Beamish Sleepover – first night away in 24 months.

Date: 12th Dec 2021 Author: Karen Blake

After 24 months without a single night away together we did it; last weekend we took 28 young people and 8 adult volunteer leaders and we had an amazing night away at Beamish, the living museum of the North East.

It was a first for a lot of adults as well as young people, here’s what one of our new adult volunteers had to say.

How it started: “Do you want to go to Beamish?” said Karen, “it will be a lot of fun” and, with the exception of her enthusiastic encouragement for an impromptu rendition of Wind the Bobbin up (universally considered, in our house, as being the worst song it the world) while sat in a railway station, it really was.

As a group we; walked for miles, travelled on trains, buses and trams, went down a mine, stroked a pony, experienced life in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s, wrote postcards home, were extremely relieved that the weather stopped us from mucking out the pigs and horses, had fish and chips, and hot chocolate, went to school, slept in our sleeping bags in a big old building, were kept awake by 2 chiming clocks (the female leaders won’t be sleeping in that room again!), trekked through the muddy countryside over rivers and stiles, managed not to need the first aid kit, played some games, lost (and found) numerous gloves and hats, listened to a brass band, worked closely together in different age range groups and with different leaders, ended the weekend fit and well and just a little bit tired, and did, genuinely, have lots of fun.

Beamish Sleepover – first night away in 24 months.

Beamish Sleepover – first night away in 24 months.

Highlights –

  1. Seeing the sheer determination of our young people to get involved in everything with a smile on their faces (usually!) and their amazing resilience even though it was a mixed combination of raining, snowing, cold and dark all through the weekend.
  2. All of our young people being asleep by 11.30pm which meant that the leaders could get a few hours well-earned rest.

Lowlights – (apart from Wind the Bobbin up!) Drying everything off when we returned home – including my cuddly toy.

How it ended: I haven’t been on a scouting organized overnight event since I was about 15, which means it’s a very distant memory. Was it as much fun as I remember having then – definitely. Would I want to do it again, most definitely!! Our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts are a pleasure to be with.

But can we have less rain and snow next time please Karen and Mark. 

Gary, Section Assistant – Scouts.


Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls