The first half of Jungle Camp Launch Day entailed earning map reading and navigation, then packing our bags to near capacity with personal kit and then having to reassess after seeing the amount of group kit we had to carry. Once we had gaffa taped and bungee corded additional items to the fronts of our packs, and said goodbye to Splatches the dog, we were ready for the off!
A hike up the hill with our 20kg-plus backpacks soon had us all sweltering in the blazing sun, and by the time we reached our location for risk assessment training a few of us were a lovely shade of scarlet. Our setting was a bridge across a beautiful valley – but being an old railway bridge, it was a great place to train practically on how to assess and control risk and make a decision on whether to proceed in certain situations. The outcome was of course to take a different route! At Raleigh, we have a huge Health and Safety focus, so our VMs and Venturers (and their families) can rest assured that everything we do is considered with the utmost care.
Once that training was over we really were on our own – groups of 6 or 7 went off as we all hollered ‘hasta manana’ to our compadres.
Off we trekked to our campsites, the clouds already rolling in...a few of us managed to pitch our tents and radio into Fieldbase before the rain started to pour. And boy did it pour. Luckily my group (Whisky 1) had the saviour of a sheltered area to cook in, some groups not so lucky! But heck, we weren’t on Jungle Camp for an easy ride!
After a delicious supper of pasta and tinned tuna, and a review of the day, we retired to bed – at 7.30pm! It goes dark at 6pm here in Costa Rica, all year round, and the 5am start meant none of us felt like losers to have retired before Corrie had started back home!
Day 1 accomplished. Day 2 update to follow...