Scafell expedition March 2018

30th March 2018 by Claire Shadbolt

‘Twas the weekend before Easter when seven intrepid scouts headed out for the Surrey Hills on their expedition.

Two patrols walked some of the North Downs Way and surrounding villages to reach Bentley Copse, where we camped overnight.

Both patrols thought they understood navigation.  They understood how OS maps and compasses worked.  But one patrol found they don’t help that much if you are just walking along, singing a song, and scorfing Skittles.   Both groups went off course, and eventually they worked out where they were.  They got to the checkpoint, and later to the campsite a bit behind their predicted time.

They cooked their evening meal and breakfast over triangias – meth burners.  Perhaps their evening meal could have done with a little more thought to make it a feast, rather than something to fill their bellies.  Anyone fancy egg noddles, hot dogs and chicken cup-a-soup that has been on the boil for 30 minutes?  There was flapjacks and hot chocolate as well.  For breakfast they had porridge with Cadburys Flake and/or golden syrup followed by bacon and sausages.   They did go to sleep and start in the morning having had enough to eat.

It did feel like a constant found of washing up.  They were quite good at team work and making sure that everyone pulled their weight.

Over night they slept in small hike tents in twos and a one.  The weather was kind, with very little rain and dropping to around 2ºC.  That was very mild compared to the week before when it was snowing!  The Scouts slept well with most falling asleep around 10:00 and the last talking quietly until 11:30.  Just as well it was an early night as the clocks went forward and we lost an hour’s sleep.

Day two and they left the campsite only an hour late.  That washing up seems to grow!  One patrol stayed almost exactly on route and made good time through out the day.  We did wonder why the second patrol was going at 0mph, until they let slip they had found a playground.  Their navigation was much improved overnight and they more or less stayed on route – well the route they chose which went past the playground.

Both patrols finished the hike in reasonable time.  The journey home in the minibus was very quiet.  Most of them caught up on a bit more sleep.

Special congratulations to Hemlock patrol who hiked both days, more or less on route, correcting their own mistakes and not needing any additional help.  Foxglove patrol also did well, although they need need a lift (or three) to get them back onto into the time schedule.  This is still an achievement.

We are looking forward on their reports and looking forward to news on their task – “To compare different environments and see what plants are in them.”

Many thanks to Claire, Bobby, Anneka and Ben for supporting the event.

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