151 TROOP WEEKLY DIARY – WEEK 10
It all started one late afternoon in a small pub car park, situated in the picturesque village of Princetown, Dartmoor. We arrived to some of Dartmoor’s finest weather – heavy rain, pondering on the thought of walking several kilometres over numerous ‘babies heads’, bogs and other obstacles. The Troop then broke down into its respective 5 Sections, each member of the section applying the skills that we had put into practice on Woodbury Commons several weeks before. Once a group average or individual bearing had been established each Section set out across the wet rugged terrain that makes Dartmoor. When arriving at the scout hut, the realisation the realisation was that this was only the start of what would be an adventurous exercise. We started with a night navigation exercise on Dartmoor. The visibility was very poor and we experienced some of the area’s finest rain.
Day 2 brought our first kit muster followed by visiting the prominent Tors around the area. That evening we were broken down into syndicates of 3-4 and were moved out to navigate the area of Dartmoor on our own for the first time. By 2230 hours we had navigated through the 4 checkpoints before returning to the scout hut. On Day 3 the weather conditions had improved and morale was high with an afternoon of stalking to look forward to. The morning started with a map reading stance looking over the reservoir. Stowing our compasses away we moved onto stalking. This was a chance for the Troop to apply skills we had been taught on previous exercises. After completing the stalk we started preparing ourselves for the next events of the exercise. The extraction yomp was described by some of the Troop as emotional. It was our first taste of movement with bergans on our back. It was difficult due to the fact that our bodies are not used to holding such extra weight.
The yomp moved us over to Gidleigh Wood and here we would begin the survival phase of the exercise. For some of the Troop this was the first time dinner would not be served to them on a plate. After constructing the shelter and fires that would be our accommodation for the night, we moved down to the river’s edge where we were taught how to prepare and cook our supper. We tucked into a meal of chicken, fish and a variety of vegetables. The majority of the Troop were able to get their heads down with the fires going. Everyone tucked up close together for extra warmth. The following morning we broke down our shelters and moved back to the comforts of our bergans. Once our bergans were back on we prepared ourselves our extraction yomp that ended the exercise.