What do you get if you mix a week-end of camping skills, team-working, cooking and creative problem-solving challenges for teams of 10-14 years old in a field with minimal supervision?
You get the annual Fraser Shield challenge for scout groups across Harborough District.
The Fraser Shield is the oldest continually running scout patrol camping competition in the world. It was founded in 1912 and this year the event was run over a week-end of brilliant sunshine at Park Farm near Stanford on Avon. Patrols of between 4 and 7 scouts with an average age below 13 had to plan their menus, plan the equipment they needed as well as pitching camp, preparing and cooking all meals, keeping their site clean, tidy and hygienic and most importantly working together as a team.
They also completed challenges which showed off their knotting abilities, problem solving skills in getting raw egg unbroken across a 4-metre stream, building an oven out of a cardboard box and successfully cooking scones in it.
“Alice not so Wonderland” patrol from 1st Bowdens Scout Group won the 106th Fraser Shield for 2018. The highlight for the judges was their 3- course meal on Saturday night topped off by beautifully presented individual Eaton Mess.
The presentation of the impressive Fraser Shield to Team Alice was made by Mr Michael Eggington, manager of Park Farm. The winning team also received The Turner Treasure, a prize box full of outdoor gadgets and equipment for the scouts to use over the year ahead. Mark Turner, a former District Chairman, was a keen supporter of the Fraser Shield.
Alongside the Fraser Shield, the 13 teams also competed for Adam’s Challenge. Dave Mugridge explained that the challenge is in memory of his son Adam, a Foxton scout who was killed in a cycling accident just before he was set to lead his Patrol at Fraser Shield in 2006. The highlight of this year’s Adams Challenge was to build a working trebuchet and see how far it would launch a tennis ball. This year it was The Royals patrol from 1st Market Harborough who claimed the Adam’s Challenge Shield with the highest team score. They managed to propel the ball over 20 meters in the shoot-out.
Debbie Billington, lead scout volunteer for Harborough District explained, “ Scouting is all about developing skills for life. It encourages young people to do more, learn more and be more. The Fraser Shield may be 112 years old but the skills that are required to take part in it are just as relevant today. Its all about teamwork, leadership and resilience”.