Eagerly awaiting an exciting weekend, Explorers flooded into Scout Park on Friday afternoon ready to head off to the Peak District. After Lateral Flow tests, kit organisation and trailer packing, 3 minibuses rolled out of Scout Park, ready to hit the roads. Over 200km and 40 Burger King meals later, we arrived at Consall Scout Centre. A big group effort meant the trailer was unpacked in no time, and Explorers were soon tucking into hot drinks and cake.
Despite a noisy night in a room of 22!, Explorers awoke enthusiastic for a day of hiking in the hills. Having chosen between hikes of various lengths the night before, Explorers geared up to brave the cold and get walking. From an 18km ramble to a 40km trek, everyone found their challenge. Highlights included Shining Tor, a gorgeous hill with scenic views of the surrounding countryside, and Lud’s Church, an impressive 30m gorge cutting through the landscape.
For an insight into what a hike with WWESU is like, check out this Tiktok we made whilst away!
Upon return, a traditional Scottish dish of haggis was prepared for dinner, in early celebration for Burn’s Night this Tuesday. Everyone gratefully tucked in after working up an appetite all day.
After dinner we carried on the Burn’s Night theme with a ‘toast to the lads and lasses’… with a twist. A ‘toast to the Explorers’ was written by the Leaders, in which they shared their favourite things about the Explorers, as well as some of their pet peeves! The Explorers then had a go writing their own testaments to the leaders, which they read out, to much amusement. The dancing then commenced, as everyone learnt some Scottish dances, including the ‘Strip the Willow’ and the ‘OXO’ dance.
Our final day on camp meant another early start, as we all worked together to get camp fed and packed away, before heading off to the Speedwell Caverns.
After a quick drive, the Unit embarked on underground boat tours of old cave mines, where miners dug for lead. The tour gave us an insight into what it would have been like to work in the mine when it was active, and we found out some interesting history, including some ghost stories. At the end of the tunnel was a giant cave, which was impressively high, and even had stalagmites and stalactites!
After a walk into Castleton to grab a bite to eat for lunch, and peruse the local sweet shop for journey-home snacks, we bundled back into the busses for the drive back to London.
A smooth ride back to Scout Park meant we were soon unpacking kit and cleaning busses. Before we knew it, the weekend had concluded and everyone was heading home to enjoy a well deserved rest! Check out our video of the weekend here: