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World Class Adventure Meets World Class Science

posted 8 Mar 2012, 11:51 by James Fenwick
  •  550 male and female scouts took part in a 24 hour challenge
  • Over 30 outdoor activities at the scout’s activity centre in Durham
  • At 1am the event moved to the Centre for Life.

The Weekend of February 11th 2012, 550 scouts descended on Newcastle’s Centre for Life as part of a 24 hour weekend adventure.

The event, run by Durham Scout County challenged young people from the Tyne to the Tees to undertake a seemingly endless number of activities at their Durham adventure centre before boarding a fleet of coaches at 1am to travel to Newcastle’s Centre for Life. The 24 hour challenge began at 11am on Saturday and having bounced on seven metre high bungee trampolines, abseiled from a 60ft climbing wall, mountain biked, cooked food "Bear Grylls style‟ in the woods, the scouts partied on into the evening, celebrating common friendships and enjoying being a part of a big, growing youth movement. 14 year old scout, Katie Smith from Gateshead commented, “This is amazing. Its freezing, and muddy and I just love being outdoors with my friends. I've met so many new people from the area, I just don't want it to end.” As temperatures plummeted, scouts set off for Newcastle to begin the nocturnal part of the challenge:

The Life Science Centre's attractions promised to keep the scouts amazed for much of the early hours of Sunday, with its Planetarium, Science Theatre, Motion Ride and permanent Human Life exhibition as well as the brand new 'make-it' activity area which was unveiled earlier in the day as a brand new attraction for half term. But just in case that wasn‟t enough, the Scouts themselves brought an inflatable assault course, giant 12 metre slide and gladiator games as well as a pop up cinema to show 'Bang Goes the Theory' episodes to get everyone in science mood. The scouts‟ in house stage team ensured a lively atmosphere truly brought science to life!

11 year old Shane English from Washington enthused, “I‟ve managed to get round only half of the activities at Life so far and I‟m determined to try everything. The Motion Ride was awesome, but I‟m most forward to Ice Rink at 4am”, after a short pause he continued, “people not in scouts would just never do so much in one weekend!” By 4am, with boundless energy left, scouts enjoyed the Skating@Life rink, opened for a special dawn skating experience – very much in keeping with the Frostie:24 theme. Organisers at Life were pleased to be able to accommodate the idea "We have some amazing facilities here" said Kathryn Brame, group events organizer "the exhibition space seems even more exciting at night and takes on something of a magical quality.” By 6am, the scouts‟ logistical feat began again, moving the participants back to Durham for a hearty breakfast and an early morning fitness session! Off-road buggies churned the mud, and craft activities continued in the heated 200ft marquee for those feeling a little more weary.

At 10.30am, boys and girls gathered for the Final Act, a closing ceremony and party to  mark the end of 24 hours of world-class fun. 550 tired-but-content young people then left the site, taking not just bags full of washing home, but a sense of pride that they are part of the UK‟s largest coeducational youth movement. 

“My youngest has just returned from #frostie24 very muddy and tired. Volunteer leaders deserve a medal”, tweeted a parent from Chester-le-Street shortly after the event closed.