For those who are not aware of the event, think of it as a game of Hide & Seek held over 40 hours, generally somewhere remote. This year’s event had over 70 Explorers (Escapees) participating and was held in the northern section of the North York Moors. We entered 5 teams into this year’s escape and all proved their skills over the course of the weekend.
The Explorers know little about the event when they turn up at the kit check on Friday night, apart from which map to bring and that they need to be self-sufficient for the weekend! Cue piles of chocolate pancakes, noodles, Haribo and; as is becoming the tradition, lots of Matheson sausages.
At the briefing on Friday night, they have to produce a route for Friday Night and Saturday that will take them to a pre-arranged campsite – without being caught.
I should explain now that each year there is a cunning scenario that the Explorers and catchers (Leaders) play out; both sets trying to outwit each other without breaking the rules and with the Explorers doing their best to avoid being caught. Some are better than others at this, and despite trying to outrun the catchers the inevitable does happen. Certain catchers are crueller than others when they catch teams, but all is done in high spirits.
This year, by a narrow margin the team which reigned victoriously was from Egglescliffe Explorers, who received their trophy from our County Commissioner and Youth Commissioner with Mike providing a running commentary of accolades and insults to the winners and losers.
All 5 of our teams completed the weekend and were mentioned by a number of leaders from other districts on how impressive their navigation, hiking and camp craft skills were.
With over 70 Explorers out in remote terrain the event requires some serious organisation with many of the team ex ‘escapees’, special thanks must go to Dave, Mike, Karen, the Stockton Comms Team plus all the Leaders who give up their weekend for yet another Scout activity.