On Saturday 4th March, under clear blue skies, two teams of scouts from 30th Abingdon took on the Winter Challenge, an 18-mile hike along the Ridgeway. Here is what four scouts had to say after the event.
This was my first time doing the Winter Challenge and I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was going to be easy, turns out it’s not! The checkpoints were a relief, they were a point closer to the end. Checkpoint 3 was the best, the bacon butties were really tasty! The terrain was really muddy & slippery & at one point I fell in a puddle. The mud added lots of weight to your feet & made it harder! I felt relieved and exhausted when I made it the whole 18 miles but also really pleased I’d done it.
On Saturday 4th March I walked the winter challenge with a group of scouts. It was a dry, bright spring day; which made for good walking conditions, so we made good time.We managed to complete it in 6 hours and 55 minutes, which we thought was a reasonable result. We walked and talked so the end was soon in sight. We had a great adult walking with us who encouraged us when we were struggling- thanks to Lucy for this support! There is a bacon butty stand and two tuck shops along the route to keep you moving.
It’s the first time I’ve done it and I would recommend the Winter Challenge to any scouts who want to test their limits.
We set off on a cold, dark but dry morning. This was my third Winter Challenge so I was planning on improving my time. When we set off, all we were talking about was our equipment and bacon butties! However, this was soon silenced when we got a taste of the bacon butties! We had fun together admiring the countryside. I can’t wait until next year!
I really enjoyed this year’s Winter Challenge. I have now done nearly 100 miles along the Ridgeway. I really loved the snacks and bacon butties, especially the lack of queues! It was great fun just walking and talking and I would recommend it to Scouts nad Cubs of all ages. I would also like to thank the Oxfordshire Kenya Unit for providing snacks at Checkpoint 4.
From the 2nd to the 4th September 2016, beavers, cubs and scouts from 30th Abingdon, and their families, camped at 1st Goring Heath Scout HQ for the group’s annual family camp.
Friday evening was mostly pitching tents and hammocks, and getting everything set up. After breakfast on Saturday, everyone split into teams and hiked down to 1st Goring HQ. Teams used either a northern or southern route.
The northern route:
The southern route:
Once at 1st Goring, the beavers, cubs, scouts and explorer scouts took part in climbing and everyone took part in the other activities: fire lighting, giant marble run, first aid, craft activities and circus skills. We invested Tom as a scout while on the climbing wall.
We stayed at 1st Goring until late afternoon when the teams hiked back to 1st Goring Heath using whichever route they did not use in the morning. The hike back was very wet with torrential rain and streams running down the paths; it was certainly a walk to remember!
Sunday morning involved more activities: sucker archery, slack lining, map making, pioneering, water rockets and more fire lighting. The young persons and their families were free to choose which activities they wished to join in with. The fire that resulted from the fire lighting was used to toast marshmallows after lunch before we all packed up and went home.
Two scouts from 30th Abingdon and their leaders went out for a 37 km bike ride at the weekend. It was tough in places: climbing onto the Ridgeway and hot sun but an early start meant that it wasn’t too hot for the majority of the ride. Photos, the route map and profile are below.
Clear blue skies!
Didcot power station (or what’s left of it)
Wait for me!
James’s bike could have done with front suspension for some of the route.