Nightwatch Diary

On their wilderness trails, all of our students have to take their turn at nightwatch. For some this is scary, for others tedious but for most people – exciting.

Canterbury Gold DofE Award 2013 decided that a handing over ceremony of the nightwatch diary should happen at every shift change complete with a solemn oath with apparently got more and more complicated with each handover!

Here is what a selection of them wrote on their nightwatch.

18th August 2013 – 21:00
Matthew & Callum

We have been out on the first nightwatch in order to protect the group from wild animals.

Unfortunately as we took our stations a group of feral creatures seemed to have taken over the camp… They are ape-like and all very ugly, the fire only seems to attract them. None of them seem to posses much intelligence and so I am confident we can last the hour.

It is a lonely task we have been set in these hours of darkness. The fire must stay alight so that coffee that sweet black nectar of the Gods, may still be made.

If I don’t make it through this then give my love to my expedition group and a big kiss to Sam S and Jacque.

…the strange conversation of these creatures is slowly driving me mad…

This is the end.

Matthew out..sdfghbjnm,

18th August 2013 – 22:00
The journal of Jeremy Baker

After many long minutes watching over the camp, boredom began to set in. Naturally we played a game of Cards. As time went slowly by boredom, yet again, began to beset me. My eye was drawn to the small form of a bush cricket crawling across the table.

As I observed the insect – being taken in by its movement, Sam promptly squished it, leaving nothing but a stain, forever pummeled into the wood of the bench.



18th August 2013 – 23:00
Abbie’s night-time Journal

I feel very tired whilst sitting by the burning fire.
We have done a quick patrol of camp and saw fireflies.
However…when Laura pointed this out I heard ‘fireLIONS’ rather than ‘fireflies’ as she had actually said.

I had wondered why she’d sounded so calm!

The buzzing of all the insects is very peaceful :)

Hi to any night watchers reading this in the next few hours :)


18th August 2013 – 23:00
Jade’s night-journal

Sitting by the peaceful, hot campfire drinking a lovely cup of African tea and watching the … aaaah!..

…I have just returned from the ride of my life… a lion chased me and Abbie round camp and roared its head off, but we managed to out run him and live to tell the story.

The End.

18th August 2013 – 00:00
Laura’s hour

The hour started with the usual patrol. I had accompanied the previous night guards on their own patrols and knew the drill. Five of us went near to the water and immediately heard a plop of water. It could have been a frog, maybe a toad, a small bird or a big croc.

Probably a croc.

We then heard a rustle in the trees near a broken fence. It could have been a frog, a bush baby or a hyaena.
Two fireflies distracted us from the threat. One landed on a tree and I remembered what I had learnt from the ever knowledgeable Jeremy: That the light was produced by a chemical reaction. The firefly flew on into the night.

The rest of the hour was uneventful. We were alerted to rustles in the trees and nearby the tents but these turned out to be of the human variety.

The watch is over.
Nothing to report.

18th August 2013 – 00:00
Camp Life by Team GB
(minus Alice to the Horse Trail and Anna to sickness…)

Eva and George getting the report so far from Matt, is nothing, while trying to keep our eyes open ( I don’t like the coffee…). Anna and Olly left us fragrant gifts earlier in the bushes near our gazebo. But we really hope they get better soon so it doesn’t ruin their trip.

Hello Readers,
We are currently all sitting here in our Chromalena clearing goggles as the smoke is too much for us all. I am crying. Just seen Ollie wretching, so some of the more awake friends have rushed to his aid. Eva and I remain (and Matt who ‘enjoys’ staying up).

We have just seen a Lion which Eva approached gently and managed to stroke. All very exciting at 00:30.

18th August 2013 – 01:00

Matt’s just gone to bed leaving Molly, George, Hannah, Fran and I to monitor camp and protect our fellow companions. We can hear regular movements from within the bushes and river but no sight of any animals yet! (Hannah and I have done many checks and patrols but the main sounds seem to be coming from the boys who are snoring their heads off…”ZZZzzzz”.

We are now accompanied by Lacey and Ollie who are set away from us, Ollie’s ill, we all feel very helpless. Anna’s also unwell but nevertheless, spirits are high!

The main topic of conversation seems to be about the beds and how nice and warm they are – why have we not been given them before! The fires still burning well and we begin to count down the last 45 minutes of our shift.
Anyway, that’s enough… Enjoy and good luck to the next person on watch – protect your team!

18th August 2013 – 01:00

Hello fellow protectors,
All the team are still very much awake and doing their duty for Queen and country.
George is now off on a rant about how much he loves the Queen, claiming he will a black for days when she dies (God forbid). (Editors note: It’s on the internet now George, no changing your mind…).

Conversation is now progressing to communism, imperialism e.t.c.. all very heavy topics for this late hour in my opinion.
Team GB would like to give a shout out to Jade, Abby and Laura for waking us up 25 later than needed so our shift was shorted. Also shout out to Olly and Anna, our thoughts are with you *heart*.

Team Gb are currently playing Russian Roulette with their bowels, I quote “it’s a waiting game” “could happen at anytime”. Tensions are currently high but morale wins! Over and out!

18th August 2013 – 01:00
George #2

Back again. Camp is peaceful but Lacey is up looking after Olly (who threw up – but Fran thought a Rhino was charging!). Team GB are all hypochondriacs at the moment!
We’re all having to wear our safety glasses at the moment because the fire smoke is everywhere. Hannah, Molly and I shared a Pineapple Fanta and a cereal bar which was really great.

WE HAVE JUST HEARD ANIMALS CALLING!! Hannah’s off to investigate, but I’m sure it’s distant.


18th August 2013 – 02:00
Grace, Fran and Harriot

We were awoken abruptly to begin the night shift having been the foolish ones who took the shift we later discovered was when most of the animals were spotted here (great!). We performed our first perimeter check and minutes in, spotted…

A HUGE CROCODILE with massive shining teeth and smiling jaws! (…we did later discover that this beast was infact a log).

As we calmed ourselves we returned to the fire to find the camp strewn with empty cups containing sorry-looking dregs of coffee, and sticky marshmallow sticks strewn about the place (probably from George on the previous shift).

It was at this point that we heard Hyaenas laughing – mocking us somehow. As Fran and I held on to each other as if our lives depended on it, Harriot went marching into the bushes declaring that a pair of eyes were clearly visible.

We quickly went and checked (watch out on the next shift). We all came back around the fire and made delicious cups of tea and coffee. As we sat down we heard more Hyaenas from behind us, but luckily for us it’s now 3am and the rest is down to Paresh and Mike. Good luck boys! :)

My scorpion search is still unsuccessful. Very excited to be on the night watch, as I would love to see something, but I do not think the others feel the same. The watch went well and we have all of our group still. I would consider that a success.

18th August 2013 – 05:00
Sam S

We found a scorpion (Hahaha Harriot!)

p.s Matt is still here… for #@$% sake Matt, GO TO BED!!!

Sam S

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