Forward 2017 took place on Saturday 4th March 2017. You can find the results here.
What is it?
Forward is CUSAGC's annual incident hike for Scouts and Guides (10-14s). It takes the form of a ~10mile hike, with five checkpoints spaced around the route where challenges allow teams to earn points. Two trophies are available to be won; one for Scout Association teams and one for GirlGuiding UK teams.
Teams are of 4-6 members, with the option of having an additional chaperone to help with navigation (a decision made and arranged by the team's Guide/Scout Leader). Teams must decide their route based on 6-figure grid references given to them when they arrive at HQ on the day and complete the route within a 7-hour time limit, including stopping at the activity bases to earn points. Start, and therefore finish, times are staggered, the first teams usually leaving HQ at about 8.30am, and all are back before dark. In addition to challenges, and completing the route, teams are also given a quiz sheet with questions related to the route and puzzles in order to gain valuable extra points.
Checkpoint challenges require good communication and teamwork, and are often very fun – for both the participants and the CUSAGC volunteers running them! The first aid base makes an appearance every year, alongside a whole host of other challenges. In previous years teams have been asked to take part in nuclear disarmament, pitch tents blindfolded, make spaghetti towers, herd sheep, transfer Smarties using straws, tie themselves in knots, copy Lego models whilst blindfolded and much, much more!
Teams are provided with hot drinks at the middle checkpoint and a hot snack and drinks on return to HQ. Trophies are awarded once all the scores are in.
The event is fully risk-assessed, insured and run conforming to SSAGO rules (which are a combination of The Scout Association and GirlGuiding UK's) on safety and safeguarding. We have recently had this all approved by the Cambridgeshire Scout Activities Team, and would be happy to provide details to any interested parties. Landowners, parish councils and the police are always informed.
Where is it?
Forward is usually held within easy striking distance of Cambridge - e.g. Toft(2017), Bar Hill (Cambs, 2016) Westley Waterless (Cambs, 2015) Barrington (Cambs, 2014), Balsham (2013), Toft (2012), Waterbeach (2011).
When is it?
It usually takes place at the very end of February or beginning of March, towards the end of Cambridge University's Lent term. Details will be revealed hopefully early in the new academic year (October).
How do I find out more?
Entry packs with all details will become available in January. To see last year's, or for other information, email chair [at] cusagc.org.uk.
Can I help?
In short, yes! Details are not yet available, but we are always in need of willing volunteers (who must be over 18 and members of Scouting, Guiding, CUSAGC or one of the further education institutions in Cambridge) to assist with running bases, driving, cooking, doing admin and control etc. Let us know if you'd like to help!
Forward 2017 was held in Toft People’s Hall on Saturday 4th March. The approximately 16km route saw teams pass through the villages of Highfields Caldecote, Kingston, and Great Eversden. Despite the slightly depressing weather forecast we had bright sunshine all day, which helped to keep everyone’s spirits up!
At the activity bases teams had to make Lego ducks, break some codes, make rope shapes while blindfolded, and do various tarpaulin-related challenges. The first aid base also made its yearly appearance, as teams had to perform first aid on three Explorers who had sustained various injuries at camp! As well as this, teams had to answer an observation quiz on the way round.
The morning ran smoothly from HQ, with teams arriving on time, allowing us to get them out as fast as we could, and giving each time plenty of time to arrive before it got dark. During the morning, our delivery of hundreds of hot dogs and doughnuts arrived which gave the teams an incentive to make it all the way round the course!
The highest overall score and winners of the Guide trophy were Framlingham Guides A, with 703 points, closely followed by the winners of the Scout trophy, 28th Cambridge B, with 702 points. A few of the chaperoned teams scored higher than this so hopefully the experience they have gained this year will allow them to compete unchaperoned next year and challenge for the trophies.
We are grateful to the teams and their leaders for their participation, and of course to the many volunteers we had to help with the smooth running of the event. Thanks also go the many landowners on the route who were very cooperative, and Toft People’s Hall for providing us with such a fantastic HQ location.
Adam Swinton and Cara Woods
Forward 2017 Organisers