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"The Challenge walk held by NESST and Nottingham Scout groups was amazing!"
clean bootsWe started off at 6:30 approx. just outside Blidworth for the long walk 18 miles back to Walesby. We had our safety briefing and were free to leave. We hadn't even got 1 mile before we had to stop and put our water proofs on I (Josh) had so many lights on my bag it looked like Blackpool illuminations. We continued to walk getting fast with Lauren claiming we needed to speed up and overtake other groups. we had a slight debate which way to go and tried to access Google maps on Josh's and Jack's phones this failed due to no signal sad face.We then choose our route which led us to clipstone colliery. Our group and a few other groups took a look at the map and we decided we had gone too far. We then ventured across the colliery and left the other groups who were following us behind (they went another way). We walked close together through the colliery and hoped we didn't fall down any holes . We got to the road to find there was security fencing and had to clamber over them. At this point it was really raining heavy and we were all soaked. But that didn't stop us!

We planned out route in a bus stop. we had left the bus stop and this lady in a car asked us if we were OK she ended up telling us she and her daughter had participated in NESST and were able to help us along our way familiarising us with the area. (She was a God send). Team A We got to the roundabout and noticed another group behind us so we knew we weren't the only ones that walked through Clipstone Colliery.We then noticed a NESST Rescue car go by and didn't stop so we assumed we were ok We finally reached the Dog and Duck Pub and went back to the darkness of pathways but nicely back on route. We did meet up with another group (109) who had a slight accident with their map not having a map case causing the map to tear. We willingly assisted them and they joined us to base 2.
We were glad to arrive at base 2 where a well deserved hot drink and a hot dog were waiting for us. (after 3 miles off course we needed it). We continued from base 2 towards base 3 along with a hot drink. We had decided to help Group 109 out and they followed (it was nice to have some new faces on the scene) we got to Sherwood Forest and Lauren asked Greeny (Daniel) if we had to go straight on. He said "Yes" without looking at the map (this made us all laugh when we found out we had gone too far past the major oak. (That's when we found out).

map reader We then found where we had to go and arrived at base 3 which was our leaders base . We took a chewy bar and spoke to everyone we knew. It was quite depressing when we arrived because they had been to the chippy and it smelled dead nice. We sorted out the map and left from checkpoint 3 heading through Edwinstowe. We didn't get far before we had a pit stop at the chippy (luckily before closing) and bought some food. We took a seat and ate them with group 109 who was still with us. We continued past the old ma Hubbard's and down into Centre-Parc's finally meeting at base 4.
Unfortunately 2 members for Group 109 decided they could not continue therefore leaving the other 2 stranded I decided we would take them on as new members Josh and Lauren were in the queue for hot chocolate and realized Will's dad was walking too. We struggled to make hot chocolate and to be honest we still don't know how to Lol. We left base 4 (the boring fruit stall stick tongue out but tasty) and headed towards the road being assisted across. We took a break further down in a bus stop. We saw Will's dad and his group pass us and I said we can't let them beat us. Straight away we all jumped up and overtook him.

Team BWe arrived at base 5 in no time at all and were greeted by Steve Cree . We all sat down and ate our hot dogs. Josh and Lauren went to speak to Steve, and Lauren spoke so fast she nearly lost her voice box We checked out and continued to Walesby. We passed though Lakeside in Rufford and we could all start to feel the strain. We re-joined the road and passed through Ollerton. The group did split around here with Greeny and Brett trailing behind. We took a rest and allowed them to catch up. Towards Walesby heading toward Boughton we split again having an argument with Lauren about how some people need a rest. Lauren, Jack and Paddy (from 109) went ahead while Josh, Greeny, Brett and Tyler (from 109) fell behind having massive tearing pains in our legs. We weren't, however, going to give in knowing we were so close to the finish. We finally arrived at Walesby once again and signed in. we all grabbed some food and took a rest to reflect on our great achievement of finishing the long challenge walk. We finished at 3:30am approx.

"This year was a new walk which made the walk very interesting!"
OrganisersI think the night/morning hike was awesome even in the rain. There was agreements and fallouts but all in all, it was the most fantastic experience and achievement that has happened in a long while. Knowing that we finished the challenge walk has boosted our achievement as a Explorer Scout group. I only wish there was more than one a year of these walks
Many thanks to Team tesco (group 107): Joshua (Joshy) (Team Leader), Daniel (Greeny), Lauren (Matilda), Brett, and Jack, and to all members from the Moonwalkers (group 109)
Thanks NESST and Scouting organisers for a fantastic challenge walk and I'm sure most of us can't wait till the next one!
Written and produced by Joshua Bell Aka Joshy
Big Up 4th Woodhouse ESU
Photographs courtesy of Matt Rooney. More pictures HERE

5th Mansfield ESU also took part.