County Bear Trek 2004

posted 6 Oct 2016, 08:42 by Dave Tomlin

We arrived at Hatton campsite scout hut at some unearthly time on a Sunday morning (9:00am). After our recent success in the district incident hike we were confident but unsure as to what we were to encounter in the pleasant but cold Warwickshire countryside. At least we were on home ground.

We were driven to our first checkpoint where we were to start at half past nine. Our team started walking and we soon got to the first incident, which was first aid. Thankfully, most of us had our emergency aid badge and we sorted out the unconscious child with no problem. After ignoring the shouting man with the broken arm for way too long, we eventually tied his arm in a sling. The leaders gave us some advice and then we were off again.

I will add at this point that we were given a quiz that had questions to answer as we were walking between checkpoints. We missed out a question and had to run all the way back to the previous checkpoint to answer it. Great.

The next checkpoint was to memorize all the counties in England and then write them on a map with a pen that didn't work in the rain. It was raining by the way. We eventually did it and then walked to the next checkpoint, which was to build a fire to boil enough water for a cup of tea. Considering it had just been raining we did pretty well. Dry brambles and silver birch lit well with the help of a smarties packet.

The next incident was to pitch a hike tent on a groundsheet without any of the equipment touching the surrounding ground. We did it in two minutes and something. Striking it and packing it wasn't so easy, but we still managed it. And so on we walked until we came to the next incident. Yippee, knot tying. I still don't know how to tie a fisherman's bend or a one-handed bowline but some people in our group did. We completed the challenge with flying colours.

The last incident was the one we failed miserably at even though we'd done the same one on the incident hike. You had to make a sort of crane to retrieve a billycan of sweets on the other side of a couple of ropes. Last time we used a rock but we weren't allowed too this time. We spent about five minutes trying to hook the billycan but we couldn't and we had to stop. Oh well.

We were driven back to Hatton scout hut where we had a cup a soup or hot-dogs and warmed up. The points were added up and the top three teams read out. Yes, we'd come first for the third year in a row! It had been a great hike and we had even managed to squash into two red phone boxes during it. Even better, the trophy would stay in our cabinet for another year.

Heather (SPL Nov 2004)