Moving Challenge Valley
In 2012 we played a major role in assisting Frylands Wood Scout Outdoor Centre to acquire the former Challenge Valley assault course from Gilwell Park.
Installed for the 2005 European Scout Jamboree (EuroJam) and the 2007 World Scout Jamboree, challenge valley was a large assault course activity that went throughout the woods and up The Quick to the finish line. Consisting of pairs of obstacles so you could race, there were stepping stones, monkey bars, nets, spinning poles, balance beams, see saws, a very large double slide and a scramble net.
After initial negotiations we did a site visit with the warden of Frylands and took measurements and photos which showed just the scale of this looming project. Some of these photos can be seen below.
We needed to get it out before the camping season started at Gilwell so as not to cause disruption to visitors. Great care would also need to be taken as the woodland it was in was protected and couldn't be damaged.
After some more planning we arranged a date and got planning. Armed with a selection of large trailers, vans and flatbed trucks we arrived and began working. Using a tele handler and the sites 1.5t mini digger combined with hand tools and lots of shouting work began and things were coming out. What we didn't realise was how deep the poles went into the ground and the amount of concrete that had been used to install it - they didn't want it moved!
Once we had got the trailers loaded the drivers immediately embarked on the 50 mile journey to unload at Frylands Wood. Once unloaded the drivers returned and so on the weekend went. By sunday evening we had successfully removed and relocated nearly everything to Frylands.
Then a few weeks later came the first of several weekends building work. We started by dismantling the existing assault course at Frylands and planning a new design and locations for all the kit. Then it rained and turned the work site into a mud bath but this didn't stop our team of volunteers getting involved with shovels, mini diggers and another tele handler to rebuild challenge valley in its new home.
After a couple of long weekend hard work it was all starting to pay off and things were looking good. Then after just a few more odd days here and there with a few pairs of hands the new Frylands Wood assault course was open for business and is now a valuable asset to the site and is providing activity for future generations of scouters to enjoy.
Not only did Frylands get a new assault course but part of the move saw us acquire lots of large tube which now form a tunnelling system which is a whole new activity of its own!