Majestically, he glides in a circle over a meadow in the Taunus area, for seconds he hovers with rapid wing beats and as swift as an arrow, he makes a steep dive toward his prey. What the kestrel does not suspect, is that his foraging is being watched closely by about forty young biped bearing the same name. Probably it would also leave him relatively cold if he knew that the forty scouts from the troop "Kestrels" in Neu-Anspach were all the more pleased with having the possibility of watching their troop emblem closely during the camp for their tenth anniversary.
For six days, the scouts were sleeping, eating, singing and playing on a meadow between fields and forests located near Usingen. Their tents - the yurts and the so-called "Kothen" - of the different packs had been put up between knobby old fruit trees. Smoke was rising out of some tents, towells from the last visit of the nearby pond "Hattsteinweiher" were drying on the tent guy ropes. During the camp, the participants had plenty of time for swimming, playing soccer and lazing around, but a manifold programme was also waiting for them.
Activity stations were built up, which were based on the highlights of the past ten years and where the different groups had to face more or less prickly tasks. In one scouting game they had to give proof of their creativity and organising ability - the scouts had to experience for themselves what it means to found a scout group and which points have to be taken into consideration. Each newly founded group tried to attract as many children as possible by building up a miniature camp, offering various training courses and acquiring tools, musical instruments or tarpaulins as, in the end, the group size was determining for the victory.
On Sunday morning, many members of the Neu-Anspach Baptist Church came to the camp site for worship service. The day before, the scouts had prepared praise, a play and the presentation, providing for the complete success of the church service which, just like the prayers and the bible works during the camp, was themed "confidence". After the service, the visitors had the time to explore the camp and to drink lemon tea - our camp drink par excellence, along with the famous Chai - together with the scouts.
But the members of the church were not the only guests of our camp. A lot of former collaborators of the group had come even from far away to take part in the camp or to stay at least for the "evening for former members" where old and young kestrels were sitting around the campfire, drinking chai, singing scout songs and reminiscing about former times.
The camp was crowned by the grand anniversary evening. While the scouts were exploring the vicinity of the camp on a day hike, the pack leaders were busy with chipping wood, cutting fruit and roasting meat. The preparations for the evening buffet and for the final campfire were in full swing. When all of the scouts had returned to the camp site, the camp bell was rung for the last time, opening the delicious and opulent buffet. In view of the rich variety of different salads, chicken legs, meat balls and numerous sorts of fruit, nobody had problems to stuff themselves with food.
The meal was followed by a programme of entertainment presented by the different packs and troops, an award ceremony for the preceding games and an auction of lost property, not to forget the numerous songs which were sung. When darkness had finally fallen on the camp, a huge wooden number ten was burnt to commemorate once again the jubilee which had given rise to the camp. This was not only the end of the evening, but marked also the end of the camp.
The next day, the tents were taken down and all scouts returned home. We surely won't forget the camp very soon, not only because of its special occasion. We had passed six days full of fantastic weather - despite of the terrible forecasts and the black clouds on the horizon - and had experienced this wonderful sense of community among the Kestrels. Once again, God has shown us that he protects our scout group as well as our activities and that, with him by our side, we can look forward to the next ten years.
And whereas the scouts have now returned to civilization, the kestrel probably continues gliding in a circle over the meadows of Usingen, just as if nothing had happened...