I was looking for something nice to write about in a stressful free, and Bredon 2013 certainly stood out in my mind. Obviously you’ve already heard about Bredon 2012 – if not, look at my archive – so I will try and write different things this time round, but it is still an important part of my life.
Bredon 2013 took place from Thursday 25th July to Thursday 1st August, and as usual I got the train (did I talk about that before?). Anyway, I have a slight aversion to trains, mainly because they conjure up memories of going to the hospital in London, and also because of travel sickness and stuff. This train journey is almost 5 hours long, but it’s made bearable by being with friends. The other thing is that it changes direction twice, so you could choose a front facing seat and then end up going backwards half the time – at least we get reserved seats though, and it is a direct train.
I got over the train stress, but then I had the waiting stress. The problem with the direct train is that it gets in earlier than the leaders want us, and this year they had to wait for control of the minibus before they could pick us and our luggage up. It wasn’t a long wait, but the station was in the middle of nowhere and basically had two platforms and a car park. We ended up sitting on the floor playing concentration – not great for my back. The minibus came though, and we were ferried ‘home’ to Bredon by Alison, who is a great minibus driver as well as a lovely leader.
The first day always feels a little bit weird. We mill around on the grass for a while, meet some new faces, scream at and hug some old faces, and find out our dorms. This year they finally put the girls in the lovely big rooms (usually used for the boys because there are fewer toilets and showers), so we got a view of the swimming pool, the fountain and a neighbouring farm. Once we’ve dumped our stuff we have a game/tour, which this year involved piggy backs. It was one of those games where the leader shouts out different commands and then we do them, so everytime the piggy back command was shouted I was really worried someone would jump on my back – not advisable even at 10 months post-op. Luckily they didn’t.
I ended up feeling kind of weepy the first night, which in turn upset me, but part of that is anticipation and another is that it was the longest time I had spent away from home since my operation, and also without my parents. I think it’s not until the Crystal Daze (named Hollywood Boot Camp in 2012) that we really feel into the Bredon vibe. This is great dorm bonding time, usually involving making up silly songs and messy games. We only had two dorm leaders this year which was weird but actually in a way better because we got to know them a bit more.
Anyway, emotionally after this point camp is about the highest point that you can be on the emotional scale! We had a great fun chilled time at a coffee shop in Cheltenham for our dorm outing, I was once again in the green team for the wide game (we lost but mainly because of the last round). We had a great Hunt the Leader in Tewkesbury as well. Stress levels rose for me a bit when it was time for the whole camp outing as this involved outdoor activities. This year I made sure that I got first dibs on what I was doing due to not being able to abseil and similar, and ended up doing canoeing. Luckily we had been to the same place the year before so the journey didn’t stress me out too much and I was in a car. It turns out that about half the people in the canoeing group had health needs and one couldn’t swim, but one of the leaders was a doctor (although he fell out more than we did!). It was pretty fun in the end, although I spent one activity screaming that I didn’t want to move and risk falling in because they made everyone switch places – this meant I escaped swapping haha!! I also left my spare t-shirt at Bredon, but luckily I didn’t get wet so I just kept the original one on!
The rest of the week passed as it did the previous year and we had a great last night too, including a hilarious attempt at line dancing. The last night was also where we watched the amazing camp video, which is what I will leave you with now – enjoy! And please think about coming on camp because it is consistently the best week of my life. And if you haven’t already had enough, look out for my post on Bredon 2014, coming very soon!!