Walk-A-Bout, Bond Style!

Posted on Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Those are the instructions that were given to seven teams of intrepid scouts at Fort Purbrook on one cold, windy night at the end of October. Over the next four hours, they had to find their way around the battlements, walls and moats of the 19th century fort, and through the system of underground tunnels below the surface. Along the way, they faced many challenges and obstacles. They had to shoot targets accurately, under the menacing supervision of two masked special-forces instructors, and then climb their way safely around an underground rock face in search of hidden equipment. They encountered other agents who needed tratment for injuries caused by gunshots and explosions, and had to show their skills in Morse code and fishing. Another agent had been badly injured, and the teams had to rescue him and get him back to safety across an obstacle course. They had to overcome their fear of heights on an aerial runway, and cook pancakes to keep their strength up for the challenges of the night. There was secret information hidden in a booby-trapped box at the end of a minefield, and other equipment that had to be retrieved by building a block-and-tackle derrick.

At the end of all this, they had to assemble all the information they had gathered and build a model of the satellite, to achieve their final objective. Nearly every team got the model exactly right, despite some teams having some of the instructions missing when the began to build.

The only thing that did not go according to plan was that after all this, the teams still had enough energy at 1:00am to make a noise that kept all the leaders awake for what felt like a very long time. So at 07:30 the teams all enjoyed a few laps running around the parade ground, that they had so richly earned themselves the previous night. When all the scores were added up, the team from the 1st troop emerged as the winners, adding the Walk-A-Bout trophy to their impressive collection of Scout trophies won this year. All the Scouts had a great night at the fort, and those leaders who had not done an event at the fort before were very impressed by the facilities and the scope of different things we could do there.

The preparation work for the event was done, as it has been for many years, by Lee Budd. Since Lee was in hospital following his operation, I ran the event on the night, thankful for Lee’s thorough preparation and wishing he was with us to guide and enjoy the night. I expect I shall feel that way every time I am involved in Walk-A-Bout in the future.

Stuart Ganney, ADC Scouts