Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saturday 22nd July 1933

We awoke at 6.40a.m. and decided to get up. We did at 7.40a.m.

The visiting Guides arrived at 9.30 and we met them from the bus, with nervousness which soon vanished. Four staff and over 30 girls. The sun shone. Their squeals of delight at seeing the camp! And the tent they tried to erect and the water they fetched! Thrilling boat journeys. They were plucky and dared to cross by the breeches buoy from the island. Dinner with the staff. Guide – cooked chop and potatoes.

Later I inspected the Patrol sites. Very tidy but the cooking fires were reminiscent of the 5th of November. Jack had to leave to catch the Leicester train. Summoned home by his wonderful girl, whose name is May.

(2004 - Jack and May were married, I met them a few years later. I was with them on their honeymoon in London! They lived together for many years until parted by death, and had 3 daughters: Rhona, Susan and Jackie. To Susan I am Uncle Steve.)

A few Scouts for week end camp. More adventurous boating and some work for me. Put up the camp bell. Tea with the ladies. Afterwards came “Captain” a small blue eyed girl. Matron had postponed departure and we now held a camp fire, though it was not yet dark. Captain was Camp Fire Chief, wearing my blanket as a ceremonial robe. Scouts were hopelessly out numbered but produced one or two good stunts. Guides were good at singing but knew no stunts at all, so liked ours. The close. “Thank you” from Matron, a tall gaunt friendly person. Cheers. Prayers. “Taps”. “Day is done. Gone the sun. From the lakes; from the hills; from the sky. All is well! Safely rest. God is nigh.”

Made many friends during the day. “That is to say I have been happy.” Darkness. The six scouts and I had supper, round the embers of the fire. My first night of responsibility. Happy days like these make me wonder if I shall be strong enough to end them, voluntarily. Can I greet my fate with laughter and accept it calmly? Less than two months now. (This was first written in my tent, after midnight, while the camp slept).

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