14th May, 2014
Just as the rest of their classmates were readying themselves for a cushy Weekend Leave indoors, eight boys from Merchiston Juniors Second and Third Forms set off on the back-roads to adventure.
Blakerston Camp is about independence: pitching your own camp, building and cooking your own meals over an open fire, taking water from the river for cooking drinking and cleaning, and generally getting to enjoy the wild surrounds that nature can offer.
The group settled into camp well on the Friday evening, with a host of woodland games, stone-skimmers, burgers, and some cosy but comfy tented sleeping arrangements. Calls to lie-in until eight the next day were heartily ignored so that by the time of morning breakfast delights (‘coco-pops-in-the-box’ sausages and home-drenched honey-glazed bacon) there were plenty of sleepy eyes around camp.
Saturday got off to a wet start with some wood collecting, cutting and carving, before the sun came out and the boys readied themselves for some boating, tree-climbing and a swim in the Whiteadder.
By the end of the day, with full tummies, a few tall-tales and ghost-stories, the spooked campers got themselves to bed with some nervous chatter and the muffled sound of snapping twigs.
The adults were allowed a conservative lie-in on the Sunday (hooray!) before the day got going with a visit to the hilltop Brough across the river for a touch of history, ‘Picts and Celts’ games, and a pairs downhill race back to the river.Safe to say that there were some, mucky, sleepy yet happy and fulfilled lads returning to Pringle House on the Sunday evening.