On Saturday 6th September a group of six senior Scouts set off on their Expedition Challenge. They had planned a route from Maidenhead to Windsor along the River Thames. In Windsor they purchased food for dinner and breakfast before continuing on to Bears Rails camp site in Windsor Great Park.
The Scouts set up their camp and prepared dinner. After a pasta meal, cake and cream and marshmallows by the fire it was time for bed under clear, cold skies. On Sunday – after bacon and eggy bread – camp was packed up and the Scouts followed their route on from Bears Rails through the Great Park and on to Ascot station.
A short train ride back to Winnersh closed the Expedition out and some very tired but happy Scouts were back home! Well done to Jasmine, Ethan, Holly, Lukas, Frank and Dylan!!
Those are the headlines but the reality is these young people had spent months honing the skills they learned and forgot over the last 2 to 3 years at scouts. How long does it take to walk a mile? What is a tick point on a map? How do you use that compass?
I know walking along the Thames sounds easy.... But as someone who has gone from London to Henley along the Thames I can tell you the path often leaves the river or worse dead ends and if you missed the crossing to the other side it can be a bit of a trek back. The river lulls you into a false sense of security and you think you don't need to use features as tick points.
They spent a good number of evenings planning their route, working out their budget, worrying about who had to carry the cooker and who the pots and who the tents. So we were mean and did not initially tell them that we would not expect them to carry our current tents and that we were planning on them using a real cooker not the Trangia. We are proud of this group of intrepid adventurers and look forward to watching them go onto their D of E and eventually Explorer Belts.