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ABOUT Sleeping Bags & Tortures. The private diaries of an adventurous scout and his scout leader.


Alex lives in Chislehurst, Kent where he’s, so far, been cosseted from the harsh realities of life. He has just moved up to the Scout Section from Cubs and is sooo excited! He has decided to keep a diary of his new adventures.


His Scout leader, John (Skip) also lives in Chislehurst. He has kept a diary for many years. However, more recently his diary has focussed on his Scouting. Not so much the adventures, but the trials and tribulations of being a Scout leader as he recounts the same situations as Alex but through a leader’s eyes and not a Scout’s, alongside his - sometimes strained - relationships and dealings with Scout parents.


Sleeping Bags and Tortures is three stories in one book: the diary of a Scout, the diary of a Scout leader, and interwoven together the hilarious story of one year in the life of 3rd Chislehurst Scouts.


From Alex's start in the Scout Section, he and John take us on a journey through troop meetings and outdoor activities with much of the summer holiday devoted to a daily diary kept during a trip to the Aosta Valley in Italy on a crazy camp which shows the Scouting spirit at its best.


However, amongst the fun, not all is as it seems. For one person we start to get the impression that the fun is ending and the seriousness of life is beginning, perhaps a little too soon.


Sleeping Bags and Tortures is written in a way that makes it accessible not only to Scouts and leaders, but also to most parents and teenagers (so long as the young people only read Alex’s entries and even then with parental guidance), as well as anyone who has ever worked with children and who has an appreciation of the almost larger than life characters that some of them are.


However, it was never intended that these diaries be published, so apologies in advance to anyone who feels offended. They have also been left more or less unaltered in order to preserve an original feel. This does at times mean that Alex’s grammar and spelling aren’t always as good as is taught in some schools.


This is John Hemming-Clark's second story book, a follow up to his immensely successful "In You Go! A Year or Two in the Life of a Scout Leader."

"So funny. A brilliant follow up to 'In You Go.' Being a cub scout leader I can relate to the incidents. Highly recommended."


"Another hilarious look at one of the best things you can do with your time! Yes, scouts really do stuff like this (sometimes)."


"An accessible, hilarious page turner - well worth a read: A brilliant book, I couldn't put it down. By presenting the story through the eyes of both a Scout and their Leader you get a great insight into the crazy adventures of the 3rd Chislehurst Scout Troop, although I hope it isn't all true!

I'd highly recommend 'Sleeping Bags...' to anyone whether or not they were in the Scouts but if you work with children (and their parents!) regardless of if it is in the voluntary, public or private sector then this is absolutely a must read!"

Amazon reviews

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