In a first for Battle of Marple this year’s winner or should we say winners, our victors for the year are Cobden and Kinder. That’s right, for the first time ever Battle of Marple was called for a tie for two deserved winners.

Despite the rain early on Friday, Network ventured out to the campsite to set up ready for the scouts to arrive, that and play cards! 6 o’clock marked the arrival of the scouts all keen and eager and ready and raring to defend the honour of their troop. A great deal of faff later (mainly instigated by Nippie) the torch was handed to Gaz Hibbs to move the troops out and start the journey to campsite. Two hours later the scouts arrived at the campsite and after a bit of food and bit more faff (guilty once again) it was monopoly time followed by hot chocolate and biscuits and then off to beddy-bi-boes!

Up at the crack of dawn (it certainly felt like it) and the scouts headed off with Ian, Callum and 4P for the only way to start your day on Battle of Marple a ravine run, whilst the other leaders (those of sounder minds) made breakfast. Shortly after breakfast the real work began as Saturday bases commenced. Six bases testing their true scouting ability in fire lighting, tent pitching, pioneering, team building games, mental challenges and Strong scout. With three of the six bases complete and the scouts in need a good rest we had what is fondly know at Battle of Marple as ‘Formal Fun’ time, a few hours of free time for the scouts to go mental and run around to their hearts content and if they found the time to fit it in spray paint their team kit and make themselves a pitta pocket for lunch (nom nom nom!) and a bit of slack lining. As a new event this year we made fresh doughnuts, which appeared to be a real hit (and led to four leaders sitting round a pan of oil cooking doughnuts for 2 hours).

Next up was the waterslide, thinking the weather to be a little off we had considered cancelling but were quickly put in our place by the scouts, when we asked who still wanted a go ahead and pretty much everyone put their hand up.  So ‘tarpy’ came out and the scouts spent over an hour throwing themselves down a hill. All changed and dry and warm(ish) the tuck shop opened (if only for my own sanity having lost count of the number of times we had been asked when the tuck shop was going to be open). The scouts armed with enough fizzy cola bottles to sink a ship we moved into the final three of our 6 Saturday bases. A tasty dinner of homemade Spaghetti Bolognese and garlic bread followed and just as we were about the start the wide game the heavens opened, deciding that the weather was too bad (it was hammering it down!) the call was made to postpone Hibbo’s highbrow wide game on the European financial market crash (I said it was highbrow for a wide game!) and watch film. With the scouts looking dead on their feet (and the leaders not too dissimilar) it was time for sleepy sleeps in preparation for the big event on Sunday.

Sunday dawned and the scouts were up early (having been woken up) and preparing for the first event of the day kit inspection. Kinder having taken a valuable lead in the Saturday bases Peak and Cobden were raring to fight back. A day full of activities followed including;

–        Treasure Hunt

–        Bullseye

–        Low ropes

–        Giant Spiders web

–        UK rope map

–        Wild Sling Carnival games

–        Bush Tucker

–        Dry Run

The scouts fought tooth and nail to earn a valuable five second advantages in each activity. This done the end was nigh, the course was set the points were in and it was time to decide which troop would take home the trophy! Kinder had a gained a 10 second advantage over Cobden, who in turn had a 20 second advantage over peak. The claxon sounded and they were off. A race around one of the longest muddiest Gruelinator assault courses we have seen to date.

The scouts fought hard and pushed themselves to the limit, but then controversy struck, reports came back that Dan Murray was lost in field to injury and Cobden were still awaiting a man. In the end both men arrived back at the same time and the competition was called as a draw for the first time in Battle of Marple History.

Battle of Marple 9 complete! Cheers to all the Kids for coming and taking part and a mammoth thank you to Network for all the hard work they put in!!! See you next year for Battle of Marple when we make double figures on its 10th birthday!