Darlington Challenge Hike 2019

Well what can we say about the 1st Darlington Challenge Hike, we said it would be fun, exciting and challenging and it was…… this came about by one of the Scouts from the 12th wishing to replicate the Cleveland Hike. A hike around Cleveland with a bit of orienteering and challenges along the way, The 12th did a small one from Winston to Piercebridge and the DC thought it was such a good idea we should do one for the District and here we are….

The leaders from the 12th Scout Group got together and came up with a route. We planned the challenges and checked out the route to see where we could setup the check points.
Once happy with all of this we invited the District we had 3 Groups enter 2 teams from the 7th Sea Scouts,  3 teams from the 12th and 1 from the 19th,

Leaders from the 3 groups met up at High Coniscliffe early doors, so early that some of us didnt know there was two 6 o’clocks in a whole day !!!

Anyway John from the 12th had biked around part of the course hanging out QR Codes at various check points , this was the 2nd time within the week he had been on this route as John and I had done a reccie during the week previous to the day. He didn’t know it but would by the end of the day do it 2 more times LOL!!

After a brief chat with the leaders helping us out on the day and what our plans were, I thought it would only be right to get our Shiny New Vacancy Board out!!! Richard Smith who had done a smashing job of doing his own challenge hike around the Darlington Groups during the week delivering these , By the way how are yours coming on?

Vacancy Board in full View

Anyway on with the hike, The fist group arrived at 08:30 by this time the sun was out and it was starting to look like it was going to be a nice day for it as they say. 
 We briefed the Scouts with the Emergency details and what they would expect along the way, gave them the route card and of they went. Or so we thought…… all the planning…. all the training ….. we heard a faf fufle be hind us about 10 mins after we sent the scouts on their way and here they were still looking at the map working out which way the map is up !!! now folks remember this !! it comes into play later on …
A quick hint and they were off… 

With that sorted we sent a couple of leaders on via a short cut to get to the 1st manned checkpoint. As more groups came 30 min intervals it became clear that the Scouts needed a little helping hand at the beginning to get themselves going. And to prove to us that they do know how to orientate and use a map !  

Once all groups were gone, I wondered of to some of the check points that were easy accessible via the road,  Remember that first group well they hadnt turned up at our 3rd manned checkpoint a little concerned of the timings i decided to take a look and it wasn’t long before I bumped into them . They had decided not to follow the map but the road out of the village adding about 20 mins to their time… Anyway pointing out that they could have navigated a quicker route they were back on track.

During the whole day we leaders were in constant communication, letting everyone know which group had turned up at which Manned Checkpoint and when they had left. 

The Scouts followed the route card, found all the manned check points and some of the QR Cards, they got wet with the River Challenge, carried out first aid, did pioneering,  Found treasure on a bearing and balanced their way along an course.  

As the day went on we heard that the first group had finally come into the Last Checkpoint Hotdogs and a Drink. One by one the teams came in, mostly happy and cheerful and pleased they had done it. Seeing the Scouts having fun, learning new things, building friendships and working as team what more do you want from Scouts….. #SkillsForLife 

On to the scores, the following are the results.

12th Darlington Blue Team – 325
7th Sea Scouts Team 2 – 312
12th Darlington Red Team – 285
12th Darlington Green Team 260
7th Sea Scouts Team 1 – 250
19th Darlington –  230

So well done to 12th Darlington Blue Team who as it was, the team that went the long way round at Low Coniscliffe and had the map the wrong way at the start WON!!!

And that’s it without John, Adam, Nigel and David from the 12th, Richard and Callum from the 7th and Richard (DC) and Peter from the 19th we wouldn’t have been able to plan and execute the 1st Darlington Challenge Hike, so a big thank you  from me to them for their time and enthusiasm that they put into the day.  

Same time next year (September 2020)

Neil
GSL 12th Darlington