Green Beret challenge sees Hemel Hempstead scouts step up

Nine teams from Hemel Hempstead District Scouts competed in the Green Beret, the biggest, toughest scouting challenge in the county, at the weekend.

The weekend saw those taking part sleeping in sub zero temperatures and completing a range of optional activities as well as a compulsory assault course and orienteering task.

Scouts' Green Beret challenge

Scouts' Green Beret challenge

117 teams took part in the competition and a further 29 training teams joined in the fun, camping at Gilwell Park in Essex, the ‘home’ of scouting in the UK.

Teams of six battled it out for the prize in a competition which was broken into morning, afternoon and evening sessions on Saturday with activity bases opening at 8am and closing at 11pm.

The teams completed as many bases as possible, and they were marked on various criteria. Each team’s 10 highest scores were added to their mark for the assault course and orienteering challenge, and counted towards the total.

Activity bases varied in nature and included a cannon run, an over-the-scout-van-climb, a giant hoopla, a pole climb, karaoke, world flag quiz, geography quiz, puzzles, music and listening challenges, card games, crossing a minefield, and many others.

The Hemel Hempstead contingent joined forces on the food front and a central kitchen manned by leaders served up a hearty three course meal of roast beef and all the trimmings on Saturday.

Kings Langley Scouts serenaded the cooks with a rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody while they waited to be fed.

With temperatures overnight plummeting to -4 degrees centigrade everyone woke to a beautiful frost trimmed view of Gilwell’s Tent City on Sunday morning.

The highest placed teams from Hemel Hempstead District Scouts overall were 1st Green Leverstock Green B and A, who finished in ninth and 10th places respectively.

1st Leverstock Green B were third in the activity bases while the A team took second place in the assault course ratings, with 1st Apsley Geese not far behind in fourth.

To join the adventure of scouting in Hemel Hempstead contact District Commissioner Russ Dyble on 07790 296378 or email