My son Owen had his 13th birthday on Saturday. To mark it, he had three good friends over for a camping weekend.
The boys used our medieval tent — which could probably sleep 20 boys or more.
My work colleague Rick lent me his trebuchets (siege weapons). He made them for his own kids’ parties, and they allow two teams of kids to lob fruit at each other. Here’s a clip of his kids doing this.
Rick recommends buying a box of identical apples, to allow maximum calibration — but then he’s a scientist. Allison got a box of miscellaneous over-date fruit, which meant that they sometimes flew erratically, but some of the over-ripe pears did indeed land on the intended boys. By the end, the kids could pretty consistently hit the opposing trebuchet.
I’ve mentioned Pat, one of our first wwoofers who recently came by for another visit. He and Allison came up with a treasure hunt around the farm. Each clue led to the next, requiring powers of inference and some decoding of clues. One site had marshmallows, another a firelighter, others drinks or lollies and the like. Some had a hint of danger, like the clue hidden under a chicken sitting on eggs, and the clue hidden amongst the “bulls” (long-horned Highland cows).
The kids headed off bravely, and criss-crossed the farm with Ginger the kelpie-cross in tow. What fun for her! Unfortunately they started a bit late and didn’t get the quest finished by dark.
They did in the end need some help to get their fire going, and they cooked up their sausages and potatoes. As the sausages were cooked, they were transferred to a plate … but nobody noticed that the stack never seemed to increase. Ginger the dog was stealthily helping herself!
In the end, I think Ginger got about 80% of the sausages. I found her snoring deeply and contentedly next to the campfire. The boys had plenty of chips and other junk food, so they didn’t starve.
They did try some fishing the next morning, but I think they made too much noise. Then a McDonalds lunch, and I took the visitors back to Canberra.