Saturday 17thOctober saw a return of the biennial Plender Hike Competition. 9 teams entered the night hike with teams from 1st, 4th, 12th, 15thand 17thSevenoaks. The teams had to complete an arduous 8 mile course around Otford and Shoreham. On the way were a number of challenges including dealing out first aid to injured bystanders, cooking up a mammoth pancake feast, river crossing (quite a number forwent the footbridge and just waded through), trek cart rallying, remote knot tying and even Kimís game in the dark.
The level of scouting skills was high with almost all teams choosing to compete unescorted and a number of troops fielding very young but brave scouts. The scouts hiked into the night with a couple of teams trying to make detours before being picked up and put back on course by the roving minibuses. The course closed eventually 7 hours later with most teams managing to complete the whole route, getting back for soup and hotdogs late into the night.
The event was almost won in record time by Team D until it was worked out that one of the teams was incorrectly named and there were actually two teams competing under the same name. Thankfully this was quickly sorted out and the extensive manhunt for Team C called off.
The trophies for each checkpoint were spread fairly evenly throughout the teams with most troops excelling in a particular area. However there can only be one overall winner and this went to the 1stSevenoaks Phoenix team who adamantly claimed that they didnít get lost at all (just decided to walk the same section of the route three times). Well done (even if you now rope your leaders into organising the next event).