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McLaren Shield 2011

posted 21 May 2011, 09:48 by Jack Fletcher
In May 2011, around 30 scouts from around the district took part in the annual adventure challenge hike that is the McLaren Shield. This year, based on the North Yorkshire Coast at Kettleness scouts were greeted with amazing views of the North York Moors and Whitby coastline as they navigated their way along a 16 Km Course. Along the way, themed incidents challenged their ability to work in teams, solve problems and demonstrate leadership skills. 1st Washington's team went on to win the weekend's competition.

Frank Martin, one of the organising team reports on the event:

They say time flies when you’re having fun but it doesn’t fly as fast as when you have a deadline to meet…

This year was the fourth year that Frank Martin and the other leaders at 1st Washington, planned the McLaren competition and this year was to be their most ambitious and adventurous yet.

Way back  in September 2010 the planning started, chiefly because the scouting venues that are essential for an event like this are booked up well in advance! Having decided on the beautiful (and eventually, well suited) venue the next step was to come up with a theme to tie the whole event together, having been interested in old scout traditions they thought that we could blend some of those traditions into a story the scouts would never forget.

Planning the route took them through the next stage and involved several intense meetings of scrutinising maps until they were satisfied that they had the right mix to make the route achievable but challenging and of course, filled with adventure.

Of course you can’t just go off the paper map when you plan something like this; the routes had to be walked, or in some of their cases run! Difficult navigation points, hazardous road crossings and a host of other things needed to be taken into consideration before we were happy to give it the thumbs up. Check points were planned according to our risk assessment and that is when we started to weave the story around the terrain, check-points and natural resources.

The storyline would not have been enough without the props to give it substance and many hours of research into old documents that matched the period, led to many more hours reproducing those documents to make it all as realistic as possible. The story itself went through many changes and some of those had to be done at the last minute, writing and re-writing sections until it all hung together and flowed. Fingers crossed, they assembled the large amount of equipment necessary for all the challenges and check points, going over the story one more time and making last minute changes. 

The whole event went like clockwork, with all the leaders and teams getting into the spirit of the event. We were all was amazed at the effort and determination of all the scouts to make this a really memorable McLaren. As I said at the beginning, time flies when you’re having fun and it certainly flew for me. It didn’t seem five minutes and Frank was reading the last words from Stan (First Class) Simpson “Make the most of what you have and take every opportunity to rise to every challenge that comes your way”.

‘All of that for me is the spirit of the McLaren competition, it’s not about winning but about doing your best and the best for your team. Thanks to everybody who helped and took part this year, I hope everybody enjoyed the weekend as much as I did and I hope to see as many of you as possible next year.’
-Frank Martin (Event co-organiser- 1st Washington)

‘The tasks were being raved about by the Scouts from all groups’
-Andy Brown (Leader - 1st Houghton)

‘The bases were fun, challenging and always had each added just that little bit more into the story’
Chris Turnbull- (Scout -  3rd Washington)

'Just to say a big thankyou to all the leaders. Jonathan has not stopped talking about the weekend since he came in. He has thoroughly enjoyed himself. Please can you pass our thanks on.'
Jackie & Richard Howard, (Parents - 3rd Washington)

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