It was a gorgeous weekend on the hills around Stroud. The views were spectacular and the sun shone throughout. This however, provided extra challenge as Scouts never follow instructions and struggled with lack of water, that is until friendly locals provided top ups.
Each day consisted of around 12km, the first day being rather hilly, the second a more sedate undulation around the Cotswold Way. Map reading instructions throughout Scout nights and camps proved fruitless as teams consistently went the wrong way. It wasn’t until the second day, that they took it seriously and thus followed the necessary rules to get it right. I don’t think they really thought we would just let them go wrong and trail them blindly, saying nothing!
Overnight stop was at the excellent Penn Wood Scout campsite. It was here and on the Sunday that the Scouts came across, should have listened number 2 – take plenty of food. Having turned their noses up at the hut at the food on offer, or in one case eating everything within the first few hours, it was late Saturday and midday Sunday when some started to get quite hungry. Oh well! Lesson learnt there then!
It was in no doubt a challenge for all the teams involved, but whilst lots of things would be done differently next time, all showed excellent determination to finish.
In the case of the leaders, don’t mention disposable BBQs.
Last weekend, I attended an expedition in Stroud with my Scout group (62nd). I found it to be challenging, fun, interesting and very tiring afterwards! The expedition tested my skills in map-reading, stamina and the ability to be a good team member.
Each group was told to plan their route and map-read to get to the checkpoints. They had to carry all the camping equipment needed for the expedition: tents, gas cooker, stove and food for the following day. This necessitated the groups to split the weight accordingly, allowing everyone to have an equal and fair load.
On the expedition, everyone had to work together as a team, supporting and helping each other. This attitude provides a good lesson for the future. The expedition really increased my map reading skills and ability to use bearings to find my current location. This was because a wrong turning can really affect an expedition.
Overall, I found the expedition to be a great experience that really tested and improved my Scouting skills.