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Scouts braced for cold muddy adventure

Over 200 Scouts from Cambridgeshire forgot the post Christmas blues, the Sales, the Freezing temperatures, the Floods and joined 3000 Scouts and 1000 adults from all parts of the UK in Essex this weekend for the 2014 Gilwell Winter Challenge Camp. The event takes place at Gilwell Park, Chingford London. Gilwell is the home of Scouting and opens its doors every January for challenging adventure weekends which often involves snow and sub zero temperatures.


Daytime activities on offer over the weekend included quad biking, segways, climbing, and abseiling, horse riding, plus craft bases and for those wanting to cool down there was white water rafting at the Lea Valley White water centre. This was one of the London 2012 Olympic venues. Night activities included quizzes, film show, disco and a hike.

The biggest challenge which faces Young People on this challenge camp is the weather on the Saturday which was relatively mild for the time of year mud was the order of the day. Overnight going into Sunday temperatures plummeted to minus 3 centigrade, leaving a lot of tent’s to be de-iced on Sunday morning.

Scout Joshua said “This camp is Awesome. I’ve never done anything like this before, but my mum’s going to kill me when she sees the amount of mud I’m covered in. I’ve really enjoyed things like the quad bikes, but the white water rafting was a bit cold”.

Scout Leader Wayne Braybrook said “the Scouts we took were up for every challenge the Gilwell Winter Challenge Camp can throw at them they just wanted to have had more hours in the day to fit more activities in. We did think that White Water Rafting wouldn’t be very popular but the Scouts loved it”

Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, said "Winter Camp provides a whole new adventure experience for young people. This challenge is all about empowering these Scouts with the confidence and skills to survive the sub-zero temperatures, and keep warm and comfortable in their tents. It's humbling to see so many inspiring young people enjoying such a wide range of activities, from climbing, abseiling, quad biking and high ropes, all in January, the coldest month of the year."