12th Darlington Expedition Challenge

Expedition Challenge Weekend

The day started on the Train, Scouts had worked out the best way to get to Great Ayton from Darlington was by train, some had bought tickets prior to the day of the expedition others were trying to buy tickets at the Stations ATM. But after other Scouts pointed out there errors they were on the Train to Great Ayton. A Scout Leader had sneaked onto the train to keep a careful eye on the Scouts. Change over at Middlesbrough and it wasn’t long before they were at Great Ayton.

With Map and Route Card in hand and the world on their shoulders (kit bag for one night only) they set of on their hike to Ravensgill Campsite (Commondale). 20 Minutes had past and the two groups of Scouts had gone different ways. With a quick check and the point of the Compass they were on the correct path.

Whilst one of the Leaders followed the 2 groups from the station, three of us me included met at the first check point. We had a short wait whilst we worked out which exit they would come from. We followed a path through the trees near Kirkdale and suddenly we heard them, or at least one of the groups. “Who do you think you are? Where Do you come from!” they sung at the top of their voices. Quickly the 3 of us Adam, John and Myself legged it back down the path to hide and get out of the way ‘they’re supposed to be unassisted and we didn’t want to be seen, (we must of looked like Foggy, Cleggy & Compo from the Last of the Summer Wine, let you work out which one was compo) We waited and we waited and ………. waited suddenly the Necker of the 12th appeared through the gate, no it wasn’t the Scouts it was Tony the other Leader he had given up following them and hiding. The two groups had caught up and sat down for their Lunch.

The four of us decided to snack ourselves at this point and in time the 2 groups packed up and set on the rest of the journey at this point we weren’t hiding anymore. A quick check of the map with the leaders and the 2 groups carried on about 10 minutes between them. We the leaders had a quick discussion again and set off towards our next checkpoints.

Adam and Tony in one car went hide at a junction whilst John and I went on further to a clearing where we knew the two groups would come out of. Again we waited….. & waited, then the sight of the first group coming out of the tree line with their florescent rucksack covers it was no Operation Sanctuary training they stuck out like a sore thumb. We watched as they looked at the map and then decided rather than follow the path that it would be quicker to take a shortcut, all we could do was laugh as they suddenly found themselves in a Bog. The footpath is there for a reason scouts. They squelched and Ugh!!! Ugh!!! Then there was the call of one of the Scouts names (Who shall not be named, why (Insert Scouts name) did you bring is this way. Both John and I had a good giggle as it must have took them to get to the road in about 25 mins. The other group by this point had come the correct way using the Footpath and over took them.

Again we checked them over and both groups showed us the way they were going and of they went. By this time it was a straight road to speak of to camp. We as leaders agreed to meet them at camp.

We got to camp and started to unpack our equipment. It wasn’t long before the 2 groups of Scouts turned up and we showed them their camping area. Soon the scouts had their tents pitched and just  in time as the heavens opened with a thunderstorm. That soon passed and believe it or not the sun came out and dried up the fields.

The scouts were then set about cooking their evening meals on Tangiers, pasta and meatballs on one team and soup and noodles on the other. The evening passed with a bit of Stretcher building and we as leaders thought we had it all planned for a winning race to make a stretcher we would do a rope stretcher whilst the scouts had four poles and some lashing to do. We were wrong, we must be teaching these Scouts right, we barely got ready with making our stretcher and one of the groups were nearly done. With both scout teams well ahead of the game we as Leaders took a bronze medal.

Evening came and we sat by the fire and discussed the day, laughing telling stories and picking out our best and worst parts of the day. Bedtime came and went, and we woke to the smell of bacon, we then packed up and made our way home. Each Scout gained their Expedition Challenge and should be proud of themselves, and learned #Skillsforlife

Neil – Scout Leader

Beaver Picnic

Let me across here, I want my picnic

12th Beavers enjoying the giant swing at County beaver picnic.

The sun was kind this year, the theme was ‘fun at the seaside’ so we expected the sun. We didn’t win the banner competition but or coconut shy game was extremely popular.

Once again county put on a fabulous day, you can’t go anywhere for those activities for that price. The organisation to get 500 plus young people their is well thought through. It’s just a shame the car park doesn’t have a road so the leaders don’t get stuck in the car park for an hour. However, the comments from the young people make you soon forget.

Youth Investment Fund round up! – June

With another 2 open events taking place in June our number of new members in Darlington is rapidly growing. First came 14th Darlington (St Andrews) who opened their doors and put on a fantastic open event. With the weather on our side and a carousel of exciting activities the 30 new young people who turned up had a great time. So much so that we saw 19 of them again the following week – despite the clash of timings with the first England game of the World Cup! Thanks to Tony and the team at 14th Darlington (St Andrews) for their hard work.

We are well under way in opening new provision in Skerne Park. Week 1 saw 120 young people aged between 6-14 giving Scouts a go. By week 3 we still have 90 young people attending. Week 4 will see the session times alter, allowing Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to all meet separately. We have around 10 adults who will be joining the movement to support with the new group. Watch this space to find out the group name……….

Thanks so much to Sandra Bower for your amazing work with this new provision, your time, experience and knowledge has enabled these 90 young people to join the Scout movement and start their own adventures.

If anyone would like get involved in the Youth Investment project, please do get in touch. There is still plenty more exciting adventures to come and more opportunities to create; allowing more young people to experience the joys of Scouting.

Joanne Hennessey

Growth and Development Officer – Durham