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Going away on camp for the first time might initially seem to be a daunting experience for most young people. They are wrapped up in cotton wool from the day they are born until they finally leave home when they are, most likely, adults. Surely they are not going to survive on a week’s camp when there is no one to do their washing up, tidying up or laundry? No one is going to cook their food for them or tuck them up in bed. It’s all down to them.


But they do survive. And some of them survive rather too well, with the minimum of fuss and effort.


Then comes the letter home.


Unused to writing letters, they are usually keen to tell their parents or other relatives everything that is going on. They don’t cogitate, ponder or think beforehand. They just write. And when they write they put a child’s thoughts and feelings into an adult world. Uncensored and unstructured, these letters home can delight, infuriate and bewilder their recipients. They are often priceless works of literature to treasure forever.


Letters Home from Scout and Guide Camp includes extracts from one hundred of the best which will make you gasp, chortle, laugh and maybe even cry.

Dear mum

Cindy has brought her cat on camp and [guide leader] doesn’t know. She stuck it in our tent (six girls plus Cobweb - that’s the cat’s name) but she hadn’t brought any food for it. She said that she’ll just give it what we eat because cats are carnifores. Last night Cindy fed it with the leftovers from our chilli con carney and Daisy smuggled in some strawberry ice cream and in the night Cobweb was really sick all over Lucy’s sleeping bag with Lucy in it. This morning Lucy told [guide leader] but didn’t say it was Cobweb. Now Cindy’s been sent to the sick bay and Cobweb’s run away.

Love from Melissa xxx


Dear mum

Derek’s been arrested. We went to the supermarket today to get food for our backwoods cooking competition. When we were at the check out Derek fainted. [Leader] took off Derek’s beanie and underneath he found a frozen chicken.

Love Mark x