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KILRENNY CHURCH CHRONICLE
ISSUE 17 Sunday 12th July 2020.
Kilrenny Church website
East Neuk Covid19 Emergency help numbers:
0800 999 6543 - 07818 414178.
Worship and personal reflection:
''Our homes are in a Real and Important way the places of worship''
Reading Mathew 13: 1-9, 18-23
The Parable of the Sower
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred,
sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdomand does not understand it, the evil onecomes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Praise CH4 644 O Jesus, I have promised
When our family were young we decided to buy a patterned carpet so that we would not feel too precious when things were dropped on the floor that could mark or stain it. I can only describe it as a “mixter maxter” pattern! It was amazingly effective, but if you wanted to find something that you had dropped, then the pattern masked everything. I had to lie down and look for bumps on the carpet before hoovering and it was amazing the treasures I found!
Today’s reading about the parable of the sower is so familiar to us that we may not look beyond the pattern of the words. This familiarity can mean that we skim or speed read through this passage but maybe like my carpet, we need to get
down and look at it from a different angle to find the hidden treasures. This parable can also be found in Mark 14; 1-20 and Luke 8:1-15 and it is worthy of a second look to delve deeper and not only hear the words but listen to what they say to us today.
Mathew identifies verses 3-9 as a parable which is a simple story drawn from ordinary life, illustrating a spiritual truth. However in Jesus’ explanation v 18-23 he gives particular meanings to the seed that is scattered on the various soils which is termed an allegorical approach. An allegory is a story in which things have a hidden symbolic meaning.
Back before broadcasting referred to radio and television, it described the way seeds were planted. Handfuls of seed were scattered — broadcast — across the field and for countless generations, this was the way that farmers planted their seed.
The people who gather around Jesus to hear the stories that he tells are familiar with this broadcasting. They have seen it done, and many have done it themselves. He’s trying to get the crowd to see the world in a new way. He’s trying to get you and me to see the world in a new way.
It was all so well known to the people listening to Jesus. Some seed falls on the path, the hard track that the farmer has walked time and again through the field. Some seed falls among the rocks, the rocks that are, so it seems, almost everywhere. Some seed falls where thorns will grow. They all know that this happens, that much of the seed goes to waste. But some seed falls in good, rich soil and grows up tall and straight and yields an abundant harvest.
The interesting thought held by many authors is that from moment to moment, any of us can be any of the four soils that the story describes. Today’s story of broadcasting seed, with details so familiar to the crowd who come to hear Jesus, seems to ask the question: What kind of soil are you at the moment?
Sometimes our minds are utterly conventional, restricted by training and habit. We avoid the pain of a new idea, a new commitment. We forget nothing old, and learn nothing new. Our fixation of mind obstructs even the good will of God. We are a path made hard and bare by many feet, where the seed falls in vain, only to be picked up by the birds and carried off.
At other times our minds are soft, shallow, and sentimental. There’s emotion, but not action. There’s indulgence, but no obligation. Our minds are eager, but unstable, and so nothing grows for long. The shallow soil of sentimentality and the hard rocks of cynicism conspire together to prevent roots from reaching out. The brilliant sunlight of reality burns away our shallow thoughts, and then there is no depth and no place to grow.
There are occasions that our minds are preoccupied, absorbed by the busy-ness of the world, cluttered with its rubbish, incapable of observation, reflection and prayer. The days become hectic with activity, involving us in many events that leave us without the capacity to engage in sustained thought. The result of this is, that growth is choked off, strangled, by weeds of many species.
Our hope is that there are times where we are none of these mind-sets; the conventional mind; the shallow sentimental mind; the preoccupied mind, but instead that we are a rich, fertile, welcoming soil that accepts the scattered seed and produces a crop — thirtyfold or sixty or a hundred. When we are such soil, then our task is to be patient as growth takes time.
There is no doubt in any of the gospels that the seed represents the word of God. Some reputable scholars say that Jesus is the sower but the words in our text do not actually say that. If Jesus intends this parable to encourage the disciples in their proclamation of the Gospel it would seem that they must be sowers too and therefore we who proclaim the Gospel today are also sowers.
As different as the four soils are, they all hold two things in common; the seeds and the sower. The sower sows the same seeds in all four soils with equal toil, equal hope, and equal generosity. The sower does so without evaluation of the soil’s quality or potential. There is no soil left unsown. No ground is declared undeserving of the sower’s seeds. This is not about the quality of the soil; it’s about the quality of God, the divine sower. God simply wants to sow his life in ours. No life, no person, no soil is left unsown.
There are four basic levels of hearing and listening that could easily fit in with the different types of soil in our parable which could also add to the meaning of the words spoken by Jesus ….he who has ears let him hear.
However, there is a difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a passive subconscious occurrence that requires no effort, whereas listening is a conscious choice that demands your attention and concentration. When a person responds to your words saying “I hear you” you may sometimes wonder if they are truly listening to you!
A non-listener is totally preoccupied with his personal thoughts and though he hears words he doesn’t listen to what is being said. Passive listeners hear the words but do not fully absorb or understand them. Listeners pay attention to the speaker, but grasp only some of the intended message. Active listeners, however, are completely focused on the speaker and understand the meaning of the words without distortion.
Jesus’ description of the four soils is not intended to shame or condemn us, but to awaken us. All four types of ground need care and attention. All of us will have obstacles that sprout and recur in our lives putting up barriers to God’s words reaching us from time to time.
If there is any hope for the unproductive soil it is that the sower keeps sowing generously and extravagantly, even in the least promising places. He spreads His Word (the seed) throughout the earth to all peoples at all times and in all places, He withholds His word from no-one.
This parable is like a mirror being held up to us – we are confronted with the questions: What type of soil are you and how good is your hearing, are you really listening? Are we ready to be sowers not always with religious monologue, but kind words and thoughtful gestures passed from one to another reflecting God’s love?
The following is actually a hymn but can be read as a poem or prayer.
Praise:Lord Let My Heart Be Good Soil
Lord, let my heart be good soil,
Open the seed of your word.
Lord, let my heart be good soil,
Where love can grow and peace be understood.
When my heart is hard, break the stone away
When my heart is cold, warm it with the day.
When my heart is lost, lead me on your way.
Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart be good soil
Music at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQwqEn0PF6A&list=RDyQwqEn0PF6A&start_radio=1&t=74
(Thanks to Ann for leading our worship this week)
Let us Pray (Allan)
Even during “lockdown” we all seem to lead busy lives and not always finding time to say a prayer or we struggle to find the right words to say in praise of Our Father. Sometimes though we can praise God by our actions instead.
How can we praise you
In life’s ordinary moments,
in the bus, in a car or on the train,
at home or at work
with so many distractions
How can we praise you?
How can we praise you
when time is so precious
and in seemingly such short supply?
We have appointments and targets to make,
distracting our minds
muddying the waters,
so how can we praise you?
We can praise you through our actions!
Through a smile and a friendly greeting
By giving a shoulder to lean on,
by listening to the troubles of others
and offering a word of love and compassion
to ease a troubled mind.
So forgive us Lord if we don’t always have time to pray
If we don’t always remember to pray
make us worthy of your love by showing love to others in our deeds and our actions. Amen.
And if you only have time for one prayer a day, let it be this one - Our Lord's Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Rev Ian W. F. Hamilton
A MAN CALLED PETER
Over the years I have had the great opportunity of visiting several magnificent Cathedrals and Abbeys, buildings like St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Norwich Cathedral and York Minster south of the border, and nearer home, Dunblane Cathedral and St. Giles’ Cathedral. Not forgetting Iona Abbey or Dornoch Cathedral the lovliest and smallest U.K. cathedral, nor of course Glasgow Cathedral where I was once Licenced to the Holy Ministry!
Abroad I have visited Notre Dame, the Cathedral Church of John the Divine in New York City, the tiny cathedral in Ajaccio, Corsica where Napoleon was baptised, and not least Washington National Cathedral in the U.S. capital. I’m sure many of you may have visited several of these venues too.
I have wonderful memories of them all but I have special memories of Washington National Cathedral. What a magnificent building, one which has been the scene for countless national occasions in the U.S.A’s history including funeral services for past Presidents. Many famous preachers have graced the Cathedral Pulpit including Martin Luther King. More recently it was the place where the nation gathered to remember the countless victims of the September 11 attacks of 2001.
Inside the Cathedral there is so much to see in terms of liturgical furnishings and architecture, not least the prayer stall where the Chaplain to the Senate sits, because not so very long ago that seat was graced by the late Rev. Dr. Peter Marshall.
Peter Marshall, hailed from Coatbridge and at 24 he left these shores as a penniless Scottish emigrant and set foot on American soil at Ellis Island. After working briefly in New Jersey friends paid his way to seminary to study divinity, having felt called by God to the ministry.
On graduating he became Pastor to a small Georgia congregation and later he was minister at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Atlanta.
Finally he was called to New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. In 1947 he was appointed Chaplain to the U.S. Senate. His widow Catherine Marshall later told his life story in her memorable book, “A Man called Peter.” In one of the book’s chapters, “Christianity can be fun!” the following words spoken by Peter Marshall are quoted, words which I have never forgotten, and words that came flooding back to me as I stood there beside his personal prayer stall in Washington’s National Cathedral - “God is a God of laughter as well as of prayer, a God of singing as well as of tears. God is at home in the play of our children, he loves to hear us LAUGH! God wants us to be good, not goody goody, there’s quite a difference. We must try to make the distinction between worship, work and play less sharp.”
These wise words of a fellow Scotsman have constantly inspired me and I have faithfully tried to echo them throughout my own ministry. Yes, of all the great religious edifices I have been privileged to visit, my visit to Washington National Cathedral is especially memorable!
Postcard from Kingskettle
(Rev Michael Allardice)
This has been an exciting week – Liz & I have managed to extend our range as far as Falkland Palace gardens, Leven Promenade and the West Sands in St Andrews. Not quite international travel I know, but definitely a welcome change of scenery! What’s remarkable about these trips is that while in normal times we’d take them for granted, now we are treating them as more of an adventure than before. It’s been good to go beyond the bounds of the village and see the wider world. And it’s amazing how different things look from my memory of the last time I passed that way. Maybe it’s because we are in high Summer now and the tress, bushes and flowers are in full bloom, or maybe it’s because I’m looking at things with a keener eye than before as I appreciate them more than before.
Of course, all of this restricted travel is relative. Until March, many of us could quite easily book a flight or a ferry and travel as far as we wanted to or at least as far as our resources would take us. Now we see airports and trains nearly empty, long-range travel has to be planned with exceptional care, and we need to seek permission or ensure we can get travel insurance before we can go anywhere. It’s amazing how much we have taken for granted something that would have been a life-changing event to our forebears just three or four generations ago when travelling to America was almost always a one-way ticket!
All this musing on travel got me thinking about how much of the world Jesus experienced in His day-and-age. As far as we know from the Gospels, Jesus probably travelled no more than about 100 miles in any direction during His life-time. We know He travelled as far North as Tyre and Sidon in modern-day Southern Lebanon, that He travelled frequently between Galilee and Jerusalem (approximately 65 miles depending on His starting point), and that He spent time in the desert area to the East of Jerusalem and the river Jordan after His Baptism. In modern terms, Jesus hardly travelled anywhere, but we must not forget that He did virtually all His travelling by foot. One calculation I’ve seen suggests that He walked close to 25,000 miles in His life-time – that we know of – that’s a lot of walking!
Some of that travelling would have been alone, but much of it was with friends, and we can all imagine the opportunity they would have had for conversation along the way, not to mention practical jokes and laughs along the way. The images we have of Jesus and the disciples are of serious men, but I would love to know who it was within the group who kept spirits up on those days when the weather was poor or it was baking hot? We know Jesus had a good sense of humour – just look at the nicknames He gave to some of His followers. I don’t believe for one moment that in their private moments on the road, there were was no laughter or smiles as someone tripped up or they spotted something funny along the way!
If there has been one thing we’ve learned from the past few months, it must be to take life a little more slowly, enjoy walking pace more, and learn to appreciate the simple things in life. When we are allowed to, let’s resolve to get out more and walk with friends to appreciate our surroundings, as well as just a little bit of what it would have been like to walk with friends as Jesus did, even if we are not aiming for 25,000 miles…just yet! (Michael)
News from Interim Moderator Rev Dr. Amos Chewachong
Florence and all of us are doing pretty well but as you would know, this has not been an easy time for us. Home schooling means that we have to play the role of teachers and then spend extra time attending to other needs of the children. Other commitments-via zoom or phone calls have sometimes been boring. But we thank God, we have kept well and safe and we are trusting that the virus will go away soon so that life can return to normal even if it is a new normal!
On other news, I lost an uncle and an aunt within a space of one month-between May and June 2020. Both were younger siblings of my father and their deaths brought so much pain to our family and especially my father who has now outlived all his younger siblings and is the only left in a family of 4 children. Please would you remember my father and for our family in your prayers.
A prayer for our Interim Moderator
and his family (Jim McKane)
Father God, We are taught by you to treat each day as a new beginning with all its possibilities.
It is also right that we pray for others generally and sometimes more specifically and today we do just that.
In prayer we think of Amos, his immediate family, as well as his greater family. We pray for the challenge of living in a country so different from your homeland. We remember families and specifically Amos and his wife Florence dealing with the additional challenge of the education of their children with schools closed. We pray too for the wellbeing of the children of Amos and Florence. We thank you in prayer that you give Amos the energy to look after us here in Kilrenny as our Interim Moderator, as well as his responsibilities for his own congregation, dealing with countless ‘Zoom’ meetings and lots of telephone calls.
We pray too for Amos’s father in Cameroon, who in the space of one month has lost both a younger sister and a younger brother. We remember that they were an Aunt and Uncle to Amos and a Great Aunt and Great Uncle to his children.
We acknowledge too the difficulty of being so far away from family in times like this.
Abba Father hear our prayer for all those we have mentioned. Amen
Sunday Worship on Radio 4 at 08:10 Songs of Praise on BBC1 Sunday 1.15 pm.
Church of Scotland - Kirk Services online
www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship Rev Dr Amos Chewachong:
It is proposed to request permission from St Andrews Presbytery to re-open Kilrenny Church for Worship on Sunday 2nd August.
The Kirk Session has been working over the past few weeks to ensure compliance with all the requirements necessary to ensure health and safety and complete the essential documentary evidence to be submitted to Presbytery. I will update you on progress next week. (Corinne)
News of those wearing a Dog collar!
Doddie's diary and the trials of Ann
You hear of many childhood pranks when kids are dared by their peers to “nick” something. We can be scandalised but it happens. Is it a game to get one over on the”grown ups” or does it hark back to survival – He who dares wins.
Doddie the Artful Dodger (apologies to Charles Dickens) is having his potential as a petty thief nipped in the bud. He has never been fed from the table or even been given a biscuit meant for human consumption. So, it was with confidence that Dave sat in his comfy chair to eat his lunchtime soup and roll. This peaceful scene was soon disrupted as Doddie” nicked” the roll and was off at a rate of knots, round the table, chairs and sofa, almost doing a victory roll on each fly past – I caught him on the seventh circuit in a very miss-managed rugby tackle.
Similarly what seems like an affectionate cuddle is in fact a ruse to “pick-pocket” – tissues and other goodies from our pocket. He has it all, the eye for an opportunity, the deftness of uplift and the ability to make a speedy get away! But I will do everything I can to keep him on the ‘straight and narrow’, although imprisonment behind the bars of ‘his naughty corner’ to the mean comforts of a box bed, don’t seem to be having much effect as it is now a favourite spot – maybe he was just born to be a rogue!
Malcolm and Coco
Hello again everyone, Coco here. It’s about 3 weeks since I last barked at you. I have now lost my long hair (thank goodness) it’s nice to have a short coat again. I have also been playing hide and seek in the farmer’s fields ( see photo ) as the corn is growing high now, I jump up now and then to let dad know where I am. I have also been in swimming with the grandchildren at the Billowness, they throw a stick in the water and I fetch it, it cools me down. I always get a chittery bite when I come out and a good rub down and a teeth chew bar from dad when I get home
Well that’s all for now, till the next time.
from Coco, bow,wow.
Spot Coco on his travels
A history lesson
(courtesy of Malcolm)
A Dyker Lass (Written by Joyce Everill circa 1984 )
Aiberdeen’s a bonny place, its lang since I cam here,
Bit I wis born in Cellardyke, and it’s it that I haud dear,
Fisher born an fisher bred, we left whin I wis wee,
Fir trawlin wis Da’s callin, oot on the cauld Nor’ Sea.
The toon ha’ held the waddin o’ ma Mither and ma Faither,
An’ I wis born in Wast Forth Street on a nicht in caul’ December,
Helped inta this warl by Kate Leslie an’ dear auld Dr Wilson,
Makin’ eneuch noise tae deefen ony wan that wid listen.
Christen’t in the Parish Kirk by the Reverend Mr Lee,
An’ I wis often daundle’t on Provost Wullies knee,
Fur he jist styed along the street, a neebor an’ a freen,
Tae a’ the bairns that passed him by, whin factory wark wis deen.
Playin’ doon the seaside, in the lang warm simmer days,
Wydin’ in the watter, an getting saun’ atween ma taes,
In the winter getting’ barkit, playin in the garret wi a’ the nets,
An if I’d been guid, a new hair ribbon, boucht doon at Mrs Bett’s.
Tae Kilrenny fur a walk, an’ playin aroon the common,
Makin daisy chains fur roon’ ma neck, an sclimmin’ ower the gun,
Waukin’ ta St Minnins tae see Granny Butters bidin’ there,
A hurl hame on ma brither’s pram whin ma feet wir awfy sair,
The Gas Warks, that we passed in Anster, jist filled me foo o’ terror,
Fur wisnae that whaur bad bairnies gaed, tae burn in hell furiver?.
The Billowness on a Sabbath, wi’ folk paradin’ in their best,
Cornfields fu’ o’ poppies as ye gaed further Wast,
Alang the Ainster pier at nicht, tae see the Pierrot shows,
An’ watch, wi’ sparkin’ een, at Dot’s clivver dancing toes,
The hairbour, jist fu’ o boats lyin’ there side by side
Hopin’ we’d get a hard ship’s biscuit afore they sail on the tide.
Oh I miss’t it a’ the day we left tae come to this big toon,
Caul’ granite stanes, an’ great wide streets, wi’ nae freens gaithert roon,
Worryin’ Mam whin I cam hame frae schuil, greetin’ whin I tell’t her,
It wisnae like Cellardyke’s ava, I’d raither hae’n Miss Elder.
There wisnae Capucci’s ice cream cones, whin he soons hes horn,
Nae milk in the can, frae the dairy, fresh frae the coo that morn,
Breid aye seem’t tae a hole in’t by the time I got it hame,
Warm oot the oven frae the baker, I gaed tae doon the wynd.
Holiday’s couldna come quick eneuch, till I’d get on the bus,
Tae come back tae a’ the peace and quate, awa frae a the rush,
Then aince again, ma hairt wid fairly knock,
As I caught sicht, baith o’ the May an’ the Bass Rock.
In the auld kirkyard at St Minnins, Granny his this lang time lain,
An’ on the spot, tae mark the place, there staun’s a wee heidstane,
It bears ma name, fur I wis gie’n the same ain that she bore,
So there’s a bit o’ me remembered, alang the East Neuk shore,
I’ve seen a bit mair o’ this warl’ since then, as years gang fleein’ by,
Bit I’ve fund oot it’s doon in Fife is whaur ma hairt still lies,
An’ nae maitter whit the future brings, or whauriver I may pass,
I’ll be aya prood o’ the fact, that I wis born a Dyker Lass.
The Naughty Choirboy
Around about the same time as the problem arose with the gate on the coastal path at Kilrenny Mill, I had a contract 40 miles north of Inverness, between Lairg and Invershin where for some peculiar geological reasons the road surface of the A836 was becoming perilously close to the underside of a railway bridge, or vice versa, as far as new, high sided vehicles and containers were concerned.
The problem was to be solved with minimal disruption to road traffic, and no disruption to railway trains.
"Manage that?" "Aye, nae bother!"
But what about the gate along the shore?
In accordance with my policy of many years standing that nobody on the crew would be on site before me, I left Cellardyke at 3.45 am to drive up there, and be first man on site.
So, sitting in the car, I had loads of time to work out solutions and discuss them with the dog (Shin) who was safely strapped in the passenger seat, waiting for his porridge to heat up, slowly, plugged into the cigarette lighter.
I had already researched the situation, and concluded that we, the general public, had a right of "reasonable" access which was being denied us by the Water Board's chain and padlock. I decided that I would deny access, by virtue of my own chain and padlock which would make life difficult for them.
Naughty? Very Naughty.
I was discussing this with my recently found farmer friend up in Sutherland (farmers always form friendships with contractors, I wonder why!!) who told me that he had acquired an old derelict railway maintenance shed, full of junk,
and he thought there was a mountain of chain in there.
Chain! This was massive. We found the shortest length, which was well sufficient for the purpose, together with a heavy duty padlock, key pad locked. Perfect, although it weighed a ton. When I arrived back home on Thursday night, the Session Clerk struggled to lift it out of the boot of the car.
By early Friday morning, it was secured to the old gate. By late forenoon on Saturday, I had a visit from three "Execs" who accepted an invitation in for coffee.
They had discussed the matter "internally," and considered me to be an "honourable man".
In brief, they were also "honourable," and agreed that if I removed the fastening I had fixed, they would remove that gate and replace it so as to leave a minimum 2 metre pedestrian access.
All agreed, All done.
Allan & Sybil's Quiz answers
Here are the answers to our 16th quiz, books of the Bible.
1) Leviticus 2) Deuteronomy 3) Chronicles 4) Nehemiah 5) Ecclesiastes 6) Lamentations 7) Matthew 8) Zephaniah 9) Proverbs 10) Malachi 11) Corinthians 12) Galatians 13) Ephesians 14) Philippians 15) Thessalonians 16) Philemon 17) Revelation 18) Obadiah 19) Ezekiel 20) Jeremiah
Allan & Sybil's Quiz
We are well known as a nation of dog lovers and we have a few pooch owners in our congregation so here are 20 mixed up canine breeds to unscramble.
- GIRL DOREEN EVERT (6,8)
- I TOLD A MAN (9)
- SPECIAL CONKER (6,7)
- DADS HUNCH (9)
- TERRI TOWEL (10)
- A GREAT END (5,4)
- DOPEY TOOL (3,6)
- I SAT ALAN (8)
- THEIR ANDREWS LIGHTER (4,8,7)
- CRISTAL JEERS LURKER (4,7,7)
- DRY ENOUGH (9)
- KEEPS IN EG (9)
- ARAB LORD (8)
- COLD BEER LORI (6,6)
- UNDO OLD HOB (10)
- HELP DOGGED HOLINESS (3,7,8)
- NOT RIPE (7)
- STAR BRIDE ANN (5,7)
- SUEZ RANCH (9)
- TRIER TESTS CHOIR (8,7)
The search for a site to hold the annual scout summer camp
12 Fife (East Neuk Scouts)
Part 3 Visits, Outings & End of camp traditions
If it was feasible, one afternoon the scouts would be allowed to visit the nearest town/village to spend a couple of hours buying gifts to take home or crowd out the chip shop. Throughout the week we would expect a visit from the area County Commissioner as when we selected our campsite way back in May our own Area Commissioner would write to the selected area to inform then we were holding our summer camp where and when. He would arrive unannounced and inspect the campsite to see we were camping to the scouting standards. On the Friday after lunch all the patrols would spend the afternoon collecting wood for the traditional campfire. This event was one of the highlights on the week as each patrol had to perform a silly play lasting about 15 mins. One play was the patrol leader would ask a couple of volunteer’s to lie down on the ground and his pet elephant would step across them without it stepping on any one. His patrol would be covered with a groundsheet and he would lead them over the volunteer’s until the last boy, in stepping over the volunteer tipped a cup of water over them oh!!! sorry did I not tell you my elephant is not house trained. All the boys would join in singing round the camp fire ( ging gang gooly, campfire’s burning, Quartermaster’s store etc with some of them wearing a camp fire blanket they or their mums had made. On the Saturday after breakfast it was all hands on deck to work to break camp, kit bags packed, tents folded away, pots, pans & utensils in patrol box, areas cleared up and the lorry loaded when it arrived. Lunch would be cold pies from the local butcher and then off home. At the scout hall all would help empty the lorry and then head off home with a few tales to tell to mum and dad, a long steep in a hot bath and a good night’s sleep.
All the camps would not be enjoyable if you were too serious and without some dangers, cuts & bruises, tantrums, boys falling out with each other and rainy days. Some of the boys that were home sick for a couple of days, by the end of the week they would stay for a 2nd week if possible. You have to be ready for all that is thrown your way, nothing runs smoothly, but if you keep calm and work round it, it usually works out all right, or there would not be a next year's camp.
Thankfully in my days there was no Risk Assessment or Health & Safety as there is now or summer camps as I knew them would not have happened. Boys have to be boys and it did me no harm when I was a scout.
After the summer holidays and back to normal scout nights a camp round up would be held with the patrol leaders to talk about how the camp went and any suggestions for next year’s camp. By the next year some of the older Patrol Leaders would be in the Venture Scouts and a new set of Patrol Leaders and new scouts would be coming up from the cubs so it all starts again. As you see in the 1978 photo 53 scouts that year, quite a handful, scouters James Stewart (left) Eric Govan (right) and the one with a hairy face myself, two scouters are missing.
I look back on my time (26 years) in the Cubs and Scouts and realise that it has been a fantastic time and journey in my life. I think it has made me look and realise that all the training and learning that has been implanted in me through the Scouts has made me a better person and be able to cope with all types of situations and people that arise in life. All the scouts that have passed by me on my scouting life still greet me with a hi Malc and when I see what kind of person they have become now I think to myself I have helped them in a little way. When I look at all the photos from all the camps they bring back a whole lot of memories and of the laughter and sometime tears and what a great feeling that is.
Malcolm MacDonald, Cub, Scout & Venture 1956 – 1968, Scout Leader 1972 - 1986
The Kirk Session wish you a very safe, healthy and happy week ahead.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory, as it was, and is,
and shall be evermore.