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Saturday 24th February 2018

Congratulations to all who took part in the Night Hike last Saturday. We had bright moonlight in clear skies and temperatures below 0o by midnight. At least that meant that most of the mud was frozen.

There were 13 Patrols from 11 Troops (1st Royal Greenwich, 1st Royal Eltham, 3rd Royal Eltham, 8th Royal Eltham, 10th Royal Eltham, 40th Greenwich (St James), 40th Greenwich (St Michaels), 46th Greenwich, 49th Greenwich, 54th Greenwich and 27th Woolwich). There must have been about 80 Scouts. Some Leaders still haven’t provided a list of participants.

All got home safely, although one patrol didn’t check in at the finish. Luckily we spotted them in the car park or we may have still been out there looking for them.

Some Patrols walked with adult or Young Leader “support”. Other cruel Leaders just kicked their Scouts out there to fend for themselves.

I point gained for every minute early at a checkpoint and 2 points for every minute late. Deducted from this were points gained for the navigation and other questions asked the Checkpoints.

Six Patrols visited every checkpoint. These were (low scores best):

3rd Royal Eltham            -8 points

40th Greenwich A            5

1st Royal Eltham B         10

54th Greenwich               11

40/49th Greenwich B       69

27th Woolwich A             169

I was truly amazed that one Patrol missed cp1 and came straight to cp2. A difficult thing to achieve.

I was expecting getting to cp2 to be the problem but everyone got there in the end.

Finding cp3 proved to be the most difficult although this was only 890m across two fields. It is an old problem. How do you follow footpaths across the middle of fields in the dark where there isn’t an obvious path?

Well, yes. Take a bearing. There were overhead power lines that gave you a clue.

The run in home was easy as long as you kept the airfield fence close to your right shoulder.

I must express my thanks to all the Leaders, parents and others who turned out to help.

Especially the sweep team of Matt, Toby, Andrew, Estelle and Nick who spent the evening looking for lost patrols and walking the route behind them; to Conway and Sue who ran the start, finish and Control Desk so we had an idea of which Patrols were where; to Leaders and parents from 1st Royal Eltham, 3rd Royal Eltham, 40th Greenwich, 46th Greenwich, 54th Greenwich and 49th Greenwich who ran the checkpoints; and James and Steve as custodians of the back gate to the campsite.

We did have more volunteers for whom I couldn’t find jobs.

John Twidale

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