AFTER training for six months to achieve the Expedition section of the DofE Award, covering navigation, cooking skills and emergency aid, 46 Explorer scouts aged 14 to 18 from the five units in Woking, together with 22 leaders, made their way to Brecon for a weekend of fun and challenging hikes over the May bank holiday.
Having arrived at their campsite in Llangorse, near Brecon, at around 11pm on the Friday, the Scouts pitched camp and bedded down for the night, ready for an early start. Despite low temperatures and snow on the top of the mountains, Scouts in teams of four or five completed high-level walks, including Pen y Fan and Waun Fach.
Three teams of Explorer Scouts completed their three-day Expedition, covering a distance of about 50 kilometres, walking from Talgarth, around Waun Fach to Crickhowell and Talybont, then back up to Llangors.
During the weekend, two other teams of younger Explorers completed a two-day, 25-kilometre Expedition, walking from Crickhowell, following part of the Beacons Way to Cwmdu and back to Llangorse Lake.
En route the Scouts had to complete their chosen projects, on subjects such as the effect of tourism on the paths, historic buildings and the effects rivers and lakes have on the community. One team carried out their project on the local thoughts of Brexit.
The Expedition was the final part of their Chief Scout’s Award and the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme’s Bronze and Silver Expedition section.
Another group of five Explorers completed a gruelling three-day Expedition as part of their official practice for the Queen’s Scout and DofE Gold Awards, covering around 25km a day in the wildest parts of the Black Mountains. They will now go on to complete a four-day Expedition on Dartmoor in August.
The Expedition section enables the Scouts to gain confidence. “It was a super and fun weekend for all the Scouts,” said Brian Pinto, Explorer Scout Commissioner for Woking. “The terrain was much more challenging than the Surrey Hills and their training in the last two terms certainly paid off, putting their navigation skills to the test.”