Over the weekend in a lucky break in the weather 132 intrepid Scouts and Explorers from across Northamptonshire split into 28 teams took part in the annual Backwoods Challenge at Overstone Scout Activity Centre. Over the course of the weekend the Scouts (with minimal input from their leaders) were faced with two challenges – to prepare three edible meals from a selection of ingredients that they had not seen, and to build a shelter in which to spend Saturday night. And what a night it was! Whilst it wasn’t a storm as such the forecast wind and rain meant that the organisers patrolled all night and places of safety were made available if the worst were to happen. But, 100 young people braved the elements and slept soundly, keeping warm and (mostly!) dry throughout the night.
Really early on Saturday morning, 73 members of Wellingborough District Scouts gathered at our District headquarters. We were excited to be on our way to visit the World War One Cemeteries.
First, we had a long coach journey to the Channel Tunnel. We passed the time by eating our breakfast, and our lunch as well as lots of sweets.
On the way to the tunnel, we picked up Jo and John, our battlefield guides. They proved to be really important to help us understand what we were seeing. As we travelled through France they told us about how the war had started and given us an idea of what Belgium had been like before the war. Many of the soldiers at the beginning of the war thought that the war would be over quickly. The armies were full of professional soldiers and those who joined up for adventure. Later both sides conscripted young men into their armies, as the war dragged on.
Our first stop was Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. The cemetery is on the site of a Casualty Clearing station. This meant that most of the men buried here are known by their names. The cemetery was very peaceful and well kept with lots of plants and flowers. We learned that an organisation named the Commonwealth War Graves Commission looks after the cemetery.
Making Overstone Camp site a better place to visit
Mandy Brooker Group Scout Leader at 22nd NORTHAMPTON writes I was very privileged to have held our first Group camp in many years, 20 young people from Beavers Cubs and Scouts attended the camp the weekend the clocks went back!
Discussing our World Challenge badges and how we can make our world a better place to live we planted 400 daffodil bulbs by Knights Lodge. These bulbs were very kindly donated to our Group from HARLESTONE HEATH GARDEN CENTRE, and we are very pleased that they were able to support us in our venture.
Thank you too goes to my leadership team who made the weekend such a success.