Emerald Explorers win Operation Moonlight 2020
After competing over a number of years, the Emerald Scout Explorer Unit from 11th Sefton East Altside entered. The team was compiled of Harry, George, James and Joseph. The great news is that the Unit won the Explorer Scout Section Trophy, also taking the Overall Winners trophy of the 2020 event.
The aim of the exercise is to navigate a course from a secret start location to the finish whilst avoiding catchers, and returning with as many lives as possible intact. As a rough guide the course will be 9 hours long and approximately 10 miles on a direct route, however most teams usually walk a greater distance to avoid catchers. This was reputed to be the hardest event yet after thirty five years of competition, with the most entries ever. Some 123 teams entered, comprising of 780 Scouts, Explorers, Network and Veterans with a large number of 'catchers'.
The start and finishing point was Farmer Teds Adventure Farm, near Ormskirk. It was said to be the longest distance ever covered. The ground they had to negotiate was very open country and proved very testing for the teams, especially as they got towards the finish. Whilst having to evade a heavy concentration of catchers throughout the event, the team planned a wide berth approach allowing them to keep clear of catchers.
The Emerald Unit were one of three Explorer Scout Units finishing with no lost 'lives'. They entered the finishing tunnel coming in as the second entrant’s home, which was a feat to be proud of, and the Explorers certainly deserved this as they had sheer determination and a passion to win.
The 11th Sefton East Altside also entered a group of solo Scouts who all returned safely & completed the course - a great achievement, especially for those competing in their first Moonlight event. The Group Leaders competed as a catching team and came in second place having been in third place last year. They intend to come in first place in 2021!
The event is a credit to Ormskirk Scouts with excellent organisation. It is well worth entering the event if you haven’t before as it attracts a vast amount of Scout groups from all over the North and even a group from as far as Brighton.
The four categories of teams are:
- Solo Scouts (a team made up of just Scouts without a leader)
- Led Scouts (a team made up of Scouts with one leader)
- Explorer Scouts
- Network & Veteran