Altius - Higher

Date started
: 10 March 2012
Date completed: 11 March 2012
Number of Cubs: 38

Challenge Report
On Saturday evening we all had a look at an OS map of the local area. We worked out where we were staying and used the contour lines to help us find the highest local point. We decided that a hike up to Shotover Country Park would put us in the perfect place for a Cub's Own. In their teams the Cubs were then each given a poem to practice, ready to read out during the service, and were asked to select a song that they could lead the rest of the Pack in singing. Finally we gave them each a blank necker and asked them to illustrate it with something that made them happy.

After breakfast on Sunday morning we put on our uniforms and hiked up the hill - fortunately the weather was perfect, sunny and warm, with excellent views over Oxford. It was pretty steep and the road was very narrow so we had to be very careful and let cars pass (there were lots of people heading up the hill to walk their dogs - or maybe they had heard about our Cub's Own!) When we got to the top we formed up into a horse-shoe and we started by talking about the different parts of our promise. We then renewed the promise together, before reading our poems and singing our songs. Our final poem was called A Knotty Problem and it was beautifully read by the Red Team. This led into our final activity - learning how to tie a friendship knot. The Cubs paired up while the leaders taught them how to do it and everyone had a go. Finally we had a big friendship picture, showing off our new neckers and our fantastic friendship knots.

On the way back down the hill we had a bonus history lesson when one of the local home owners offered to tell the Cubs all about the stone and the road we had walked along. Although Old Road is now a very small road which stops when you reach Shotover it used to be the main road from Oxford to London. In those days it took 16 hours to get to London (now it takes about 1 hour 20 minutes) and people travelled by horse drawn stage coaches. As the road up to Shotover is so steep people had to get out of their carriages at the bottom of the hill and get back in again at the top - the stone acted as a step down and there is another stone at the top of the hill to get back in again!