six short parts of the main tent poles in each tent pack, put them together one pointed one and then the two with ferrules to make two tent poles. Now unroll the tent canvas. Rupert turn your tent over, now the two rears are facing into the corner with the point of one tent pole place in-between the two sides whilst the other one of you finds the ridge at the end there is a small hole with two ropes, put the point through the hole and stand the pole up.
The ropes are called guy ropes, Peter from your pack pick out two tent pegs and the mallet, now cross the guy ropes at the top place a tent peg in the ground and hammer it in with the mallet and then do the other side and put the ropes on the pegs, well done! . Keep the ridge tight and put the other pole in and do the same with the guy ropes while I light the fire to cook a meal’.
There was a race between the two sets of boys to be finished first. Harry shouted first. I then showed them how to take out the sides to form the tent shape and peg down the ropes, and peg the inside to the ground , that kept them busy for twenty minutes. I collected the metal oven shelves and the fire bricks and had the fire going nicely with the pan of water nearly boiling. I poured half the water from the pan. Into a metal teapot the rest of the water I split into two pans. In one of the food bags were five enamel plates and five enamel mugs knives forks and spoons. I emptied a flask of soup into each pan giving them a stir.
‘We just have time to collect the ground sheets and bedding before we eat’ there was a mass scramble down the path to the trailer grabbing everything left on the trailer then running up the path. ‘Now there are five dark green rubber sheets, each of you take one ground sheet and lay it on the grass and one bed roll closed end at the bottom roll it out on top of the ground sheet, and pull the ground sheet with the opened roll inside your tent. Then put your own bags with your clothes soap and towel inside.’
‘Mr Ned I need to go to the toilet’ ‘there was a chorus of so do I’
Find a fallen tree trunk each, with this pick hack it is used to dig holes or channels there’s one each to bury what you do including the paper, off you go, toilet rolls he shouted’ to their disappearing backs.
‘Do you think we should put that in our notes for what we did at the weekend?’ ‘It’s all part of camping,’ said Maurice they all agreed it is true. ‘Now go and wash your hands in the stream ready for your first meal.’ said Ned. They ran down to the stream. When they returned they noticed Ned had his dark green tent up and his sleeping bag inside. It also formed a triangle with the fire in the middle.
A small folding table had been set up with five bowl’s full of steaming hot vegetable broth and five thick slices of brown bread. Kneeling down at the table, they followed Ned as he ripped the bread apart and dipped it in the broth, then used his spoon for a mouthful of the vegetable mixture, ‘Be careful the veg is very hot so take your time, there is no rush, we are not in a race.’
Having eaten all his broth and bread Peter said ‘I’m thirsty’ three other voices said the same. ‘Good we will collect some leaves from the edge of the forest over there, do you know what the white dead nettle looks like?’ Harry said ‘I do! They are like nettles with white flowers on’. Ned Said ‘Can you collect six stems with lots of leaves?