It’s a Long Way to Tipperary (Well Chapeltown)

In June 2019, four Scouts from 5th Rotherham (Maltby) completed their Expedition Challenge Award.

Jonah, Kayleigh, Chelsie and Harry (left to right)

Here’s what they had to say about their adventure…

Before the expedition we spent two sessions at Scouts planning our route and where on the map we had to reach for each point. We also made our menus for what we are going to eat on our expedition and checked the tents to make sure there were no missing pieces.

During the sessions leading to our expedition we figured out what we were taking. Then, whilst we were at home before the expedition, we packed our bags and made sure we had everything required to get through the weekend.

On Saturday 8th June at 09:30 we met at McDonalds in Rotherham Town Centre. After we had some breakfast, we did one final check to make sure we had everything and set off on our way. We met a homeless man at the train station and gave the poor man some change so he could get some breakfast.

At first, we needed a little help reading the map, so Hagrid (Scout Leader) gave us a hand.

We got to our first checkpoint, and one of the Scouts who had recently dislocated their knee and was on crutches had to be picked up as he wouldn’t have been able to do the next bit due to conditions of the trail – although he did try and did the best that he could.

Halfway on day one of Expedition, it started raining heavily and soaked us through.

We got to a cornfield and we managed to get lost.

It felt like our bags were getting heavier and they were hurting our shoulders, so we had a five-minute break with a Mars Bar. Kayleigh was proud of herself for having a wild wee too.

After, it really started hammering it down and Charlie looked like he was going to collapse so Bosun (Scout Leader) helped him out with his bag. Chelsie took the lead with the map but got us lost by missing a turning down past a cemetery and a country house.

Walking through a farm Harry decided it would be a good idea to hold the electric fence. Some horses came to say hello to us and they were really cute. We reached the motorway, crossed the side of the motorway and then realized we had gone the wrong way again – we needed to go to the bridge, so we turned back and headed the other direction to the bridge.

On this last stretch we felt relieved and had sore shoulders.

We arrived at Hesley Wood just before 15:30 – six hours after we had set off from McDonalds.

Next we pitched our tents, at the rest of our packed lunch.

Before our tea we had a free time relaxed and put duck-tape and bin bags on Kayleigh because she only had wet socks and she made a coat with bin bags. Two of the boys thought it would be a good idea to slide on their stomachs down a muddy hill, so they had to get a shower. Kayleigh accidently knocked over a box of meatballs, Harry bought out the shop in Hesley Wood, and Chelsie and Jonah cooked for everyone including the leaders, and then we then all cleaned up the pots.

Later that night, we built a fire to keep warm.

Finally, after a few hours around the fire, we got to bed at roughly 11 o’clock.

The next morning, we woke up quite early. We woke Hagrid up, so that we could use the equipment for hot drinks which were under his hammock (which he wasn’t very happy about). Two of the boys cooked our breakfast, and we were served; raw sausages and cold bacon. Yum yum! (they also cooked eggs however they couldn’t be served).

We packed up our bags, took down our tents, and put all our rubbish in the bins and made sure the campsite was tidy before we left.

Then we headed on our second leg of the expedition to Hoober Stand. Two of our scouts dropped out as they felt it was too much to handle.

We were all excited as we knew we were close to finishing our expedition.  Just before Hoober stand, we faced a huge hill. The two girls were dreading it. We were both literally dragged to the top of the hill. We got to the top and basically collapsed, we were so relieved but then got the horrible news we had to move to the car park. After what we’d done over the weekend, we really couldn’t be bothered (although it would take us 2 seconds, it was too much effort).

At the carpark our parents met us, and we set of home.

One of us had to crawl to the bath so we could have a nice, lovely soak.  

In conclusion, it was really hard work however we would really love to do it all again. We were really empowered that we were more confident in reading maps. For any other Scouts yet to complete their expedition, we recommend:

  • Don’t do it in the summer so it’s not too hot to walk
  • Try to get experience with walking longer distances so gradually build up how far you go before the expedition
  • Take some decent walking boots

We hope you enjoyed reading this. Good luck with your expedition and have fun!