This weekend saw Clan Vanilla return to Camp Hill Estate in Bedale, North Yorkshire for our Family Summer Party. This was our second year of glamping in the North and, amazingly, the second year with perfect weather!
After arriving for a buffet lunch and a bit of a catch up, we split into 5 teams (up from 3 the previous year!) and headed off for an afternoon of activities. These included an off-road Segway challenge, an archery competition and a 30 foot climbing wall. There was also a crashed plane rescue teamwork challenge, which was basically a thinly-disguised excuse to get wet, and an obstacle course where the challenge was to complete it while carrying a full pint of water – another excuse to get wet! Everyone agreed that off-road Segways were the future of Vanilla transportation, especially for customers based in the middle of tufty fields.
One of the best things about the Summer Party is the opportunity for people to bring partners and children together for some relaxation and fun and this year was no exception. Rachel had arranged for the children to receive their own personalised Scunthorpe United shirts courtesy of our tie-up as back-of-shirt sponsors at the club, something we are going to extend into the next season. This led to a great impromptu football match with ‘Scunthorpe United’ facing, umm, ‘Scunthorpe United’!! Another highlight of the day was welcoming Vanilla’s youngest ever Summer Party guest, in the handsome person of Harry, Olivia’s baby son. At 51 weeks old he wasn’t quite on board with the archery or climbing wall, but there’s always next year for those!
After the formal activities, we retired to our glamping site for food. The site was beautifully kitted out and there were cosy Vanilla hoodies waiting for everyone. A mobile fish and chip van arrived to feed us all and we settled into an evening of campfire songs, beer and general nonsense. Round about this time, we learned that the team challenges had in fact been scored and that there was glory and prestige to bestow on the ‘winning’ team from earlier in the day. Alas, two teams were tied for top place and so the result was decided by a keepie-uppie contest between Andrew Nicholls and Paul Trownson from the Grimsby technical group. Paul won this by a narrow margin, securing victory for Team 3.
From there, attentions turned to the serious matter of campfire refreshments with Janine’s rhubarb gin making an appearance again and Andy revealing that he’d brought his blender and lime squeezer from home to make everyone margheritas. From there on nobody really knows what happened but there was apparently a full Yorkshire breakfast the next morning and some people even managed to be up in time for it.
A huge thank you to everyone who attended that day to spend quality time together an make some great memories. Special thanks also to Rachel for organising the whole thing down to the finest detail. We can’t wait to see what next year’s Summer Party will bring!