gone to the BIS headquarters the other sode of town.

 We went the long way to Akureyri up the middle, via the scout camp site and a few places where we got wet and cold.  Ok at one place we got hit by a Geysir, so hot, wet, and suplhur smelling.  We stopped on the highlands route for photo stops and at some hot springs for tea.  We final got to Hamrar near Akureyri at midnight, and it is lighter at the north end of the island that down south.

J-W was in the Past Zone doing metal work, pioneering, rabbit catching and sword fighting!  During the build he put up lots of different tents, the mordern ones were some of the worst and hardest.  One of th older ones ripped around the pole and eyelets.  We had 6 sets of sides but only 2 sets of tops and poles to make the three main tents everything linked to.  We were incharge of putting up the sacking fence.  Hardy made a neddle out of wood to speed things up.  We got covered in metal dust the day J-W put clean trousers on!  As he was cutting aluminium blanks using an angle crinder.  It di mean we had enough for the rest of camp.  We were mainly open in the afternoons, so we were loaned out in the mornings or evenings.

The scouts were catching rabbits, we started with four and sent 9 back to the zoo.  The Vikings named them, left glove, right glove, hat, and some other names.  The two cows were Beef-burger and T-bone Steak.

On the metal working base J-W made up a demo peice which I ended up wearing, so I was important!

We found a number of the IST from last time, including the one person from Assie.  He had some scouts with him this time.  One crahed on the bikes and broke their arm.  We had a wander around the town a couple of times. J-W had an hour walk each way the time we all went in.  We got followed by some horses at one point.

On the last Sunday we stripped the whole site and got every thing onto pallets or into containers.  So we had Monday off for going to Akureyri.

The sky was funny as it would go all weird colours in the evening, but was ok next morning.

Another funny thing, was that the people who made the flags got it wrong. They took the 100 flags and sewed them to the 100 banners, so the flags were the wrong way round on one side.  The really weird bit is that J-W did not manage to take a single photo of the wrong side of the flags.  He also did not photo the small viking tents I liked!

We did the shorter route back on Tuesday.  It is longer but quicker.  It was really cloudy and wet for most of the trip.  But back at Reykjavik the mountains were finally visable for the first time this trip.  We camped with a whole load of the other IST at the camp site, but just for the one night as we had to go home on the Wednesday.  The pick up coach was a bit late, and a polish girl was a bit worried about we would miss the coach to the air port.  We chatted with her on the trip to the airport about how much more travel we would need to do after landing.  She would not be getting home ot about 3am.

We were meant to have left at 4pm, we were still in the airport then.  We had to get onto a bus to go out to our plane out on the far side of the airport.  We were 50 minutes late, so we missed the 21:15 bus at Heathrow and got the 22:15, so we did not get back to Woking until almost 11 which is after the last bus from Guildford, so J-W had to breakout his phone and get a lift.

16 nights away. 204 nights away in total. Next badge please!


Posted by ny/jwbrown at 6:16 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 30 August 2014 6:17 PM BST
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Monday, 23 June 2014
Topic: Record

On the May bank holiday we went down to Liphook with S&P Cubs.  We went down on Friday and the Cubs came on Saturday.  We seemed to loss a lot!  By Monday lunch we were down to 7 from 13. Ok three planned early leavers and three form one family for other reasons. 

J-W Trina were on food duty on the saturday, so I was chief cook! Pizza anyone.

3 nights away, so 188 total!


Posted by ny/jwbrown at 7:42 PM BST
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Thursday, 17 April 2014
New Forest Trip Again!
Topic: Record

Trip was on the 7th to 9th April 2014.

This is the yearly trip for Scouts (and sometimes Explorers) from Guildford East Scout District. We load them onto a couple of different trains and kick them out at Ashurst Station. They then walk for two half days and a fullday in the middle. As normal we stayed at Fernycroft and Foxlease Camp Sites.

It was wet on the Monday, it drizzled / rained the whole time we were walking.  We were hidden in the woods at Ferny, so J-W had to hunt around a bit to find the right group of tents.

As normal some of the Scouts had no water proof trousers, and then when on site took off the waterproof tops, and were just wearing fluffy tops, when they had no other tops, whilst it was still raining. Even I know this is not good.  I stayed in J-W's bag most of the time, until he got the tent up.  We found a lizard whilst out walking.

Dryer on the Tuesday, J-W took the 6 youngest Scouts, so we only did about 6 or 7 miles. We were still out for about 6 hours. Got rained on at our first water stop. Weather was much better.  One of the Scouts tried to lift J-W's bag and it did not move at all!

Last day, we got to the bit where we go off trail, but there are warning signs up as they have been digging up explosives from the 1st WW. We had to stay on the paths.

Two more Nights Away, making 185.

Posted by ny/jwbrown at 8:35 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2014 8:36 PM BST
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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Frost Camp sort of
Topic: Record

J-W got muddled about which month this was in so we only did one night.

Very wet under foot.  There was a stream running through the car park and down the lower third of the field.  We did archery shooting and the badge swapping.  J-W got shot, due to one of the pellet cathers  being damaged.  IT got thrown away.  We also helped with running the laser tag base whilst doing the swapping, as it was run out of the nest.  Most of the sites had a stream going through them as there has been that much rain in the last couple of weeks.


One night away.184 nights away in total.


J-W forgot also to put the Christmas Camp on here.  We were with S&P at the Barn at Bentley Copse.  We had about 30 kids.  The Cubs were still   awake at 2:30 and got J-W up at about 06:45 as one of them had been sick in his sleep.  We did a lot of crafts themed around Christmas.


2 nights away. 183 total.

Posted by ny/jwbrown at 4:15 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 2 February 2014 4:35 PM GMT
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Saturday, 24 August 2013
Poacher 2013
Topic: Record

27th July to 3rd August 2013.



Me with Becks, one of the GoJammers.

 So I was not sure when J-W said we were going Poaching for a week.

Turns out this is the name of a Jamboree held in Lincolnshire every four years.

We travelled up to Lincoln by train, had fun as the underground trains were not all working, so we had to do more changes than planned.  We sat on Peterbourgh rail station for the best part of two hours in full sun shine.

When we got on site after a taxi ride, we got signed in but J-W was not given an I.D. badge as his email with his picture got lost.  He was told to come back two days later to get it.

Jo who had travelled with us from Woking fell over before we put the tents, up and broke a bone in her foot.  J-W had to put her tent up for her whilst she went to hospital to get plastered.  Whilst there she found out that another leader was brought in on Gas and Air for a twisted ankle.  This was Stuwart, who I have known since 2007.


J-W was working on the Archery Base which was being run by an Archery Team from Hampshire.  We were doing Field, Clout, and Poppingjay styles.  J-W had great fun trying all the different bases out.  We were also watching out all the time for some red aircraft which were flying around close together with funny coloured smoke coming out the back.

We had a tree made of pipe insulation, which ended up growing poly' cups and a bread role fruit, by the end of the week.

One of the sub camps was themed on 'The Toy Box'  this was being staffed by a number of the Go Jamboree crowd and some Guides from Buckinghamshire.  Also Nunnable of the Go Jammers was in charge of a unit and was camped against the Sub camp office.  We sent a couple of evenings helping out on the sub camp.

Turns out a lady called Jenny who we had camped with back in 2005 at Eurojam is a Leader with Nunnables unit.

We helped Stuwart run a Camp fire whilst he was still on crutches.

As Jo was on crutches we needed help in getting home again. We found out there were about ten others from Surrey present including three of the County Team.  They were able to take Jo's large bag back for us and drop it off the next week.

It was a lot quicker going home as our longest weight was about 25  minutes at Lincoln station.  We got there in a minibus with a load of guides from the top half of Scotland.  It was fun  trying to get Jo on and off of the moving stair thingies at the Underground stations.

Seven nights, 181 nights total.

Posted by ny/jwbrown at 10:19 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 25 August 2013 3:22 PM BST
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One more night
Topic: Record

May Bank Holiday, one night at Bentley Copse helpin out on site and helping with  S&P's camp.  Took hours to walk to Shere and back with their Cubs.

One night, 174 in total.

Posted by ny/jwbrown at 8:10 PM BST
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Sunday, 7 April 2013
New Forest Trip 2013
Topic: Record

3rd to 5th April 2013.

COLD and WINDY.  I stayed in J-W's pocket as much as possible.  Max of about 6 degrees and 0 degrees at night.  Now last time we did this the Scouts were swimming in the rivers, this year one of the Scouts found it hurt when he rinsed his hands off in a river.

This year we only had about 40 scouts and leaders for the trip.

We got trains down to Ashurst as normal, we all went the same way from the station and headed for the normal lunch stop in the woods.  J-W ended up taking the three Shalford  Scouts through the boggy bit he likes going in on the first day.  Only problem is he took the top route and found that in the last two years the gravel covered bridge had disappeared. Luckly the Scouts could jump across.  One of them fell over, but not in the bog.

The Scouts actually got a fire going in the evening and played wide games to keep warm.

Did not think much of the small amount of snow we had over the day.

Next morning it was no warmer, but J-W said the showers were quiet hot.  We left site with 3 scouts, but ended up with the Shalford 3 and the 2 Young Leaders with them for about the last 9/10ths of the distance.  It was windy and cold.  There was more light snow which did not settle. Even with the scouts singing songs we still saw one herd of deer, and found the joined bones of what looked like the back leg of a deer.  J-W got really muddy at the underpass.  The scouts again made a fire to keep warm.

On the last day J-W had all 6 of the scouts from the day before but no Young Leaders.  We did end up picking up a spare scout from another group mid morning, so we ended the day with 7 scouts!  Again the scouts let J-W set the base route, so we ended up getting wet in the last couple of km's.

I spent most of the time in J-W's pockets with the zip done up as it was so cold.

2 nights away making 173 in total.


Posted by ny/jwbrown at 2:30 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 7 April 2013 2:31 PM BST
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Sunday, 23 December 2012
14th to 16th December 2012. Cub Camp.
Topic: Record

We went to Bentley Copse on Friday Evening, with a couple of bags full of camping kit and craft stuff, and J-W's mum as well.

We set up in the barn at Bentley, where J-W had to string up a couple of sets of Christmas Lights.  The string stretched, so he had to adjust them a couple of times.

We were up and had breakfast before 8, the leaders then finished setting up, for the Cubs to arrive around 10.30.

It got a bit confusing as we had Cubs from 1st Shalford and Shere & Peaslake, as it was a joint camp with a summer holiday theme.  Well the weather felt about the same as we had in Iceland.

We had the cubs using food dyes, so they ended up with multicoloured fingers.  J-W ran away in the morning to try out the walk we would do in the evening.  This was fun as the  ditches at one point flooded the path.

One half of the cubs was awake before 7 and the other half wehad to wake up.

anyone know how with only about 22 cubs we ended up with two unclaimed pillows?

Nights Away +2 = 171.


Posted by ny/jwbrown at 2:13 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 23 December 2012 2:14 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Iceland holiday and Jamboree 2012.
Topic: Record

Dates, are a funny dark coloured fruit! Dates, 12th July to 30th July 2012.

Location, a place called Iceland, which had more rocks than ice, so it may need to change its' name.

So J-W loaded up his Jamboree bags from last  year with a lot of kit we do not normally take on Jamboree trips, like cookers and thermals!

We got on a bus around 9am and went to a shop in Guildford to get the money we would need in Iceland.  This should have been quick as there were only two people ahead of us.  But the first persons money was not behaving and it took them 5 goes to count it. They were going to about 5000 in 5's 10's and 20's!

Got a train to Woking, at Guildford Station, got asked where we were going by a girl who saw J-W's Jamboree Bag, as she had been at the Jamboree last year. At Woking only had a 5 minute wait for the coach to leave.  Got checked in at Heathrow just before 11, after riding the escalters which are lazy and only go along. At the boarding gate, J-W spoke to a lady who had lots of badges on a rucksack.  Turns out she was also a Scout Leader from the USA, who was going back via Iceland, to go on her summer camp.

So the airport in Iceland is a lot smaller than Heathrow, and we went up and down and around past where we got off the plane.  The coach took about 30 minutes to load up and go and drove on the wrong side of the road, which is ok as all the other vechiles were doing the same.  J-W said Iceland would be colder than in Surrey, but it was sunny and hot!  We got dropped off by the coach at the Reykavik Camp Site.  We got the tent up and then went to a supermarket nearby around 7pm, which was 6pm due to the clocks in Iceland being slower than our clocks here.  J-W had fun playing guess the flavour, as Icelandic does not just use different spellings, it uses a lot of extra letters as well.

J-W was in luck as the camp site has a kitchen area with 4 electric hot plates, so he did not need to buy fuel for his stove.  The hot water here comes from the ground! They have to cool it down, and it still comes out of the tap very very hot.  Also as J-W found when in the shower, the hot water smells of sulphur.  The other strange thing is the sun here does not set until 11pm and then it hids just below the edge, so it does not get dark. When we got up around 7am, the sun had already been up for about 5 hours or so.  Do you think it gets tired being up so long?

So this capital city is not really that much bigger than Guildford.There are more bike paths and the cars give way to walkers at the speed humps and crossings.  We walked all around, so got a bit dusty.  There is a black ashy dust around most roads and footpaths.

We visited the national scout centre and a museum of old buildings on the first day.  They used to just pile up rocks and turf to make buildings.  Found some scouting displays in the museum.  We did a number of other museums, a trip on a boat to see Whales, and a climb up a Glacier.  This was fun as J-W had to wear these spiky things on the bottom of his boots  and he had an ice axe.  The axe was  a bit big for me, but was good for sitting on so I did not get wet.  The glacier was a bit dirty, as it had ash all over it.  We got to see at sea a couple of Minky Whales, and a number of different birds including Puffins, which did not! We were on the boat for about 3.5 hours and it was quite cold in the wind.  Some of the other people put on this all in one padded suits, which looked a bit funny.

Whilst we were on the camp site we meet a group of dutch Rover Scouts who had been hiking across Iceland.  Turns out another couple of people we saw for a couple of days were also leaders going to the Jamboree, we only found out as they turned up at the collection point just after us on the day we went to the Jamboree site.  We had also meet a couple of groups of other scouts whilst walking around near the camp site, as the collection point ws a local school, where a lot of the overseas scouts were staying.

The coach had first loaed up in central Reykavik and then came out to the school.  There was a large group of Swedish Leaders and then some groups of USA and Canadian Leaders.  Out of the 50 or so foriegn Service Crew, there were at least 6 UK Scouts and 1 Guide Leader.  There was even one Sea Scout all the way from Korea, who had come back now for his third or fouth Icelandic jamboree. 

The Jamboree site was about an hour away in land at a lake called Ulfljotsvatn.  Parts of the road in were down the fairway of hole 7 on a golf course and also was on dirt roads.

The camp site was a great place to grow Midges, J-W gave up in the ennd and just eatthem when they got stuck on the candyfloss at the Rover Scout and IST party.  We palyed a game where you had to hit nails into a block of wood, after spinning the hammer round.  We played with a UK Guider and Swedish Scouters and a couple of the canadian and USA leaders.  The camp site is on a hill, and we were camped by the lake at the bottom, and where J-W had to work and eat was at the top of the hill.

J-W was working on the climbing tower, but spent most of the time, just watching kids abseiling!  Which seemed to just mean he stood still holding a rope.  We did go to a real mountain one day.  J-W tried leaving me on site in the tent, but I hid in the bottom of his bag.  He had put on lots of layers as it had been windy, but the side of the mountian we were on was in direct sun, but out of the wind.  We also went with all the IST up onto a giant 700 metre high ice cube in a lorry, 40 at a time.  You could see some islands which were over 80 miles away off the south coast.

Some of the Scottish Scouts and Guides got on site late on on the first day, so we had helped them get food sorted.  One of the Scottish Guide Leaders slipped whilst carrying a gas bottle back to their pitch on the first night, and broke her arm!  Her unit was staying on a couple of days afterwards, but she was at the aorport when we went home.  As was a group of the Canadian Guides, who were writing up their diary at the gate for their flight when we went to our gate.  They were a bit surpised to see us.  J-W told them it was part of the IST's job to make sure everyone made it onto their flights!

Was strange getting off the plane at Heathrow, as there was bits for the olpymic games everywhere, and the sun remembered how to go dark before 9pm!  The temperature also dropped a bit when it got dark 


Nights away = 18!  Total now 169.

Posted by ny/jwbrown at 10:59 AM BST
Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2012 1:33 PM BST
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