In this “Campfire Chat with” I talk to John Hemming Clark. A Scout Leader in Chislehurst, Kent and also a very talented Author.

Tell us a little about who you are, what you do and your Scouting Journey… 
More or less full-time writer now, writing about the UK’s funniest, liveliest and naughtiest young person. Before that I was in banking then a self-employed financial analyst, and database compiler for vet and dentist suppliers. Became a scout leader after my son wanted to be a scout and there was no regular scout leader in our local group. I was going to do it for one year. That was eight years ago.

How did Horace come about?
Having written “In You Go! A year or two in the life of a scout leader” and sold thousands, I had so much unused material that I worked some of it into “The Adventures of Horace Horrise” which is a nine book series for older children but with the intention that adults would enjoy them as well. The idea was that parents could read them to their children or leaders to their cubs / scouts without the adults falling asleep with boredom. However, it turns out that adults read them just as much as the children!

Your book
“Sleeping Bags and
Tortures: The Private Diaries of an Adventurous Scout and his Scout Leader” was apparently “banned” by  The Scout Association. Is this an urban myth?
No. I am not allowed to sell this book at any HQ scouting event due to the, “appropriateness of the title in relation to Scouting’s vales and safeguarding policies.”

Are you a camper or Glamper? 
Camper with glamper accessories – blow-up bed, pillow.

Whats your favourite piece of camping gear?
Duck tape. Always needed!

What’s your most embarrassing Scouting memory?
Peeing over a scout during “Capture the Flag” in a pitch-black wood on my first camp as a scout leader. It’s recounted in “In You Go!”

What 1 piece of advice would you give a newbie Scout Leader?
Don’t worry about not having enough activities planned for a scout meeting. Things always take much longer to execute than you think and the scouts always know a game or two if you actually do run out of time, or you can just chat or go for a walk.

HORICEWould Horace make a decent Scout Leader ?
Yes, because he’s enthusiastic and  wants to do his best and doesn’t worry too much about anything.

What will Horace be up to in 2019?
The last two books in the “Adventures” series and then his diary will be published. This is 365 micro-stories for those that don’t have enough time to read a whole book.

If you could have dinner with anyone? Dead or alive, who would it be?
Bear Grylls, Sir David Attenborough, James Ketchell and Nicky Gumbel. Of all the well-known people I’ve sent copies of my books to, these four are the only ones who have ever bothered to reply.

Many thanks for chatting to us John here at Big man in the woods.
If you would like to purchase any of John’s books which includes Horrice wants to be a Scout or even the “Famous” banded Scout Book, you can a purchase them via the following