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Five Bishop's Stortford girls win Scouts Gold Award with final expedition in sub-zero temperatures, muddy conditions and carrying more kit than normal

Five adventurous girls braved the winter weather to navigate their way to a Scouts Gold Award.

The quintet from the 1st Bishop's Stortford and Hockerill group – 13-year-olds Hannah Davidson, Maggie Kellard, Madi Attfield and Susie Williams and Elizabeth Chaffey, who is 12 – spent a day exploring canal paths, bridleways and footpaths along the Hertfordshire and Essex border.

The expedition was the last element of the gold award they have been working on since they joined the Aztec troop nearly four years ago.

Elizabeth, Hannah, Susie, Madi, Maggie (43439923)
Elizabeth, Hannah, Susie, Madi, Maggie (43439923)

They had to orienteer along a route they were allocated on the morning of the challenge while carrying tents, cooking equipment and overnight kit in a rucksack.

As the challenge ended, Hannah said: "We did it! Reading a map and finding our way across the fields was a bit of a challenge, but using the skills we had learnt in Scouts and supporting each other we made it happen.

"We're all very tired and I fell over in the mud, but we feel good about what we've achieved and we're looking forward to a shower when we get home."

Leader Dawn Carter said: "It's been a tough year for all the Scouts in the district, but these young women show what can be achieved even in the current conditions. They have carried out their expedition in a Covid-secure way, making sure they did not share kit, which meant they had to carry more than normal.

"The Scouts braved sub-zero air temperatures and it was very muddy underfoot, but they coped very well. We normally do these expeditions in the spring or summer months, when the cold and lack of daylight are not a factor, so for them to undertake this expedition in the cold, muddy and dark conditions means we're so proud of them.

"They've proved that given the right support and the right skills, these Scouts are a credit to their generation."

Scouting in the Bishop's Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Much Hadham area is now following National Youth Agency guidelines to ensure young people and adult volunteers are kept safe. If you would like to help young people undertake challenges that help them develop skills for life, visit www.1stbishopsstortford.org.uk.

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