Jan – April 2024 Programme and 2024 Events

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We are pleased to share our upcoming programme and 2024 events with you below. As this year our efforts are focused on the international expedition, we are unlikely to hold either Survival Camp or Winter Camp, so we encourage you to attend the events above still open to you!

Programme Jan 2024 to April 2024

DateActivityLocationOther Details
01/01/2024No Meeting – Xmas
08/01/2024Scavenger Hunt4th WorthUniform plus outdoor coat
15/01/2024Expedition Kit / Packing Guide / Games4th WorthUniform (you will need to bring your expedition kit in too)
22/01/2024Night HikeTBCHiking Clothing
29/01/2024Build a Ballista4th WorthUniform
05/02/2024Pancake Challenge4th WorthUniform
12/02/2024No Meeting – Half Term
19/02/2024Compass Skills ChallengeGrattons ParkUniform
26/02/2024Backwoods Cooking – PizzaStanfordUniform
04/03/2024Rifle Shooting / Crossbows (Part 1)4th WorthUniform
11/03/2024Skills Bases4th WorthUniform
18/03/2024Rifle Shooting / Crossbows (Part 1)4th WorthUniform
25/03/2024Easter Egg Hunt / Wide GamesStanfordEaster Fancy Dress!
01/04/2024No Meeting – Easter
08/04/2024No Meeting – Easter

Key Upcoming Events (To add to your Diary!)

DateEventOther Details
02/03/2024Monopoly RunLondon – Bookings Closed
29/03/2024 – 01/04/2024Mountain Activity CampCornel, North Wales
04/05/2024 – 06/05/2024Silver D of E PractiseNew Forest
08/06/2024Bronze D of E Training DayAshdown Forest
22/06/2024 – 23/06/2024Bronze D of E AssessmentAshdown Forest
25/07/2024 – 08/08/2024Sweden ExpeditionSweden
24/08/2024 – 26/08/2024Silver D of E AssessmentNew Forest
05/10/2024Downsman HikeSouth Downs
31/10/2024 – 03/11/2024Gold D of E PractiseDartmoor / TBC

Chocolate Truffles

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This week at Explorers, everyone gave chocolate truffle making a go! The results were varied and much mess was made in the process of making them!

Winter Camp 2024

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Last weekend, we held our annual winter camp at Bentley Copse. We were all very glad to be in a warm building as temperatures dropped into the negative outside!

On camp, the Explorers took part in variety of activities including wide games, incident hike, climbing, abseiling, caving and rifle shooting. We also had a traditional roast dinner (overseen by Phil!) and the infamous Saturday night fancy dress karaoke!

A video highlight of the camp is available below.


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On Monday, we visited Hazelwick School to play a game of Basketball. We started by practising our different shots including layups and free throws. We then split into play some mini games before we had a knock out tournament between all 4 teams.

We also welcomed 5 new members moving up from Scouts.

A few photos are below.

Drake MAW 2023

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Some members of Shackleton ESU joined Drake ESU for their annual mountain activity weekend in south Wales for three days in the Brecon Beacons. Having travelled down on Thursday evening, Friday they enjoyed hiking across Bannau Brycheiniog ridge. The cloud was below the summits so visibility bad, but YP navigated well and reached the finish ahead of schedule.

Whilst the young people and mountain leaders were up in the clouds, the support team made use of the area with some cycling along the Brecon canal while others walked in the Dare Valley Country Park.

Friday evening following dinner they enjoyed watching the bronze match of the Rugby world cup.

Saturday morning the group went climbed at Craig y Ddinas, including a speed climbing competition, congratulations to Paul who was fastest. Saturday afternoon the young people spent on a very wet waterfall walk, including exploring behind a waterfall.

Saturday evening following their roast dinner they enjoyed the Rugby world cup final.

Sunday morning following tidying up the bunk house, was planned to be a climb up Pen y Fan, but due to the high wind forecast this was cancelled and a visit to Abergavenny was enjoyed before the journey home.

Halloween Evening

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This evening we met at Stanford Scout Campsite for our traditional Halloween wide games. We started the evening with a mummy making competition. This was quickly follow by capture the pumpkin, donuts from a string and finally apple bobbing.

Well done to all the Explorers who dressed up – special shout out to Charlie for his flattering costume!!

Fencing and NPAS Visit

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Over the last 2 weeks, the unit has been split. Half visited NPAS in Redhill whilst the other half had a fencing lesson from Crawley Sword Club.

A big thanks to NPAS and Crawley Sword Club for spending time to share their skills with our members. A few photos are below.

County Awards Presentation

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Well done to our Explorers who attended the County Award Presentation at the weekend. We had members collecting their D of E as well as their Chief Scout Gold and Platinum. We also had several collect their young leader belt buckle.

The CSA Gold is the highest award a Scout can earn. To complete it, you need to complete all nine of the Challenge Awards, plus six Activity badges.

The Chief Scout’s Platinum Award is open to Explorers and is linked to Bronze DofE. As well as completing some time volunteering, learning a new skill, getting better at a physical activity and a two day expedition as well as some activities from the International, Community and Values list.

The Young Leader Belt Buckle is awarded on completion of the entire young leader scheme (completion of ALL training modules and missions). This takes a lot of commitment over and above just attending Explorers.

Downsman Hike 2023

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This year, we entered 2 teams into the annual Downsman Hike Competition.

Both teams completed Class E and managed to finish in record times for our unit. A big congratulations to you all and hopefully it doesn’t take too long for them to fully recover!

Some details are below:

Total Route Distance38 miles. With the rest sections, each person will hike less than the total distance
RouteSteyning Bowl to Eastbourne
Start timesBetween 07:30 & 08:30
Time allowedUp to 18 hours to complete the hike
Age restrictionsMinimum combined team age of 48 years and a maximum combined team age of 62, only whole years are added together. Each individuals must be under 18 years old.
Team composition4 people to a team, with only 3 hiking at any one time – the fourth will be rested and transported to the next designated Service Area with the Team’s Service Crew. When at a designated Service Area, the rested person will re-join their team, swapping places with a teammate whose turn it is to rest next
AwardsThe ‘Chief Scout’s’ trophy is presented to the team that completes the route in the fastest time. A Downsman medal is awarded to everyone who completes the hike

Survival Camp 2023

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This weekend, 18 of our Explorers braved Stanford for a survival themed camp. On Friday, they pitched hammocks and started fires to cook their evening snack. On Saturday, they had to cook all of their meals using only fires and no utensils. They also had to build a Bivi to house their group which would be their home for the second night!

On Sunday, they had to build a survival gadget and then watched a demo around how to skin and prepare a rabbit. Unfortunately this year the other rabbits didn’t defrost in time for the explorers to have a go!

We unfortunately didn’t get to complete some of our other activities as the bivi’s took longer to build. We also water tested the bivi’s today with varying levels of water tightness!!!