It’s nearly midnight on a moonless, dark Saturday night in November. Orion stands high in the clear black sky as a group of four scouts negotiate the final stretch of a night hike through the muddy woodlands and fields of Surrey, their head torches lighting up the surrounding pine trees.
Since they set off almost six hours earlier, they’ve covered about 10 miles, got lost more times than they can count, but eventually found their way around a series of widely spaced checkpoints back to the welcome lights of the Walton on the Hill scout hut. Working entirely as a team by themselves, with only a map and compass, they arrived back, tired and muddy, but with a strong sense of achievement.
This was the first time that 1st Weston Green had entered a team in this regional night hike competition for several years. Our team was competing with other scout groups from around our area. We didn’t win, but taking part was certainly an adventure for those involved. To prepare, the whole scout group had been practicing their hiking skills, including a group night hike on Oxshott Common last week.
If you want a spooky autumnal adventure, night hiking beats trick or treating, anyday!