500+ women camping in the forest  – can only mean one thing. 

Yes two weekends ago it was The unofficial WI camp “Tea & Tents”

For months us young uns of our WI have been planning for our 3 night camping trip to Walesby scout camp with over 500 other members of The Woman’s Institute.

This year Tea & Tents is in its 3rd year and our 2nd year of attending.

Last year we were newbies not only to Tea & Tents but also to the WI. This year we sort of knew what to expect.

We put our names down to volunteer at a slot over the weekend.

We ordered our merchandise.

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And then on the Friday we packed up my VW and off we went.

We arrived not long after 6pm,  the camp opened at 5pm yet there were already loads of camp areas already set up with pretty bunting and lights.

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We finally found a space to park Delilah ( my VW)  And set to putting up our tent and making our area look pretty .

Then we changed into our new T-shirts and grabbed our picnic and headed over to the main marquee to listen to the “camp opening meeting” unfortunately we were only able to listen from outside as it was already full inside.

We sat and listened through the canvas while we ate our picnic.

There were still people arriving as it was turning dark.  A few of us went to help one lady set her tent up as she was on her own and had arrived in the dark with the biggest tent on site I reckon.

Afterwards we headed back to the tent and snuggled down for the evening.

Saturday we got up and after we had made breakfast & had a Cuppa We headed to put or names down for some of the workshops. Unfortunately by the time we arrived our first options were already full up. So me & S decided to go for a facial.

After a late lunch it was time for the market place.

Lots of lovely stalls selling craft packs, homemade items, jams and cakes.

While a couple of our group went to do their volunteer slot I ordered pizza for us all.

We were going to join the camp fire but we just ended up chatting and made a little fire in the BBQ to have our own little bonfire. We even toasted some marshmallows.

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Sunday  morning was my volunteer slot. I was in charge of the photo booth with another lady but it seemed after Saturday night 9.30 was too early for anyone to want their photos took.

When I had finished my slot I rejoined my friends who had brought me over a bacon buttie and we lined up to get our names on a workshop. Myself and H booked onto vintage curtain ring brooches and S & E booked onto square weaving.

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Before our workshops started there was time for a bit of yoga.

In the afternoon we had booked a dip in a hot tub. By the time it was our slot it was quite windy and the hot tub didn’t feel very hot!

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While in there we got talking to one of the *squirrels she was telling us about her own WI in London. She also gave us a bit of inspiration for our position in our own WI.

By the time we got out I was shivering and couldn’t seem to get warm.

Sunday night was the Big Quiz.

We cooked some jacket potatoes warmed some beans and took them up to the quiz.

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We did quite well in the quiz. And we’re quite impressed with ourselves. Especially on the Tv themes round.

There was one theme that hit with all of us. If I just say “In west Philadelphia born and raised on a playground is where I spent most of my days…..” Leave in the comments below if you know what this is. 🙂

A marquee full of women singing was one of the highlights of the weekend!

Monday morning came and I actually forgot it was my birthday! Until I came out of the tent and the E had put some gifts out on my chair. 🙂

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Everyone woke up and we slowly took down our home for the past 3 nights.

We got bitten to hell on camp and there were a couple of things that were a bit rubbish but all in all the camp was amazing. A great time to get to know one another and to meet new friends.

A chance to take part in activities you might not take part in any other time!

We just found out yesterday that the organisers are taking a break in 2017 but the camp will be back in 2018 and I for one am looking forward to doing it all again!

 

It seems I didnt take as many photos as I thought! I must try better next time!

*squirrel – one of the volunteers that help in the running of the event. Making sure the other volunteers know what they are doing and generally making sure the camp is going ok.

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