1st Caterham’s Explorer Belt Expedition
Hi, we are Hannah Cavacuiti, Hannah Wingrave and Emily Wingrave from 1st Caterham Scout Group, and we have just completed our Explorer Belt Challenge with Greater London South West Scouts, in southern Sweden. Twenty two Explorer and network scouts took part in the expedition and were split into 6 groups.
The challenge involved a 10 day expedition and each group was dropped off at a different location and it was only at this point that we were given a map and told to make our way back to base camp which was at least 160km away. We were only allowed to use public transport on one day and for no more than 16km. During the trip we had to complete a daily record of where we had walked and the challenges completed. Our group walked 178km and completed 10 projects and a research task along the way. The projects ranged from eating local foods, meeting the local police and fire brigade, visiting castles and finding out what locals think of a typical British person. We had such an amazing experience with so many opportunities throughout the two weeks. Our main research task was to look at the differences in the scouting movement in Sweden compared with the UK. Whilst completing this task we met several Swedish scout leaders and visited many scout huts which was really interesting to see how our scouting activities and facilities differ.
In Sweden we were allowed to camp on any public land, allowing us to wild camp for a couple of nights, which was definitely an adventure! As we were only given about £10 a day to live off, and as food was very expensive, we were glad that in Sweden you are allowed to camp on public land free of charge. We wild camped for a couple of nights but also found the Swedish people very friendly and were allowed to camp in the garden of several families. One couple even took pity on us and allowed us to stay inside to escape from the very heavy rain! One of the families cooked us a traditional Swedish meal of crayfish and pickled herring with schnapps. We found Swedish people extremely kind and were always willing to help- we would definitely go back.
After our expedition, we had a couple of day’s relaxation where we went on a day out to Malmo for the crayfish festival with live music and lots of food! We also had a day canoeing and swimming in the local outside swimming pool as well as relaxing in the sauna! Overall, we had a brilliant time and we would recommend it to any Explorer or Network scout in the county if they get the opportunity. We would like to say a huge thank you to the leaders who organised the trip and supported us during our stay.
Hannah Wingrave October 2014