2013 Cub Scout Resident Camp
Camp Barton, BSA

A Study in Azure

August 8-10, 2013

Ninety members of the Barton Street Irregulars met at Barton House in London in August 1913, to be instructed in the art of the detective by Barton Holmes, younger brother of the better-known Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes. 
Before long, they began to assist Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, in solving the Case of the Purloined Paget...

The Cubs - soon to be Irregulars - began arriving at 8:00AM on Thursday, August 8th. Before long there were lines of them across Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, heading into Barton House (a/k/a the Mess Hall). 

The Irregulars were divided into seven smaller gangs, or "dens", named after colors from famous cases of the great Sherlock Holmes. As they went about their tasks, the dens paused for a photograph with their teachers, Dr. Watson and Barton Holmes.
(click on a picture below for a full-size version, suitable for printing)

Blue Den
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

Copper Den

The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

Green Den
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet

Orange Den
The Five Orange Pips

Red Den

The Red-Headed League

Silver Den
The Silver Blaze

Yellow Den
The Yellow Face

The Staff of the Holmes Academy

The intrepid Irregulars quickly began to practice the skills they needed to become full-fledged Consulting Detectives, like Holmes himself.

Each Irregular had the opportunity to shoot bows on the Archery Range.

Good shot!

They could take a try with a BB gun, shooting at targets...

... or tin cans...

... or soda crackers, which explode nicely on dry days. 

It takes effort to cock a BB gun.

A detective must be able to send messages ...

...using Morse Code.

The Cubs decorated spyglasses in the Crafts area. 

Kim's Game - Baden-Powell's favorite. The Cubs look at a table full of different things for a few seconds, then see how many they can remember. 
Kimberly O'Hara, young hero of Kipling's book Kim, was taught this game to learn observation skills for his job as a British spy. 

The Cubs also did some leatherwork. 

The staff of Kew Gardens (a/k/a the Nature Lodge) took the Cubs on a hike to Frontenac Falls. On Friday, in pouring rain and after three inches of rain the day before, the falls were very impressive. 

Cricket is a Very English Game. 

So, the Irregulars had to try it. 

The cricket was played in a somewhat modifed Barton form - it would have taken more time than we had just to explain all the rules of real cricket. But, the Cubs enjoyed batting tennis balls with a cricket bat...

... and running back and forth between the wickets to score runs.

Of course, some seemed to find it a bit unnerving...

The Irregulars learned, and played, other games as well. 

The members of the Order of the High Falls could relax in the Highfalls Club, with a selection of 1913 reading material and a silver tea set. 

Queen Mary herself was there to make sure the Irregulars were Doing the Right Thing. 

At Kew Gardens, the Cubs investigated the contents of Owl Pellets. 

"Look! I found a mouse skull!"

At Scoutcraft, the Irregulars learned to pitch shelters to keep off the London rain.

This required learning to tie knots. 

I have no idea what sort of knot this one is...

Returning from the hike to the falls in the rain... Frontenac Creek was running high, but the Cubs were just fine. There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing, as the Irish say...

The Irregulars playing Tankball.

An Irregular must be able to climb the White Cliffs of Dover...

... and so they did.

Some were quite good at it, actually.

Down at Docklands (a/k/a the Waterfront), there was always an enthusiastic crowd of Irregulars jumping off of South Quay (a/k/a the new swimming dock).

"One, two, three... SIX!"

Before dinner each day, the Irregulars and Staff lined up on Horseguards Parade to lower the flag.

Each day, the Irregulars were served with the best of English food at Inn at Barton House, where you always eat family-style... 
... if your family had 90 kids and 25 tables.

Penguins Salute!
Each day the editor of The Strand Magazine put out a newspaper for the Irregulars. 
The morning edition became favorite breakfast reading, and there was a full-color Rotogravure Supplement handed out at closing. 

You can read the paper for yourself here - download the daily issues in PDF format:

"Just singing in the rain.... THUMBS UP!"


As they traveled around London, the Irregulars collected clues to find the missing paintings - a priceless Paget and a missing Monet. They worked with Holmes and Watson and the other members of the Holmes Academy to figure out the clues and locate the paintings.

"This means that the Paget was stolen by the evil Professor Moriarity!"

Holmes helps the Green den figure out a clue they've found.

"I think I've deciphered a clue!"

All the clues are in... Hmmm...

At closing, after the last clues were figured out, Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard took over and led the Irregulars to where they led - Scoutcraft! But where was the Missing Monet?

"There it is!"

With the Monet recovered, and the Color Supplements distributed, the Cubs headed home, tired but content... until next year.

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Photos Copyright 2013 Mike Brown
Permission granted to use pictures for any Scouting purpose.