More than 2000 cub scouts will return home to their parents on Friday happy, well fed and completely exhausted.
Cub troops have travelled from across NSW to spend an action-packed week at the fifth NSW State Cuboree at Cataract Scout Park, near Appin.
For many of the 7 to 11-year-olds it is their first time away from their parents, but they have little time to dwell on homesickness with scores of activities to keep them entertained.
First Balgownie cub leader Matt Fanning said the kids were having an ‘‘absolute blast’’.
‘‘They handle being away from mum and dad pretty quick because there’s all these other cubs around,’’ he said.
‘‘They get this sense of independence really quick when they’re around like-minded kids.’’
This year’s theme is ‘Once Upon A Time’, with six stations set up across the camp based on fairy tales, famous story settings and fantastical films.
Yesterday, cubs from the Illawarra spent time at the Swiss Family Robinson station, digging for buried treasure, joining in hula lessons and bowling with coconuts.
Laughter rang across the bushland clearing as cubs from Albion Park took aim at one another with slingshots, aiming wet sponges at their friends.
Belle James, 8, said the slingshots had been her favourite game so far.
‘‘I just like getting wet and dirty,’’ she said.
Down at the Treasure Island activity base stood one of the main attractions – the waterslide.
Despite the cloudy sky, kids lined up and sped down the bright blue slope before running up the hill to do it all over again.
Some stood shivering from the chill in the air, but few were ready to leave before their time was up.
‘‘It’s freezing, but it’s awesome,’’ one cub yelled as he waited in line.
Once the morning activities were over, the cubs formed orderly lines and marched back to their tent cities for lunch, cheering and singing as they went.
Feeding the hungry mob, which also includes more than 1000 volunteers, parent helpers and older scouts, is no easy feat.
During the trip the camp will go through 30,000 pieces of fruit, 600kilograms of bacon, 900kilograms of sausages, 1200litres of tomato sauce and enough pancake mix to make 10,000 pancakes, and 15 tonnes of ice to keep it all cool.
After their meal most kids were keen to tackle Challenge Valley, a commando course through mud, water and dirt.
But some found it hard to pick just one activity to name as their favourite, including Albion Park’s Sophie Alards.
‘‘Probably all of it,’’ she said.