Lamps Trophy: The Saga Continues
So, once the parents had left and the Scout Leaders had been shooed away, we reported for duty at the Desk Sergeant's table. We were Group 7 of 18, so that meant that at least 10 different Scout packs were represented, quite an administrative challenge. We got mugshots done and had to make our own ID badges and stick the photos on, with our Group #, and emergency phone # etc, much like 'if found, please return this bear to Peru'. A big blue bus arrived and delivered fish and chips for the Leaders, but not for us. Because he was 20 minutes late, the big blue bus driver sped us down country lanes in a mad rush to Base #1, which was the tunnel 'Harry'. It was a tunnel under tarpaulins with a trolley and we had to pull ourselves through the tunnel on the attached rope. Then Guard #1 told us to follow the trail of glowsticks to a field. Right in the middle of the field was a bloke with a torch and a stiff bot because he'd been waiting for an hour. We had to give the passphrase "The snow in Warsaw is very early this year" and he told us to take a heading of 168 degrees on our orienteering compass, 800 metres to the gate. We all had a wee and Dorito break. A further 600M away was a hay bale, the next checkpoint. The task was 'Blind in the Town'. There was a maze of ropes, and one of us was blindfolded and he had to make his way through the maze following shouted instructions from us. The Checkpoint Guard had a series of commands in Polish and we had to use a translation card from Polish to English: our blind man only hit one rope.
The Guard gave us the clue "Use Wayfarers' Walk" and we went off through a hedge tunnel to a field where the path split. There were hidden Explorer Scouts in various bushes along the route to make sure we didn't go TOO wrong and we remembered the Wayfarer clue and went the right way unlike the other Group who got lost. We passed a cow sleeping while standing up, and a bull so we turned off our red light so as not to enrage it. Hopping stiles in the fence, we saw bunnies in the moonlight.
There was a queue of 3 Groups at the next task and Group 6 got told off for destroying the farmer's property when they broke sticks off trees and attacked each other.
For this task, we had to make a stretcher out of 2 poles and a rope and carry our Team Leader 200 yards on it, and he had to remain silent the whole time as he was playing the role of injured soldier. The pathway took us through the woods to Stop #4, after 4 hours. It was midnight so we all went aaargh it's school tomorrow. A super-bumpy pathway next to a cliff popped out in a real ghost village and Stop #5 was in the churchyard. There was a tea station so I had a cup of tea, for I am English. You get an Explorer Scout escort through the deserted streets and Group 5 managed to lose their escort. Nearby was a tiny field with such a slope, there were ropes to help you get up.
On the next stop we had to show our forged ID badges at 0100 and were sent across 3 more fields. It was dry, dark and very uneven underfoot which makes the yomping treacherous and tough. Base #7 was in a ditch between fields. The task was to broadcast a request to the Bridge Troll asking to use the bridge, in Morse code, with a box with one button and a light-up bulb on top. I was stabbed by a plant at 0200.
Base #8 was hidden behind some trees and it was a minefield, which of course meant we were blindfolded and followed shouted instructions, but at least in English this time. Nobody died apart from some passing German soldiers on leave who had had too much Schnapps. We met Group 6 in the forest and they were lost so they followed us, even though we told them not to. At the crossroads, we went straight over by the electric fence, but Group 6 did not, then someone jumped out screaming from behind a bush to scare them, we were wise to this because of the forewarning and didn't jump or go to the toilet in our trousers. Base #9 was in a small graveyard, at 230 in the morning, just before Halloween. Without torches, we had to find 3 war memorial graves and record their names.
Then we were by a car park and we reached the Scout Hut at 3 o'clock, after 7 hours of hiking! Because there were so many Scouts on this nocturnal mission, we only had 2 square yards of floor each but it was enough. I got 3 1/2 hours sleep because we were woken by reveille at 0700 for some pretty extensive tidying, the lost property roster, and massive bacon sandwiches with 5 slices in each. The winning Scout group got 162 points and we came 6th out of 18 with 149. Luke dropped me home at 1030 and I was totally hyper and babbled and jumped and gradually calmed down and was quiet on the sofa for the rest of the day, trouserless but in a blanket-poncho. Eventually the tablet had to be prised from my stiff little fingers.