by Bob Myers,
Committee Member, Troop 3, Cincinnati, Ohio
As a way
of introducing and summarizing the Relief of Mafeking experience, I have
included below a section of a posting to the Scouts-L list that I wrote
last March shortly after the event. What follows the message is all the
details and information I could find and compile about the event. I hope
that other patrols around the world are able to use this material to plan
and execute their own night exercises.
Committee Member, Troop 3, Cincinnati, Ohio, firstname.lastname@example.org
had our best campout ever last month in terms of patrol spirit. The primary
event took place Friday night from 10pm-1am. It consisted of a 2 mile
night hike in a small, 200 acre county park. There were 11 activity stations
and the theme was Baden-Powells defense of Mafeking (1899-1900).
had to navigate the course quietly using map and compass. The patrols
were spaced 15 minutes apart and 6-7 adults were used as "advanced scouts"
to run the events. Most adults covered 2 stations.
building: the patrol had to cross a 100 foot mud puddle (minefield) carrying
all their required gear by using two sets of 8 foot 2x4s with ropes
event: the patrol split into pairs to tie bowlines around their waist
with 6 foot ropes, the their rope to their partner's, and lean back to
test the knots
building (see scouting magazine from several months ago): using their
scout staves and rope they brought with them to build a ladder to get
the entire patrol out of an actual 5 foot deep ravine
observation: scout a circa 1820 pioneer village
map the village based on the memories of the patrol
aid: treat two gunshot wound, build a stretcher (blanket was part of required
equipment), carry patient over rough terrain with and egg under his head
measure height, width, depth of wooden stage (old fort)
march: although the entire event was to be done quietly, this part of
the trail was monitored for noise
building: burn the string
small 12 point course and build north arrow without compass using staves
(stars were out)
took no more than 15 minutes and the patrols were monitored virtually
the entire way by a silent "spy" that snuck (or was that sneaked?) around
and hung out in trees; observing all along the trail to assure everyone's
safety. We had hot soup and hot chocolate ready for them when they got
back to the cabin a little after 1:00am. They were cold and tired, but
were so pumped that no one went to sleep for more than an hour. The next
day they slept till 10am, had brunch, worked on advancement, and prepared
a huge banquet for Saturday supper.
, ASM Terry Eby, did a tremendous amount of creative preparation for the
Mafeking event, but it took very little preparation work by the other
adults. Terry prepared specific binders for each adult with all the information
for their event(s). Each patrol was given an orienteering based course
description, but were given their "field orders" for each station only
when they arrived. These orders were given only to the patrol leader who
was then required to communicate them to his patrol.
standing out in the woods for more than an hour at night in absolute darkness
with 50 degree (F) temperatures and 30 MPH howling winds was quite an
experience. All the adults had just as much fun as the Scouts. It was
a great success and patrol spirit has never been higher.
Relief of Mafeking
Exercises by the Patrols of Troop 3
is a description of an exciting and successful night hike that our troop,
Troop 3 (formerly Troop 575) of Cincinnati, Ohio, developed and executed
on the night of Friday, February 23, 1996. The idea came from the attached
reprint of an article from the magazine THE LEADER, February, 1992 issue.
I downloaded this reprint from Compuserve compliments of Raymond Burett/NJ,
74030,2151. This material, which described a camporee setting, was adapted
and enhanced for our troops use by Mr. Terry Eby, our outstanding
Assistant Scoutmaster. Terry prepared detailed plans and documentation
for this event that are contained below.
goals of the event was to have fun, learn a little about the origins of
Scouting, and to develop patrol spirit while using basic Scoutcraft skills.
There were only two patrols in our troop at the time, with 8 members of
each in attendance. We used 7 adults to run all the obstacles (events)
and to man the cabin in case of emergencies. Each adult (referred to as
"advanced scouts") ran 1 or 2 obstacles in leapfrog fashion.
The obstacle was essentially a camporee style patrol competition conducted
at night with each patrol traveling from station to station. The theme
was the defense and relief of Mafeking, the pivotal event in the Boor
Wars that made Baden-Powell famous and therefore capable of founding the
worldwide Scouting movement.
schedule consisted of the following:
at troop meeting(s) prior weeks
layout and mapping prior weekend
at cabin and preparations 7:30 p.m.
of B-Ps Camp Fire Yarn No. 1 and briefing 9:00 p.m.
patrol preparations 9:15 p.m.
patrol/personal inspections and orders issued 9:20 p.m.
patrol starts 9:30 p.m.
patrol/personal inspections and orders issued 9:35 p.m.
patrol starts 9:45 p.m.
patrol arrives at cabin (15 minutes for each of 11 obstacles) 12:30
patrol arrives at cabin (15 minutes for each of 11 obstacles) 12:45
and hot chocolate served until taps at 2:00 a.m.
and remainder of weekends program (gourmet cooking) 10:00 a.m.
Ceremony at campfire Saturday night
ON A LONDON STREET -- 1908 campfire skit Saturday night
major concerns with this event were the weather (it was February in Ohio)
and the potential of a Scout or Scouts getting lost. As for the weather,
the troop was camping that particular weekend at Governor Bebb Park in
a cabin that provided warmth before and after the event. Second, detailed
patrol and personal inspections were conducted at the start of the event.
Third, the Scouts were out of contact with an adult for no more than 10
minutes and the Patrol Leader was required to report the condition of
his patrol at each station. The event would have been shortened if weather
conditions had required it. Fourth, the Scouts were allowed to stop at
each obstacle for no more than 10 minutes and required about 2-3 miles
of hiking. Finally, we were lucky with a dry but very windy 50 degree
of getting lost was controlled again by the patrol reports at each station,
where the "tail end charlie" was required to second the patrol
leaders report of "all present." Second, each patrol was
provided with three different maps of the park. Third, the park was only
174 acres of woods surrounded by farmland. It would be hard not to notice
leaving the park. Fourth, many of the older Scouts were very familiar
with the park. Finally, patrol discipline was emphasized and graded. This
kept everything working very well. The intense competition caused the
one patrol that did take a wrong turn to quickly discover and correct
Patrol Preparations and Training
was given the following information at a troop meeting prior to the event:
Breakdown was given to each patrol about a month before the event. This
gave them some good hints as to what skills would be required. It allowed
all the patrol members to begin getting involved. The patrol leaders were
required submit a duty roster, filling each position.
"new skill" that the troop provided training for prior to the
event was for Survival Climb obstacle that required the ladder lashing
illustrated in the Nov-Dec 1995 edition of BSAs SCOUTING magazine.
This skill was taught, practiced, and a patrol competition game was conducted
to insure that one or more members of each patrol were able to build the
required ladder. Other more standard skills, such as first aid, were also
practiced during the preceding weeks.
was expected to gather the required equipment prior to the event and to
make the assignments described in the Patrol Breakdown listing. The patrols
were given a simple listing of all events and each specialist within the
patrol was expected Be Prepared!
of the troops youth members were involved in the event (even the
SPL who was still considered a member of a patrol), all obstacles were
run by adult Scouters who were referred to as "advance scouts."
Binders with waterproof sleeves were prepared for each advanced scout
that contained all the information he required, including maps, trail
guide, a listing of all 11 obstacles, and the "field orders"
that were to be given to the patrol leader at each obstacle.
Guide, a simple orienteering course with stops for each obstacle, was
prepared the weekend before the event. This required a trip to the site
for several hours to map out all the details. Each advanced scout was
briefed in the weeks prior to the event and was able to prepared as required.
On the night of the event, each advanced scout was given his binder and
final preparations were made just prior to the briefing of the Scouts.
While the patrols were being inspected and issued orders, the advanced
scouts proceeded to their posts on the trail.
was not formally structured prior to the event. Most events were timed
to the second and the results were recorded. Quality factors were also
recorded for each event. The patrols observed and evaluated on their use
of the patrol method. After the event, the results from each station were
tabulated and a consensus was reached by all the advanced scouts and Terry
Eby, who had the final say. A special award ceremony was conducted during
the troop campfire the following night.
and Getting Started
the event, the Scoutmaster conducted a relatively serious reading of B-Ps
Camp Fire Yarn No.1, Mafeking Boy Scouts, around the cabins large
fireplace. This was followed by a briefing by the Terry Eby, the Assistant
Scoutmaster. At the end of the briefing, a square knot speed tying contest
was designed to determine which patrol goes first. We ended up using the
best patrol cheer as the determining factor instead.
briefing the first patrol was given a few minutes to get everything together
and assemble. At that time the patrol equipment and personal equipment
was inspected. The patrol was then issued a packet that contained:
of the area
then marched off with minimal flashlights and minimal talking and noise
(this was a "scouting" adventure after all). The second patrol
followed this sequence 15 minutes later.
some notes about the trail and each obstacle. Please refer to the Trail
Guide and the Field Orders.
"minefield" was about 20 yards of mud. The Scouts were expected
to cross while carrying all their equipment using two 8 foot long 2x4's
with ropes attached. Two trips were required.
numbered "points" that are referred to on the Trail Guide
were markers for a nature trail. The Scouts were allowed to help each
other with the knots, but all Scouts were required to lean back on the
knots that were tied.
the ladder was built, all the patrol members had to climb it to get
out of a real ditch.
"enemy camp" was an early 19th
century log cabin village with about a dozen log cabin and out-buildings.
The "spy" was lying in an old wagon in the village when the
patrols passed through. A map of the village was drawn from memory by
each patrol when they reached the old covered bridge (a real one).
station was a simple Kims Game - list all the items that you were
allowed to look at for only a brief period. Items used included some
antique Scouting equipment.
bushwhack (no trail) down the hill to this station was tricky, but everything
went well. A flashlight was occasionally turned on by the advanced scout
to provide some guidance. The victim was carried about 100 feet over
moderately rough terrain (off the trail).
"old fort" was a wooden platform with a roof that was used
during the summer for band concerts. No adult was present when the Scouts
measured the height and width.
was the only event that was planned but was not executed as planned
due to a lack of adults. Frankly, we werent sure how it was going
to work anyway. Refer to PROJECT 2 - SEARCHLIGHT GAUNTLET in the attached
article from THE LEADER for the general idea. What we did instead is
evaluate the patrols ability to minimize noise and flashlight
use along the trail.
fire building was going to be a fire by friction contest, but turned
out to be a typical burn-the-string fire building contest. One patrol
built a nice fire but were unable to burn the string due to the high
compass course only had about 6 points and was laid out in a small field
not much over 100 feet across.
night was cloudless, so both patrols easily found north. They ended
up making a north arrow with their Scout staves. If it had been cloudy,
they should have been able to find north by orienting one of their maps.
was not an "advanced scout", but played the role of "spy"
throughout the event. He roamed the entire course but never revealed his
location to the patrols, even though they walked directly below him one
time when he decided to climb a tree along the trail. In this way, he
was able to keep an eye on the patrols, evaluate their performance, and
coordinate the activities of the adult advanced scouts.
turned out to be one of the best of the year. When the Scouts returned
to the cabin around 1:00 a.m., they were tired and chilly but extremely
pumped up. It took more than an hour for them to settle down and go to
sleep. The best thing about it from my perspective was the promotion of
the patrol method. Both patrols worked very well together. This was the
closest that we had come up to that time to the text book patrol method.
The ultimate complement that the Scouts paid the event was to schedule
it again for the following year.
and pick up trail in front of the cabin by the four trees.
bearing of 85.
creek and follow trail up to the top of the hill.
THE MINE FIELD
-Go to point
11 and take a bearing of 200.
pass a pond on your left hand side.
come to a T in the trail take a right hand take a bearing of 170.
forest and point 10 will be on your left.
pass point 9 on your right.
left hand turn a bearing 355.
through the cathedral.
come to point 7 take a right turn on a bearing of 60.
pass a pond on your left.
onward until you come to a farm fence.
for advanced scout.
right turn at steps and proceed on a bearing of 92.
down steps and over small footbridge. At point 2 take a bearing of 209
and follow it up to enemy encampment.
down steps and over creek use ladder to scale embankment.
bearing of 80 and bushwhack up the hill to enemy encampment.
enemy camp. Use extreme caution while in the enemy camp.
what you see here.
silence while in camp. Use your eyes to size up the area.
through the front gate. Turn left and proceed to bridge.
bridge on a bearing of 155.
out. BE CAREFUL. Noise will set of an alarm.
come to a Y in the road, go left.
to command center on your right.
-Go to end
of parking lot. you will come upon an abandoned enemy encampment (picnic
grill and take a bearing of 224.
down hill to creek trail.
for MINES. Spread patrol out and proceed slowly and cautiously.
reach the trail take a right hand turn follow a bearing of 298.
come to an enemy held road. Stay left.
an abandoned outpost on your left.
and width measurement of post and bring back for H.Q.
bearing of 298 back to camp. Beware of enemy spies!
present bearing to fire pits. Dont get caught in search light!
home. Don't let your guard down - signal ahead.
to flag pole
using compass chalk an arrow pointing north on driveway.
to H.Q. for debriefing.
5. Minefield Mr.
tie Mr. Bob
ladder Mr. Matt
map Mr. Chris
7. Observation Mr.
aid Mr. Bob
and width no adult
beam not done
fire Mr. Chris
10. Orienteering Mr.
11. Astronomy no
of you is a large mine field.
mission is to get through it without setting off any mines.
dropped equipment will result in lost points.
their a spy among you?
you TRUST your fellow patrol members?
your patrol into groups of 2.
a bowline around 2 patrol members waist and a square knot in the middle
back to test your trust.
have come upon and enemy encampment
order to penetrate their defenses you must build a ladder to scale the
have just passed through an enemy encampment
5 minutes to sketch out camp
buildings, fence, distance to road, and anything else you can remember.
have a clandestine meeting with an advance scout
will show you information pertinent to your mission
taking a brief look
down what you have seen
one of your patrol members has been wounded by an enemy sniper
victim has a bullet wound in the left forearm and left calf.
is no time to disrobe him
both wounds over his clothes
a splint to immobilize the leg
a cravat bandage to sling his arm.
transport your victim make a stretcher out of staves and a blanket.
transport place an egg under victims head.
4 people to transport victim and use extreme caution
down the trail and you will come to an abandoned fort on your left hand
must determine the height and width of the fort.
you journey back to base camp you may come upon enemy spies
for their light beams
the beams make a pattern. Figure the pattern out so you can pass all
your patrol members by them without being caught in the light.
a fire and burn the string.
your compass follow the course that is given you.
your orders at the end of the course.
a north arrow on driveway
the stars or dead reckoning only
patrol leader you must assign a scout to each of the following positions.
carefully each position has its own responsibility.
extra care in choosing TAIL END CHARLEY no one must get behind him during
the night exercise.
will be lead man for your patrol
will need to be expert at map and compass
is to work with navigator
who has his first aid merit badge would be a good pick.
expert at knots
discipline is mandatory
will be hiking at night in the woods
score of your patrol depends on how you handle the patrol
to the patrol leader he is most important
one can get behind Tail End Charley
member will be assigned a position or an assistant for a position
member can hold more than one position and be assistant as needed
must have an assistant.
your people where you think they will best serve the good of the patrol.
together as a team.
patrol leader you can make decisions based on the recommendations given
you by the experts you have chosen.
flag on mast
of rope per scout
knot tie to see who goes first
patrol to start. 15 minute interval
mission is to recon the area and bring back a report.
are advanced scouts ahead of you they will act as pathfinders
will have to overcome various obstacles to complete your mission.
advance scout will have your orders at these obstacles
patrol leader is to report the condition of the patrol, seconded by
tail end Charlie to the advance scout.
patrol leader will receive his orders from the advance scout and relay
them to his patrol
you are about to embark on a dangerous and important mission.
your scout skills you must
Penetrate and reconnoiter the enemys position
Bring this information back to H.Q.
the way you will encounter minefields, spies, snipers, and inhospitable
only defense is your ability to move quickly and quietly through the
DISCIPLINE must be maintained at all times
scout has a responsibility within the patrol.
you should encounter and obstacle their will be an advance scout with
orders on how to accomplish your mission
patrol leader is to report the condition of his patrol, seconded by
tail end Charlie
this time the patrol leader will receive your field orders from the
patrol leader is responsible for briefing the patrol
DISCIPLINE MUST BE MAINTAINED AT ALL TIMES. NO ONE, I REPEAT, NO ONE
IS TO GET BEHIND TAIL END CHARLEY. He is to come into obstacle area
last. Gentlemen you are being graded on your performance points will
be deducted for Tail End Charlie coming in anything but last.
patrol member has been assigned a specific responsibility based on their
individual skills, use them wisely
will begin now patrol leaders assemble Your patrols line abreast we
will see who goes out first
patrol member has a length of rope tie a square knot with it hold it
up first patrol done wins
it is decided which patrol goes first, the first patrol will gather their
gear and present themselves for inspection. They will then receive their
orders, maps, and trail guide before departing. The second patrol will
follow 15 minutes later.>
to be sure all boys are accounted for arriving and leaving.
time entering event area.
patrol on actual event
time patrol leaves area
patrol in area 15 minutes from time of first patrols leaving this
way they won't catch up with each other
to be sure that Tail End Charlie is last one in.
leader and Tail End Charlie are to report to you on entering your obstacle
off scouts map area
leader will ask you for orders give them to him only
End Charlie must come in last (if he doesn't get patrol leader and Charlie
together and straighten it out.)
off for orders not given to patrol leader
accurate time on timed events
FOR ADVANCED SCOUTS
second patrol has cleared, leave minefield
back down hill to cabin
in car an drive around to parking lot
in shelter for patrol to arrive
second Patrol has reached the first aid obstacle at bottom of hill proceed
back to cabin
patrol has cleared the village proceed down road to pt 8 light beam
patrol has reached the next obstacle proceed down the road to pt.9 fire
patrol has cleared, proceed to cabin.