District Challenge Hilke

The day arrived, the day of the District Challenge Hike Competition

This year’s Challenge Hike went all techy we were using the What 3 Words app to navigate to the checkpoints.

We setup our start point of ///drums.risk.museum and waited for or first team from the 13th Darlington Scout Group. We had 7 teams competing with 4 different scout groups from around the town.

7th Sea Scouts Darlington

12th Darlington Scout Group

13th Darlington Scout Group

27th Darlington Scout Group

The 27th being our most recently formed group in town.

A quick brief and the Scouts entered the hall for their first challenge 1st Aid. We had a total of 6 Challenges for the scouts to complete at different check points around town. Other checkpoints consisted of a “Tower of Cups”, “Just a Minute”, “Knot Just a Minute”, “Nails on the Block” and finally “The Floor is Lava”

A number of the groups came and went so we waited on the 7th Sea Scouts to turn up to the start, they had been camping the night before and were using the challenge hike as part of their weekend of Fun!

They came in their Mini Bus from camp and entered the car park with a bounce, as they all piled out of the bus there was a look of fun, cheekiness and enthusiasm on their faces unlike one of their leaders who I believe had had 22 minutes sleep the night before and it showed LOL. More briefings and of they went on their travels.

Finally the last group to go were the DC’s Favourites (12th Darlington Scout Group), we explained what was expected   of them for the day and of they went. They completed the 1st challenge with relative ease, walked out of the car park and took the wrong turning, 2 mins later they are passing the car park again on the correct track, there’s more to come from this group!!!! Later on in the report.

With that we started packing up to move onto the finishing post at South Park, South Park Bowling Club kindly offered their club house as the final checkpoint where the Scouts would finish, and have a chance of refreshments.

As the day progressed we were getting reports on the locations of the groups around town as they arrived and completed the challenges set before them.

It was a cold day and spending 7hrs standing in fields waiting for scouts started to take its toll on the leaders, being asked “are you still here” by dog walkers who had been around the park  in the morning to squirrel reporting “not the new sections may I add” and playing on the swings themselves.

Cold !!

The scout teams did really well at the checkpoints they were marked on Teamwork, Effort and Completion of the task. Well not all groups!

Squirrel spotting !

As groups were checked in and reported back to base as passing the checkpoints we noted that one group was late very late to their next checkpoint. A quick discussion between the leaders and it was agreed that we would investigate. It turned out that at the last checkpoint the DC Favourites had decided to have a spot of Luncheon and as they were in the park now …. During the middle of the hike they would play on the swings, slides and roundabouts!!!!! For an hour! 1 whole hour! Whilst hyperthermia was setting in with the leaders. We sent one of them to move them on, finally they arrived at check point 4 which just so happened to be run by their own Scout Leader and wait for it ………   the challenge was “Just a Minute” (You couldn’t write it !). 

Lesser Spotted DC’s Favourites

After a “Strong Motivational Talk” the DC Favourites were back on the road.

DC’s Favourite’s attempting to play catch-up

Groups were now rolling in at the Final Checkpoint in the South Park. First were the 13th followed by the first team from the 12th who had somehow leapfrogged the 27th but it didn’t take long and the 27th came round the corner some with smiles some without and just relief that it was over. The two teams from the 7th rocked up and took on the refreshments.

We still had two teams out in the field both from the 12th the Dammy Jodgers and the DC Favourites as the day was getting longer we called it for the DC Favourites they hadn’t reached check point 5 and if we let them finish the course we would have been into December.

We got notice that the Dammy Jodgers had finished the last Check Point and were heading our way at the finish.

What to do with the DC Favourites, A quick discussion between the leaders and the Bus of Shame was sent out to pick them up LOL.

The DC’s Favourites came in and had been tortured not only with a ride on the “Bus of Shame”  but had to endure the sound of Venga Boys  I like to party on loop all the way back to the South Park

In all we believe the Scouts enjoyed the day and that’s what counts, they hiked around town, did some challenges showed great teamwork and learnt #SkillsForLife .

Finally the winners with a total of 150 points were the Holly Walkermolies from the 27th Darlington Scout Group.

Well done guys!!!

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)

GSL 12th Darlington