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Summer Camp 2011

For the first time in a good number of years the club held a ‘proper’ Summer Camp, once again in the beautiful English Lake District.  The camp was held over the weekend of 16th & 17th July 2011 with the added bonus of a Karate training course hosted by Askam Karate Club on Saturday and our Annual Sponsored Walk* on the Sunday.

*The sponsored walk raises funds for our Annual Club-Only championships.

The weather was truly terrible, with heavy rain storms and zero visibility on some parts of the M6 (Motorway/Highway). Despite this we still managed to get a number of our own students to the training course which was a 60 min drive from the camping site. Some of the families with younger children rather sensibly decided to head straight to the camp site.

The training was a good mix of Kihon (basics), Kata (form) and Kumite (fighting) and was led primarily by the Hartlepool Wadokai instructors. It was great to see everyone trying extra hard when stood alongside someone from a different club, it made the training session even more enjoyable. Askam club treat us all to some delicious hot dogs and drinks before heading north to the camp site. On behalf of the club I’d like to thank Sensei Matt & Sensei Danny for their hospitality and hope to do it again some time soon.

The rest of Saturday evening was taken up with setting tents, playing lots of football/cricket, dodging the rain storms and lots of eating, drinking and general merriment. Amy and Carl also rather sensibly scouted out the proposed walk route for Sunday. The intended route ended up being a temporary swamp due to the heavy rainfall, so Plan B was decided upon. Walk from the camp site along Ullswater Lake to Pooley Bridge, and a bit of a walk from there.

We won’t talk about the fact that Plan B included a gentle walk up a hill, that promised spectacular views across Ullswater Lake. Naturally the view was blocked by overgrown trees (or we were at the wrong viewing spot), so the successful mountaineers were treated to an enthusiastic ‘high five’ by Carl instead.

We also won’t talk about the second part of the walk which involved a pretty walk to Dacre castle, which was abandoned due to adverse weather and a particularly busy road crossing that we didn’t fancy with a bunch of kids. So the castle became known as the ‘mystical pink castle’… with some of the parents believing that the castle doesn’t actually exist, much like the view from the top of the hill…. I guess you really had to be there.

Despite the typical British weather, the lack of views at the top of the hill, and an invisible castle everyone had a great time and even in the occasional spells of heavy rain, spirits weren’t dampened.

We’ve decided to make the camping trip an annual event from next year, we’ll find that castle some day!

Just for the record… the castle DOES exist, see below :-p

Pics courtesy of http://www.visitcumbria.com/pen/dacre-castle.htm