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Wrotham Road,

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Kent, 

DA13 0QJ

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  • District General - Myles

Easter Hillcraft 2020 

David Norris

Easter Hillcraft Walking Team

1st Northfleet Scout Leader

Rolling hills, beautiful tarns and stunning wildlife… the Lake District and the backdrop for one of Gravesham Scouts biggest events every Easter, for over 50 years.

What is Hillcraft? Hillcraft is a fantastic experience in the heart of the Lake District where Scouts (school year 8 and over), Explorers, Network and Leaders are able to test old skills, learn new ones and get out into one of the most idyllic locations in the UK. Skillswise, the aim is to teach and improve upon navigational skills such as taking bearings on a compass, reading map contours, identifying symbols and features or just being able to hold a map up the right way! The experience also allows the young people to develop other camp craft skills and become more self-sufficient as they camp and cook at Rydal Hall as well as shopping for their food throughout the trip in the nearby town of Ambleside, using the knowledge and skills they have learnt at pre-events. Such as Graveshams Winter Camp and a shakedown hike with their walking party leaders. But don’t worry… we don’t leave them on their own completely, both the base camp team and the walking leaders are there to help when needed! Gravesham Scouts is very lucky as it has the biggest and most experienced team of hills leaders, including several Mountain Leader qualified individuals, in the whole of Kent Scouts at their disposal for this event. Having this fantastic team means that we can offer not only the best experiences possible whilst in the Lake District on the event but also a high level of training, support and knowledge before and after it too.

Who can go to Hillcraft? Hillcraft is open to any Scouters in Gravesham that are in school year 8 or above.This includes Scouts, Explorer Scouts, Network Scouts, SASU Members, Occasional Helpers and all other leaders! It doesn’t matter what your skill set is when it comes to hillwalking or navigation as the idea of the event is to learn. Experience doesn’t even matter either! Everybody is placed into walking parties (groups of up to 8 members) for which they will spend their time on the hills with. These walking parties are built around people of similar ability, fitness and knowledge so that the walks the teams undertake are suitable to them, it isn’t about having to bag every peak possible. It is about the experience, the fun and the learning! Our newbies will be placed in a walking party that will take on small peaks and low level walks in order to allow them to experience the Lake District at their own pace, and our older more experienced attendees may well be placed in higher ability walking parties and may get the opportunity to to also do an overnighter in the hills! What about the leaders I hear you say? As I said earlier, we as Gravesham Scouts are very lucky with the team we have supporting this event and this allows us to take the time to train the adults to! So if you are wanting to expand your own knowledge and skills as an over 18 then this is a great opportunity for you (just let us know on the application form that you want to learn and we will make it happen for you! Whilst also considering your current ability level of course!). Finally, Duke of Edinburgh Gold participants. Whilst this isn't directly facilitated by Gravesham Scouts, we do support the Kent Scout DofE programme meaning that practice expeditions and qualifying expeditions can take place at Hillcraft. For more info on this please contact Pat Duncumb (pat.duncumb@kentscouts.org.uk).

Why would I want to go? Why wouldn’t you want to go? As I said at the start… rolling hills, beautiful tarns and stunning wildlife… the Lake District and the backdrop for one of Gravesham Scouts biggest events every Easter, for over 50 years. Hillcraft for many years has been by far my favourite Scouting event. Since the year 2000 when (a very much younger) Del Jarvis first led me into the hills I haven't looked back. It’s a Scouting event that as well as being a lot of fun, creates fantastic memories, gives amazing opportunities and teaches valuable Scouting skills whilst also supporting the badge schemes and permit schemes of UK Scouting.

How do I sign up? Signing up (and finding out a little more info) is easy… hit the button below and you will be taken to the Hillcraft page on the website. From here you can access the sign up form, see the kit list and read about what is expected. www.graveshamscouts.org.uk/hillcraft I look forward to seeing loads of you at Hillcraft this coming Easter! Dave Norris Easter Hillcraft Lead Ps. Can’t make Easter? Keep your eyes open for more details later in the year for our October Hillcraft event!

David Norris Easter Hillcraft Walking Team 1st Northfleet Scout Leader