By Darryl Alder
Jul 11, 2015

Celebrating 4th of July on the Beach in England

To read about the adventure of getting to the UK check out Part 1 and Lone Cub Scouting in Part 2 

July 4th, Independence Day, isn’t much noticed in the UK. So I was surprised the night before at Asda (Walmart UK) when a Texan’s voice came over the PA system inviting everyone in the store to pick up Texas steaks and corn-on the-cob (little known there) to celebrate the 4th with their “friends across the pond.” I bought the corn to go with our three meat kebabs*, which you will see we never got to at our Filey Beach excursion.

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North Yorkshire countryside offers miles of this kind viewing

Since there was nothing “patriotic” brewing in Harrogate (the LDS Ward had celebrated a week earlier with their summer Fayre and Barbecue, complete with hamburgers and hot dogs) and the base was taking a holiday too, there was little chance of any concentration of US citizens for the celebration. So we took our own day-long excursion to the beach at Filey to celebrate the 4th of July. According to the marketing pieces: “Filey is for family.” So off we went.

With three kids and four adults, it took a bit to get off, but when we did the drive  was stunning for someone from Utah; so much green for so many miles.

Filey Beach

Filey Beach on a sunny July day.

When we got there, it was hard to believe we were in England, at least until we stepped into the water; then we knew that we were at the English Channel. We played on the beach for most of the afternoon and since all I had with me were zip-off Venturing trousers, I really couldn’t swim. The first few attempts had pulled off my shorts, so I gave up and settled for sand castle building.

Darryl and youngest grandson Beckett battling the tide to save the "Castle"

Darryl and youngest grandson Beckett battling the tide to save the “Castle”

It is always wise to get to know the area you are camping in, even if it is day-camping on the beach. But I was along for the ride and certainly had no concerns about the incoming tide, other than that it had washed away two sand castles in the first hour.

Finally it was time for our picnic. Just as we were finishing a wave came up to our picnic area. We quickly moved the camp back toward the sea wall. We did this twice. Once during the move a wave knocked down the middle grandson, Dade. He recovered, but I knew it was time for me to be our posted look-out (see Safe Swim Defense). Finally, with the tide rising quickly, we called them all in—not nearly soon enough.

filey slipwell

View of our camp after the tide came in at Filey Slipwell

We quickly gathered in the first load of equipment and supplies. I turned to call Dade to hurry because the water was coming in fast, and suddenly stumbled over a kayak from some other family who were rushing to leave the beach too. Sprawled out and dignity wounded, I did not make a pretty sight on that beach. Suddenly that kayak-toting family was at our aid, doing their “Good Turn” for a few pitiful Americans, and with that we were moved to higher ground from the incoming tide. The fact that we we waited a bit too long showed we could have been better prepared by checking on tides from the weather service.

Filey splash pond

With our campsite underwater, we moved to a nearby splash pool and enjoyed fish and chips and ice cream cones

Within 15 minutes the waves that had pushed us up to the storm wall were crashing 5 feet deep against that wall and our camp was underwater (which you can easily see from the shot above). But my mission was accomplished, I had fish and chips on the beach, had eaten two of England’s most excellent soft-serve ice cream cones and we had met the first requirement for the “Call of the Wild” Wolf Adventure. That requirement reads:

“While a Wolf Scout, attend a pack or family campout. If your chartered organization does not permit Cub Scout camping, you may substitute a family campout or daylong outdoor activity with your den or pack.”

There are many ways to meet this requirement; for Holden there was this day at the beach and an upcoming Faith in God hike for his Primary Activity Days group. Family camping can be an important part of any Cub Scout’s growth experience. When is your family going? Tell us about it in the comments below.

See Part 4 for my experience teaching our Social Media Certification in the UK

3 meat kebabs* Recipe for three meat kebabs. Plan on one third pound of meat per person and purchase beef, pork and chicken. To prepare the meat, pour one cup lemon-lime soda (7-Up, Sprite, etc.), together with one cup cooking oil (I use olive) and one cup soy sauce; then set aside. Cut the meat into 1 inch cubes (this is most easily done if the meat is partially frozen) and rub with minced garlic and prepared horseradish. Pour the mixed liquids over the meat and place into fridge over night, turning once if possible. The following day you can skewer the meats, alternating with pieces of onion, bell pepper, summer squash and whole mushrooms.  You may grill these over an open fire or your home grill, but whatever you do, check first to see if the tide is coming in!

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