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Teams from Beds, Berks and Northants joined Hertfordshire Scouts for the Chiltern Challenge, an annual event held at Phasels Wood Scout Activity Centre, Hemel Hempstead, designed and run by Network Scouts (aged 18-25) to test skills and teamwork for Explorer Scouts (aged 14-17), now in its 51st year.

 

After the teams had checked in and pitched their tents, they set off for their morning challenges, a series of bases such as water guttering, sponge catch, xylophone tunes, semaphore messages and silent puzzles.  As with most Scouting activities, nothing is straight forward so teamwork is essential to get the job done.

 

In the afternoon the teams undertook timed trials – an assault course that was spread across the 95 acre site and included monkey bars, cargo nets, a tyre mountain, a spiders’ web etc, and an orienteering challenge around the site.

 

After a hearty supper the Explorers headed off for a night hike, travelling several miles between Kings Langley, Apsley, Tower Hill, Chipperfield, through woods, along footpaths and across fields, stopping to take part in several tasks along the way. These tasks again required teamwork, with challenges such as padlock and keys, batak, human landmarks and more (8 in all).

Everyone was tracked and kept safe by our local RAYNET members who had set up a control room at Phasels. The weather was extremely wet, but in true Scouting style this didn’t dampen their spirits!

 

Eventually returning to camp after a very soggy night hike, the teams turned in for some sleep while the organisers collated the scores ready for the presentations during The Big Breakfast. This was a celebratory feast to mark the 50th Chiltern Challenge after the event was cancelled last year due to a flooded site.

 

Winners were:

George Storrow Trophy – Day Challenge

1st – Polhill Inside Out – Bedford

2nd – VVV2 – Berkhamsted, Herts

3rd – Doge – Hemel Hempstead, Herts; Labyrynth – Letchworth and Baldock, Herts; VVV1 – Berkhamsted, Herts

 

Golden Boot Trophy – Night Challenges

1st – Icknield Boys – Tring, Hertfordshire

2nd – Doge – Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

3rd – Shackleton A – Harpenden, hertfordshire

 

Overall Challenge

1st – Icknield Boys – Tring, Hertfordshire

2nd – Doge – Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

3rd – Shackleton A – Harpenden, Hertfordshire

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