Our excited winners!

Jessica, Ivaan, Mohi and Tawana were the four lucky Coniston Cubs from 26th Milton Keynes Scout group who were picked from a prize draw to take part in a free taster session at Climb Quest. Check out the action with the video highlights and Cub interviews here, and then read on for the article below!

After an initial training session and safety talk, donning of safety harness and taking their neckers off for safekeeping, the Cubs had free reign through the whole climbing centre to choose which of the fiendishly challenging walls they wanted to take on. We had the amazing luck to be the only group there – effectively a private session!

Safety first! Harnesses, helmets… and face masks for the adults

Mohi had been climbing just once before when the pack tried bouldering at our summer activity day at Leslie Sell Activity Centre. Tawana had never been climbing before, however Jessica had prior previous experience of Climb Quest! There was real camaraderie in our group and all Cubs took on the climbing challenges with enthusiasm and energy, with the more experienced helping the first-timers get their confidence with climbing,

Tackling challenges with Cub Scout spirit and values

As the session progressed and they found themselves getting better and more confident with the heights, each of the Cubs took on harder challenges, set challenges for each other, shared top tips about where the handholds were in the climbing walls, helped one another clip/unclip to the auto-belay system, and gave each other words of encouragement and support.

Coniston Cubs contentedly climbing coloured cliffs & crags

The Cubs demonstrated many of the Scout values as they treated each other with respect, acted responsibly and safely as they approached the walls and each other’s spaces, whilst cooperating with one another to ensure that everyone had an amazing time. There was laughter, enthusiasm, words of praise, and physical encouragements in terms of synchronous climbs and friendship shown by Cubs. Well done to everyone!

Jessie & Tawana stepping up the challenge!

After tackling most of the climbing walls, our four Cubs were ready to take on the ultimate challenges at Climb Quest – the Vertical Drop slide and the Stairway to Heaven!

For the Vertical Drop, our four brave adventurers donned hi-tech slippery slide outfits and safety helmets. Skilfully modelling this year’s in-fashion ‘baggy’ style, Jessica looked the part in her huge outfit!

Ready for the Vertical Drop…. and Jessie in her super-size slide suit!

Each of the Cubs had five goes on the Vertical Drop, attempting to hang on to the rising bar for as long as their grip, and courage, could hold!

With every attempt, the Cubs encouraged each other even more, counting out the height markers for each attempt and taking on the personal challenge to get higher than their previous try before letting go and slipping back down the slide. The new Official Coniston Cubs World Record for first place was set by Jessica who reached the dizzying heights of the eighth mark on the vertical drop, with Mohi pushing her hard in second place by getting all the way up to number six!

A long way down – this took some bravery!

The final (and perhaps the most daunting!) challenge of the session was the Stairway to Heaven, in which Cubs had to maintain their balance and have nerves of steel as they hopped, stepped or jumped to ascend a towering spiral of poles, getting ever higher and higher with each move forward they took.

Tawana, Jessie and Bagheera concentrating hard on their balance

Various strategies quickly became apparent for how to tackle the Stairway to Heaven! Jessica and Bagheera took the extreme speedy and competitive approach, ascending the stairway with agility, skill, and velocity. Ivaan and Tawana took the middle ground and measured approach of going cautiously, but with pace and determination. Then there was the ‘steady and sure’ approach taken by Mohi and Akela, who utilised a combo of stepping, holding, climbing, and balancing to triumph in the end!

“The best was climbing the stairs!” – Mohi

Akela and Bagheera are super proud of Sixer Jessica who manged to achieve the last part of her Cubs Team Leader Challenge Award at Climb Quest. Jessica is the first member of our pack to achieve this coveted award since the start-up of our 26th MK Coniston Cub Scouts pack only seven months ago!

This last piece was the requirement to “Teach a Cub a new skill”, and Jessie’s previous climbing experience held her in good stead here. Tawana had not been climbing before, so was understandably unsure about the heights and auto-belay system at the start of the session. Jessica offered words of kindness and reassurance, taught Tawana how to clip into the auto-belay system following the instructor’s guidance and gave Tawana encouragement by climbing alongside him on the walls until he was confident enough to go it alone.

“Coniston Cubs is really fun, and I enjoy it lots” – Jessica

By the end of the session, Tawana was able to race up the walls in a competitive time challenge against Jessica. A super well done to Jessica for not only demonstrating team leadership skills, but true Cub Scout values by doing her best, putting others before herself, and doing a good turn in helping another Cub. Well done to Tawana for also demonstrating the true spirit of Cub Scouts by trying new things, facing up to challenges, and for his fantastic achievement at Climb Quest!

Racing against the clock!

Akela and Bagheera would also like to say a big thank you to MK District for promoting this free taster session at Climb Quest, which has whetted our appetite and enthusiasm for bringing the whole Coniston Cubs pack in the not-so-distant future as soon as our funding allows!