Nina tells us about Rayner

A tough but ultimately wonderful competition, Rayner rolls around every year to push us to the limits of our hiking fitness, scout skills and tolerance of each other.
This particular Rayner had a bit of a rocky start as we were lost (sorry, temporarily disoriented) before even beginning the hike – with the entire competition having to meet briefly at a petrol station, an assembly that looked a bit like a small army was taking over – but overall turned out for the better. After a first day of relatively mild hiking, we settled down in our now-misty and very cold campsite for the evening. The camp setup itself was certainly memorable, as we were made to create a hexagon sleeping-area out of sisal and divide it into ‘rooms’, and not one but TWO snakes had to be removed from the area.
Now, most people were able to settle down in their camps, each pick a ‘room’ and have no fear of getting wet under their individual tarps but, of course, not us. Between the three of us, exactly one person managed to bring a tarp, mattress and (accidentally) two pillows…..In the true spirit of Scouting, it was under Alex’s tarp we found ourselves huddling at midnight once the activities finally finished, our feet in black bags and food stuffed under the rain covers of our backpacks.
By the morning, as featured in our 5AM ‘vlog’, the mist had still not let up and it was as dark as night. In our sleep-deprived confusion, we ended up with lukewarm coffee made from Game instead of water – a cultural experience according to Rachel!
The second day’s hike was tough and everyone was beginning to reach the end of their tether, especially on the way down the longest, steepest hill we’d seen all competition. The clipboard experienced some mishandling (or rather, an involuntary game of catch) due to frustration but somehow survived, and we celebrated our end with an 8th place achievement – not bad if I do say so myself, for a team that came 22nd out of 25 last year!

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  1. […] – we placed first in the Upton Challenge and are proud of our scouts for their showing at the Rayner Trophy hiking competition. Scouts has an international dimension and even under COVID, the 8th […]

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