On the 28th July 2018, Chris from Blacks HQ, and Greater Manchester West Scouts, will be leading a group of ten Scouts from across the United Kingdom in the expedition of a lifetime to Morocco. Their trip will span eight days and will see them undertake abseils, controlled descents, treks, mountain biking and countless climbs. Before they start out on their international adventure, we joined them on their five preparatory training sessions.
Training Session One – The Icebreaker
Lilford District Scout HQ
The first training session was an important one. The ten Scouts range in age from 14-21 and are spread throughout the UK. Although not the most adventurous of sessions, this was a good chance for the Scouts to meet their team, get to know one another (and to get the admin done).
Training Session Two – Climbing: An Introduction
Wilton Quarries, Bolton
Much of the expedition will centre around climbing, including routes that have never been scaled before. Sounding daunting we headed to the Wilton Quarries where the Scouts were taught the basics. The group covered how to correctly put on harnesses and helmets. When everyone was safe in their gear we headed to the routes where the group began climbing. Not to shy away from anything, the group finished the day by abseiling down an intimidating 80ft rockface.
Training Session Three – Safety First
Bibbys Farm, Chorley
Inevitably, whilst the group is in Morocco, accidents are always a possibility. The third training session gave the Scouts training in advanced First Aid, tailored towards the issues they may face in a hot climate and tackling adventurous feats. When the group get to Morocco, the nearest hospital will be an hour and a half’s drive away, so good First Aid knowledge is crucial. The second day allowed the group to top up their climbing skills whilst practicing abseiling and controlled descents too.
Training Session Four – Technique is Key
Ogwen Valley, North Wales
As the last practical group session, the fourth session was spread over two days. The first day concentrated on improving technical outdoor climbing skills and ensuring the correct equipment is used. In true Scouting style, the evening saw the group get to grips with knot tying, specifically ones they would use whilst on the expedition and a discussion of the environmental impacts of climbing.
After a night of camping, Sunday brought yet more climbing. This time it was inside at Plas Y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre, to focus on more technical skills in a controlled environment.
Training Session Five – The Little Things Matter
Lilford District Scout HQ
As the saying goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail, and on a trip of this magnitude, preparation is vital. This last training session will focus on a final itinerary run through, a guide on what to pack and also a question and answer session to cover all of the burning questions about the expedition and the country.
The expedition will take place from the 28th July - 4th August, follow the groups journey on Facebook.