Monday, 9 July 2012

First scout camp continued

The final camp day, January 2nd was visitors day, the day where group results were presented.  Strong hot winds meant the planned activities couldn’t go ahead. The majority of campers went back into Lobethal for mass, while a few stayed to guard the camp from the stormy winds.  Dust, smoke and wind coming from one of the biggest bush fires South Australia had ever seen ripped through the camp. The camp leaders quickly decided that the camp was at an end and transferred camp materials to a Mr Dičiunas’ truck.  That day became known as 'Black Sunday'.  The bushfires swept through the Adelaide Hills, blackening 600 square miles of country from One Tree Hill in the north to Strathalbyn in the south.

The camp met its objectives, which were to foster the Lithuanian language and culture among its youth.   The scouts learnt many new Lithuanian songs and got to experience living in the bush.

The camp participants were still owed a last camp fire after the camp ended earlier than anticipated. 

An evening with a camp fire was organised for the evening of February 16th, 1955.  The guides and scouts gathered at in the bush near Blackwood.   After the program the Women’s association organised food.  The camp fire leader V. Stasiskis gave the final words, ‘Do all you can for the fatherland and never give up hope for Lithuania’s future and our return there’.  All scouts and visitors then linked arms for the final song before dispersing, ‘Ateinant naktis’. Labanaktis!

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