The Crean Challenge Expedition pushes young scouters to fulfil their potential. In doing so there are three training weekends to complete and log, six 15km hikes to plan, hike and log and personal projects that require a full detailed log for the duration of the challenge. These are many demanding tasks but ultimately, if all done up to standards and correctly will reward a person with the highest achievement, the medal.
In my last article I wrote of the application process, my acceptance, what I must accomplish and the first training weekend. Since the last training weekend I have had to work on many things; I have completed three of the six hikes, worked onwards with my projects, have my logs up to date and attend the second training weekend. It has been a lot of work but I have overcome it.
The first hike I organised was one in Gougane Barra. This was a two day hike, so we camped in the mountains. It proved to be a struggle not only to complete the hike but to organise it alone. It took quite a while to do my first route card and then pack for the hike. This was my first experience of planning a hike, leading a hike and doing an overnight in the mountains. Three other scouts, a scout leader and I headed off together and it worked out to be a very enjoyable experience. The second hike I planned in Sheeps Head was much easier as I was becoming more familiar on how to do this. Six other scouts and I, as leader of the hike did a total of 18km as this included misplacing ourselves at times! No matter, we got home safely and it was another one to tick off the list. I arranged the third hike for my Dad and I up Mangerton Mountain and in the National Park. I was surely getting used to the navigational work so it was less difficult. This was tricky although as the weather was not in our favour for much of it, but we survived. After these hikes I am learning more and more about navigation and my muscles are getting stronger, especially for the expedition in Iceland.
Along with the hikes I have been kept busy with projects. For my character project I am volunteering in the local charity shop, and for my social project I am writing articles. At first I was anxious as to how it would be at the charity shop, but I have found I love it there. All the volunteers are lovely and making this a pleasurable experience for me. The work is also very satisfying because I know I am helping a good cause and it’s local. I would’ve never thought to volunteer here before The Crean Challenge, but since I have I think I’ll go back this summer. The articles are going equally as well. It can be hard to locate the time to compose them but I am managing and enjoying it very much. English has been a passion, ever since a young age and The Crean Challenge has provided me with a reason to pursue it more.
The Crean Challenge has definitely kept me busy over the last few months. I started appreciating the new skills I was learning and am putting them into my life. Everyone around me has helped me so much and I am taken back as to how people are offering their help; my parents supporting me, friends offering help and attending my hikes, leaders facilitating and offering gear. It has been truly amazed and I am so grateful to those that have helped.
I am still motivated to earn the medal as I keep powering on with what I must do. It has been amazing so far and I’m just looking forward as to what is in store for me next, and waiting eagerly to make it to Iceland!
Next time I will share information on the next three hikes I must organise and complete, the end of my projects, the gear I must get, the second training weekend and my conclusion on this journey so far.
By Lucy Guilmartin