Scouts on Alpine adventure

Scouts enjoy white water rafting on the Giffre valley

Scouts enjoy white water rafting on the Giffre valley

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MORE than 100 Scouts from Wearside enjoyed an action-packed adventure week in the French Alps.

The event brought together youngsters and adults leaders from Washington, Hetton and Houghton groups as they journeyed to Morillon, France.

They were challenged to push their boundaries to overcome their fears, work together to support each other and take on exciting activities such as white water rafting, climbing and abseiling, kayaking, and even a night in a mountain refuge.

Organisers say the eight-day excursion included many memorable moments.

For many scouts, Via Ferrata was one of the biggest challenges - traversing a cliff face hundreds of metres up.

Lucy Bennison, a 14-year-old from Houghton, said: “Via Ferrata was terrifying.

“We were suspended high on a cliff face and I didn’t dare to look down.

“However with support from leaders I was able to keep going and finish the traverse.

“It felt like such an achievement when I reached the end.”

Another highlight was white water rafting, as scouts teamed up to paddle furiously down the raging rapids, avoiding the rocks.

Andrew Turnbull, 41, an adult volunteer from Washington who was enjoying his first European adventure said: “Rafting was my highlight of the week - it was tremendous fun.

“Scouts worked really well together to paddle the course.

“In fact I’ve had one of the best weeks of my life and I’d encourage others to support scouting as an adult volunteer.”

Scouts also enjoyed some Alpine views from the Aguille Du Midi, with a cable car taking them well above the clouds.

Leaders are now calling on those want to join the scouts to get in touch.

More than 750 young people and adults are involved with the district group after membership grew by 13 per cent in 2012.

The district has recently opened a new group to cope with the growing demand for scouting, and now supports seven groups to offer adventure and challenge to young people aged six to 18. For more information about Scouting in Washington and Houghton go to www.hls-scouts.org.uk or call 0845 300 1818.