Report by Scouts Seth & James W
On the 26th June of 2021, the older scouts of 1st Knaphill Scout Troop went on a hiking expedition in the Surrey Hills. Since we were still in a global pandemic we could not camp overnight which we would have done if the circumstances were different. The whole idea was that the scouts taking part were split into two teams, Team A and Team B and each team would start in different car parks and make their way to Leith Hill. But before we started hiking, we all met up on zoom several weeks before the date of the expedition and started to make plans. Through several video calls and meetups we figured out who had what role and who were the team leaders and who was in each team. Some people from each team attended a meeting in the half term of the summer term and planned our routes. We made a route card and figured out all of the checkpoints. At each checkpoint a leader will be waiting for us (they drove from checkpoint to checkpoint) and helped us to regroup (thanks leaders). Other than that, we had no help going from checkpoint to checkpoint. Each group had a walkie talkie to communicate to the leaders if we were struggling or we were in danger.
In the first meeting, the leaders introduced us to the main concept of the expedition.
Like I said before, if we were not in a pandemic it would have been a camp outdoors. They first showed us a video that the previous group of scouts made when doing their camp. This is where we got most of our ideas on what we wanted to do with our expedition. After that we sorted out who was doing what, some of the roles were chef, route planners, first aiders, budget managers, media and group leader. As a part of the media team we took photos and we are writing this report. If you were a first aider, you were in charge of carrying the first aid kit and helping people who had injuries. The chef’s job was to sort out what we were cooking for dinner that night (All in One Spicy Pork and Rice) and sort out the proportions and help the money manager with the pricing of the food. Our initial route planners had to drop out so multiple people stepped in. Their job was to look at the best route to get from point A to point B and bag as many hills as possible along the way. We also marked all the checkpoints and filled in the route card. The Team Leader just lead their group.
Being in Team A we will review our experience as a member of Team A not Team B. The first leg of our journey was to travel down Box Hill. We fell over almost immediately as it was so steep and quite rough ground and then travelled over the River Mole via some quite famous stepping stones (photo). We crossed a busy road and continued on our way. We came to a gate and passed into a wooded area sheltered in shade thanks to the aid of the tree canopies. After walking for 15 minutes we came to a crossing which we didn’t recognize on the map, but after a few minutes our team figured out where we were and which way we should go. Eventually we got to a gate which looked locked, but there was an open side gate hidden by foliage.
Once we had gone through there was a large vineyard, from then on it was smooth sailing, until we got lost again! Our biggest hurdle occurred when we were approaching our lunch destination and checkpoint 4/6. We got very lost after we started to go up a hill and we took one wrong turn. We followed this path until we hit a road. This is the moment we realised we had gone wrong so we followed the path back down again and went up the other path. The other path ended up leading to the same road as the previous path and so we stopped to have lunch. During lunch we figured out our location and set a new route with the aid of a leader. After we had eaten we followed this path until we finally, after a very long hike, made it to Leith Hill Tower. Along our makeshift route, we encountered a rope swing longing to be swung. So out of the kindness of our hearts, we helped it reach its goal and swung. Once we got to Leith Hill Tower we were bought ice creams by an unknowing father of one of our team members. A good end to an excellent hike.
We enjoyed ourselves and had a blast cooking a meal of Spicy Pork and Rice at the end of a long day with all of the members of Team B as well.
Report by Scout Hannah:
Team B started off strong and feeling great about the day ahead. We walked over many hills and trekked through woodland. While making our way through different check points in the heating of the suns rays we encountered some of Surreys best scenery as well as wildlife.
Our lunch stop point was super special. We watched over Surrey from the top of a hill, we could see so much! With the sun blasting down on us, we drank through our water quite quickly. After lunch we took a few wrong turns and ended up in the wrong direction downhill! That was not a highlight! Thankfully after turning around we made it to one of the last checkpoints and sat back allowing ourselves to rest; the ice-cream treat at the end was second to none and we were able to reflect on the day. The expedition really was a hard but amazing and for a few moments in the day I forgot we were in a global pandemic !