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Plotting RouteDespite Sunday's weather, this year's County Flag Competition was - according to the organisers - one of the best that they've been involved in. Fourteen teams (7 Scout, 7 Explorer) from around the County converged on the village of Flintham on Saturday afternoon and set up their tents on the Scout Field. A short walk across the road to the Village Hall where teams registered and received their route cards, went through Kit Check and final briefing. At the agreed time for their team (every 15 minutes betwen 6.00pm and 8.00pm), they set off along various footpaths around the Flintham, Syerston, Sibthorpe, Shelton, Flawborough, Thoroton, Orston, Aslockton and Hawksworth areas., the Scouts competing a distance of 16.75km and the Explorers 22.5km. Kit Inspection

Along the route were a number of incident bases including Splat the Rat, Disarm the Bomb, Rocket Launch and First Aid. At one checkpoint, walkers were fed and given hot drinks. A number of teams from the younger section unfortunately suffered a few problems in locating a some of the incident bases, but by 3.30am Sunday Morning, all teams had reported being back into the Village Hall at Flintham for a hot jacket potato, beans and a hot drink. They then subsequently went into their tents for a quick sleep. Radio communications for the event were supplied by NESST.

Cooking DemonstrationTeams then had to report back to the Village Hall during Sunday Morning where they received a demonstration from chef Pete Whitlam, ADC Camp Sites from Mansfield. Scouts were given a copy of the menu whilst one member of Explorer Teams had to watch and take notes then reproduce the 3 course meal with the other members of their team helping. Whilst the team member was watching the demonstration, other members were allocated their cooking area in an adjacent field and prepared the cooking facilisties including the shelters.

By now the wind was extremely blustery and some gazebos were starting to resemble kites as they were buffeted by the winds, but with help from other teams as well as some of the organising leaders, the shelters were subsequently pegged down. The cooking competition went extremely well despite the weather conditions, however, many teams were unable to present their meals on time due to gas burners being "blown out" by the blustery winds.well presented meal

On completion of the cooking competition, the scores from both the Night Hike and the Cooking Competition were added together and some points were deducted for those teams being late in presenting their meal (one team up to 90 minutes late).

Winning Scout team5th Mansfield Scout Group entered a Scout Team and an Explorer team in the competition for the first time. The Scout Team went on to be the Scout Section Runners up and the winners of the Gordon Asher Trophy (Scout Section) was another team entered for the first time - 1st Flintham.

1st Flintham Explorer Scouts were runners-up in the County Flag Competition for Explorer Scouts and Rufford Explorer Scout Unit from Mansfield District were the overall winners. Explorer team

Read a report from the winning team!

Thanks to all who were involved whether as a competitor or as a leader who helped out on the night. Plans are already afoot for next year's competition, the venue and date to be confirmed.

Missed it this year? Don't miss it next year, even first timers can win it!