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  • Writer's pictureDistrict General - Myles

Hillcraft, there’s a badge for that! Or more accurately 12…


From 6th to 11th of April, Gravesham Scouts and Explorers will be heading to the Lake Districtfor our annual Hillcraft event. Full details, pre-camp info and how to book can be found at https://www.graveshamscouts.org.uk/hillcraft but in the meantime...


Did you know that, by going to Hillcraft, Scouts and Explorers have the chance to work

towards, and potentially complete, 12 different activities, challenges and staged badges? Not

to mention, they can also tick off elements of their Chief Scouts Awards too!


This is all whilst taking part in an amazing week designed to give new experiences, teach

new skills and offer the chance for our young people to gain independence in a safe but

challenging environment! It teaches and grows skills that the young people will continue to

use in their everyday life, long after returning from the hills.


So… what can they achieve?


1. Staged Badges

These are some of the obvious ones but every Scout and Explorer will add an extra 5 nights

onto their Nights Away total. Then, there are the Hikes Away badges. If they walk every day,

they will accrue 4-5 more of these too.

The final staged badge isn’t quite as straightforward as it all depends upon their personal

skill level, but they will also work towards one of the levels of the Navigator Staged badge

(normally levels 3 & 4).


2. Camper Badge

The nights away count in the number they need to achieve for the Camper badge, as well as

them showing us how they successfully pitch, strike and pack a tent.


3. Hillwalking Badge

Then, every day they are out will work towards the Hillwalking badge, as they will be

helping to plan multiple 5-day journeys of a good length, whilst using ordnance survey maps

to write a route card for each of these routes. During each days walk, their party leaders will

be testing them on their knowledge with the maps and compasses they have, and we will be

making sure they have all the right kit… as well as knowing how to use it all! Plus, from

Winter Camp they will have learnt already how to summon help in an emergency too.


4. Challenge Badges (Scouts only – sorry Explorers!)

The Scouts will also be able to work towards SIX of the nine challenge badges they have to

achieve to get their Chief Scouts Award!


First up is their Expedition Challenge Award, which they can complete in full, as long as they

make sure that they plan a task/project to undertake whilst on Hillcraft and present it back

after (either at the end of the event or to their leaders back on a troop night after Hillcraft!).

This project could be anything… something really in depth and intellectual or maybe

something really silly but fun!

Next is the Adventure Challenge Award. Hillwalking counts as one of the 4 different

adventurous activities they need to take part in for the award and, if they want, they can

start to develop their skills and expertise in Hillwalking to tick off part two of the badge as

well!

The Outdoor Challenge Award requires Scouts to complete 8 nights away, and they are

getting 5 of those at Hillcraft! Hillcraft will also cover off the Countryside Code, tent pitching

and striking, and exploration of the environment of the campsite sections of this award.

At Hillcraft, all the Scouts are put into walking parties and this means that the ‘be part of a

Scout team, where you work together to achieve a goal’ element of the Teamwork

Challenge Award is easily completed. If this is their first time Hillwalking, it also ticks off one

of ‘Take Part in at least 3 team building activities that you have not tried before’.

Whilst on the hills, we will also, hopefully, look to give some responsibility to the Scouts by

letting them take the lead of the team, mainly in navigation. This will help them work

towards the Team Leader Challenge Award.

The final Challenge Award is the Personal Challenge Award. This one will, however, need a

little bit of pre-thought. For this award Scouts have to complete two personal challenges

that they agree with their section leader. Why not get them to come up with a challenge

that can be achieved at Hillcraft? It could be as simple as completing each days walk, or

achieving one of the badges mentioned above, or maybe even something about developing

their independence? Just make sure they agree it with their leader on a troop night and the

party leader is also informed as then we can make sure it happens!


5. Chief Scouts Awards

By doing any of the above all the Scouts and Explorers will work towards their respective

Chief Scout Awards and achieving as high as they can in their sections.


6. Bonus badge… the Hillcraft Pin Badge!

In additional to all these great badges, every Hillcraft attendee receives a special pin badge

each time they come along!

Overall, Hillcraft not only offers adventure and fun, but also supports the balanced

programme of Scouting. Each Scout and Explorer can earn all these badges by coming along

and taking an active part in the event, but they will also learn independence through their

camp craft, looking after themselves on a daily basis.


So, what you waiting for? This year’s event is taking part from 6 th to 11 th of April. Full details, pre camp info and how to book can be found at https://www.graveshamscouts.org.uk/hillcraft


Dave Norris

Easter Hillcraft Lead


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