Before we started the hike we first had to plan the route. We did so using Google maps a few days before the expedition, we planned the route so that we would begin at the Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake and then to walk along the Grand Union Canal until we reached the Quarries campsite in Cosgrove which was around 7 miles away.
On the 16th of august at 7:30am we met at “the hut” near Chestnuts Primary School, from there Neil and Tom drove us to Woolstone about a mile away from the Peace Pagoda. After this extra mile added on to the original route we eventually reached the Peace Pagoda. After that, we walked towards the canal, and then began the walk along the canal towards the Quarries Campsite. At this stage of the journey we were walking fairly slow as we were carrying all of our kit for the two days of the expedition while having to carry our tent and trangia for when we got to our site.
After about 3/4 of the walk we arrived at Wolverton’s Tesco where we went in to with £21 to buy our dinner, breakfast and lunch. Inside Tesco we bought the food necessary to make char grilled chicken fajitas including vegetables and various sauces, bacon butties for breakfast and also ham to use with the left over bread for lunch. After buying all of these, we surprisingly had change and so we headed back to the canal and followed the rest of our route to the Quarries, where we setup our tent on site 8 and cooked our food on the trangia around the fire, then talking with the leaders who had joined us there (Neil, Tom, Kieran and Ben) before finally crashing in our tent from the exhausting day hike there.
After cleaning all the rubbish on the site and packing away all of our belongings we walked towards Tesco to buy our lunch for that day due to the ham being destroyed. However, to get there we took a slightly different route, venturing towards Stony Stratford, and then following the river Ouse towards Wolverton. This journey took us a relatively short amount of time and we soon arrived at Tesco. In Tesco we each bought our lunch with the remainder of the money and just outside. After finishing our lunch we decided to change our route and walk through New Bradwell, Stantonbury, Great Linford, Pennyland and then onto the canal for the last stretch to the Peace Pagoda, our final destination. This route was much quicker to walk, however was still 4 hours long and about 7 miles long, like the previous day. After walking all this way and picking up two bags worth of rubbish we took a picture of Nathan and Joe next to the peace pagoda to show that we had collected 2 bags of rubbish so that they could complete the environmental section of the world badge. After this we walked to the peace pagoda car park where we were picked up and taken home and finished our expedition challenge badge, for the Chief Scout Gold award.
We all thoroughly enjoyed the expedition, and think that everyone should try for the Chief Scout gold award, as it is very rewarding and fun.
Nathan, Callum and Joe
I hope you have had a relaxing Summer break wherever you spent it. Meanwhile, a few updates from the Group…
First Nights Back
Beavers – Thursday 7th September
Cubs – Monday 4th September
Scouts – Friday 8th September
Explorers – Wednesday 6th September (at the Quarries)
You should all have received information about Group Camp via Online Scout Manager. This may well be the first time you have used this – we are looking to use it more in the Group to do event bookings etc – so I hope it hasn’t been too confusing for you.
When booking we need a T-shirt size – please provide this as either adult S/M/L/XL or as a chest size in inches – can you check and if you provided something different e.g. an age can you please either edit it on OSM or let your Section Leader know what it should be? Thanks.
But to summarise:
Dates: 13-15 October
Venue: The Quarries
Accommodation: Indoor for Beavers, camping for others
Activities: lots! But will include climbing and artificial caving
Booking deadline: end of Sunday 17th September
If you would like your son/daughter to go on camp could you please book either via OSM or via your Section Leader as soon as possible but definitely before the deadline above as with such a large camp we need time to plan.
It would be really helpful if you would indicate yes or no via OSM if you can even if paying cash or cheque.
If you have lost the OSM email and would like me to resend it please reply and let me know.
We have been busy over the summer and have just launched our new website – like the old one this is at http://www.thesaints.org.uk/.
Apart from looking more modern it has lots of new features, including some of the items we used to have in the Scout Yearbook, but extended to all our Sections:
At a glance look at events and programmes (once these go online)
Links to and more information on how OSM works
Photos and videos
Kit lists for camps and advice on kit purchase
News from the Group
Badge positions on uniform
Information on what you have to do for badges
…and lots more!
We have ended our Smugmug subscription as this was quite costly, so the older photos no longer feature – if anyone really wanted to download these please let me know and I’ll dig out a copy. We’re going to build the photos area up with new ones over time.
If anyone, adult or young person, would like to write a feature on an event they took part in with The Saints, ideally with photos etc, please do! If you send me it in Word format I will adapt it onto the website’s News section – it’d be great if you could help us promote the Group more widely!
If you have any questions please let me know, or speak to your Section Leader.
Yours in Scouting
Neil (Group Scout Leader)