Gordon Park Challenge Expedition 2006 (Zimbabwe)

        8/1/07 Update on the GP Challenge Expedition:-

Only five Scouts applied, which was a bit disappointing. Two were from the 8th, two from the 31st and one from the 1st Pioneer Scout Troop. (Leon was on the Cederberg Adventure in the Cape Mountains, otherwise he would have been there). Their pre Challenge project was to make their own trail sheets, ruck sacks, cookers, plates, mugs, forks and knives. Information as to how to do all this was supplied to them in the form of booklets that we had prepared in advance.

For the first three days we gave them sessions on map and compass work, trees, bush first aid, a management game, a six knot challenge, menu planning, for they had to plan their own hike menus. A shooting base, Maori oven cooking and a day of raft building on the dam at the farm I have been working on, were added in as interest activities.

Only the 1st Pioneer Scout had done any hiking, so the Hundred Kilometre four day hike at the end of the Challenge was quite an ordeal for them. And of course they were on their own, in unknown territory.
The weather changed on the first day of the hike and by evening they had a terrific thunder storm to contend with and then it rained and drizzled for the next two days. They wisely short circuited the route and headed back along the emergency routes/roads I showed them. Five very sore and bruised Scouts got back to the Park a day early having cut out about 30 kms. A 'fill-in' programme was arranged to keep them busy for the extra day in GP, before the Survivors Dinner that closed the Challenge.

Penny Graham and her team on the catering side produced amazing results. Penny managed to get quite a bit of the food donated or at reduced prices and even got cash donations. I invited four juniors of my Troop to be staff. They enjoyed themselves, but had to work hard in helping the catering team. A conservative tally for the cost of the Challenge is $1,7 million. Mind boggling, but it was all paid for in cash and kind. The cost per Scout was only $12 000. When you weigh this against a loaf of bread which is $850, they got an eight day High Adventure Activity for nothing!

Pete Tipler was Mr Gordon Parke, and he played the part superbly. He spent the day and night out at the farm during the raft building exercise and then he was the guest speaker at the dinner.

Ken drove from Mutare bringing his pooch with him. He worked very hard, but really enjoyed himself. It meant so much to him to know that his efforts were appreciated, and of course he was really in his element in lecturing to the guys. He said on several occasions during the eight days that he felt quite rejuvenated.

So, to end this very brief account of a really successful Challenge, my sincere thanks for everyones help in making the event a reality.

Norman Scott

30/11/06 Update on the GP Challenge Expedition:-

Thinking ahead:
- Using all maps available, Leon is setting the 100 mile hike through the matopos
- We've purchased 280 litres of diesel and 60 litres of petrol, which is just as well, for the price of fuel went up at most garages today. The fuel is for the electric generator and the water pump. Ken is really excited and will drive down from Umtali, and pick up Fionna Wilmot in Harare - if she can make the Challenge.
- The catering team has already bought some of the rations, even though they did not know the numbers, as items are already in short supply, especially as Christmas gets closer. We have a runaway inflation, NO it is galloping. Meat doubled in price yesterday. So heaven knows what the end of December will look like. I have not listened to the budget that was presented in parliament this afternoon, so I live in ignorant bliss until tomorrow.

Result, events have moved very fast, and in no small way. The fees from the participants should be coming in from tomorrow. Guest staff have been approached and all are willing to help. Next I have to have a forest of gumpoles cut at the farm where we will be building the rafts, and then I have to get drums out for buoyancy and decking aswell as they will be spending the night afloat. Quite a lot of running around to do, but there is still time on my side.

Cheers Norman

AND If you will be 15 years or older on 1st January 2007 **
AND If you can stand a rugged & Challenging week in the Matopos, hiking, climbing, abseiling, canoeing & learning new skills.
THEN Write for further information and application forms to:
The Organiser, G.P. Challenge, PO Box 929, Bulawayo. Or email vix@netconnect.co.zw

If you can not handle 100km of hiking.
If you do not care for sleeping under the stars.
If you are not prepared to take a challenge.
If you are not interested in learning new skills.
If you are afraid of heights.
If you are unfit.
If you have arranged to take your 'chick' to the Old years night party.

THE DATES: 28th December 2006 to 5th January 2007.
THE VENUE: Gordon Park & The Matopos hills, Matabeleland.
THE COST: Only $12 000.00 per Scout paid by 1st December 2006.
CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES: 20th November 2006 (payment to follow). Size of Camp. The Camp is for Boys only and will be limited to four patrols of of 4 scouts each. Total 16.

Note. The GP Challenge is only held every 10 Years. Don't miss out on the Adventure of a Lifetime.

**. If you will not be 15 years old on 1st January 2007, but have your Adventurer badge & you would like to take up the challenge, then apply and state the reasons why you feel you should come on the challenge!

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