With wind, rain and snow taking up most of last week it was with some trepidation that I could be seen heading out last Saturday night to help out on the Charlton Chase.
This is an all night navigation exercise (depending on skills!) for young people from across West Sussex which has been run annually by the County Youth Service since 1981.
The support base is at Seaford College (and our thanks to them their continuing help in providing this) and takes place over open country so young people need to be physically fit, able to navigate at night, have a basic knowledge of first aid, hill walking and be able to look after themselves in adverse conditions. The course consists of six main checkpoints at which the teams can gain points for the completion of exercises designed to test their teamwork and initiative. This year, even with the weather we had over 320 young people taking part (!) in eighty teams and over 100 volunteers supporting the event.
A big congratulations and thank you needs to go to colleagues who put a tremendous amount of hard work and effort into this, from the co-ordination and administration of teams, to sourcing volunteers to man checkpoints, to working out where the routes will go, to working on the night. And the main thanks must go to our Duke of Edinburghs Award, Outdoor Education and Accreditation Manager who (amazingly) oversees all bases and keeps it all together in the run up and on the night (in conjunction with the day job!)