The Great Cotswold adventure…
We looked through our rose tinted glasses back to when this lot first started 4 years ago, the original Wednesday troop intake! Then we began to hear them a good mile away and felt less nostalgic. To be able to earn their Gold award before they leave this summer, 10 of the oldest members of the troop have to hike for 2 days with all their kit on their backs; clothes, food, tents, Faberge rugs, blu-ray players – the lot! They planned their own routes and were to be left largely to their own devices, both when hiking and at camp. They were responsible for organising themselves and keeping time, doing remarkably well overall.
The setting was the wonderful Cotswolds, with the route taking in Stow-On-The-Wold and Bourton On The Water. Overnight accommodation was a nearby farm, with absolutely no mod-cons, apart from a barn which would prove to be invaluable! Day 1 saw one team start from checkpoint one going East instead of West, which we quickly corrected! After being shadowed by leaders for the first 3km, the two teams were left to their own devices, trying to navigate from checkpoint to checkpoint, and finally arriving a little later than scheduled at camp, where everyone promptly collapsed! By this time, the leaders had consumed a few gallons of tea and were thoroughly enjoying the glorious sunshine they’d been landed with for the weekend. However there was still much to be done, tents to be pitched and food to be cooked. With tents pitched and kit safely in, we quickly retreated to the safety of the dry barn, which allowed us to cook in comfort as the heavens opened around us! With little light pollution it was an absolute treat watching the lightening crashing down all around us, and will be a storm to remember for a long time!
Day 2 started with an almost unbelievable amount of faffing (even for scouts!), but the teams finally got going before sunset! To their credit, they’d clearly learned a lot from the previous day and their navigation was flawless. They reached Bourton in cracking time, which allowed us to finish with tasty ice creams!
A maHOOSIVE well done to the 10 that came, you all did yourselves proud with your positive attitudes and your teamwork couldn’t have been better. Just under 30km were covered over the two days, and it was great to see the improvement in navigation skills over the two days, resulting in some very proud leaders!
We’ll be sorry to see the backs of you guys!