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Oakville’s 4th Trafalgar Venturers Meet the Challenge and Win Amory Adventure Award

With 50 km winds whipping their gear and threatening to blow them off a 370 m cliff in Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park, Oakville’s 4th Trafalgar Venturer Scouts kept their cool and put their emergency plan into action. They had to. Their fellow Venturer’s life depended on it.

While this may sound like an outtake from an adventure movie, it was a real life experience last summer for Oakville’s 4th Trafalgar Venturer Scouts – Philip Da Costa, Ian Hope, Lucy Horne, Jared Isaacs, Daniel Nelson and James Nelson.

Jared, Philip, Ian, Daniel, Lucy and James enjoy the awe-inspiring views from the top of “The Crack.”

Jared, Philip, Ian, Daniel, Lucy and James enjoy the awe-inspiring views from the top of “The Crack.”

These six Venturer Scouts, ages 14 to 17, organized an eight-day hiking trip from August 22 to 29, 2015 along Killarney’s La Cloche Silhouette Trail. In the 10 months before the trip, they: planned their route, took remote and wilderness first aid training, dried their own food, and built up their endurance through practice hikes. Their goal was to live the Venturer motto “challenge” and push themselves physically and mentally along the 80 km route.

 

Oakville’s 4th Trafalgar Venturer Scouts achieved their goals and were awarded Scouts Canada’s Amory Adventure Award for their ambitious hike. This national award is given annually to the Venturer expedition team that displays the most initiative in conceiving, planning and executing an outdoor adventure activity.

4th Trafalgar Venturers receive the Amory Award at the Central Escarpment Council Youth Recognition Ceremony, June 12, 2016. (L to R: Front, Ian Hope and Philip Da Costa; Back, Steve Isaacs, Dave Frederick, James Nelson, Daniel Nelson, Andrew Lewis, Lucy Horne, Jared Isaacs, Brenda Sweeney, Deanna DiVito, John Estrella)

4th Trafalgar Venturers receive the Amory Award at the Central Escarpment Council Youth Recognition Ceremony, June 12, 2016. (L to R: Front, Ian Hope and Philip Da Costa; Back, Steve Isaacs, Dave Frederick, James Nelson, Daniel Nelson, Andrew Lewis, Lucy Horne, Jared Isaacs, Brenda Sweeney, Deanna DiVito, John Estrella)

 

Team leader, Daniel Nelson, summed up their experience, “We never thought we’d win the Amory Award, but it’s an awesome, exciting moment to stand on stage and receive that monster plaque with your friends.”

Heaven Lake, Killarney Provincial Park

Heaven Lake, Killarney Provincial Park

“Unexpected things kept challenging us all along the route,” said Venturer Ian Hope. “At one point, the trail had us hiking nearly 10 m across the ridge line of a beaver dam.”

Hiking along the top of a beaver dam on Wagon Road Lake.

Hiking along the top of a beaver dam on Wagon Road Lake.

 

“Riding in a helicopter also wasn’t on my plans for this trip,” noted Venturer James Nelson. “But, flying 1,000 feet above the park, I could really see how vast Killarney is. I was glad we had prepared so well.”

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On the bog near Ruth Roy Lake

“It wasn’t the bears I was worried about,” chimed in Venturer Jared Isaacs. “It was the Crack. Everyone we talked with said it was going to be a tough climb and it was. But the view at the top was spectacular.”

Ian and James conquer “The Crack” by clambering over boulders the size of small cars.

Ian and James conquer “The Crack” by clambering over boulders the size of small cars.

The Venturers were inspired to take this trip by Canadian artist, Ed Bartram, and his painting of Topaz Lake. They were challenged to plan an Amory adventure by a guest speaker to their Venturer company, Dr. Jim Sweeney, a member of 3rd West Vancouver’s Ki-Ups Company 1983 Amory award-winning team.

Venturer Scouters Steve Isaacs and Brenda Sweeney accompanied the Venturers on this backcountry trip while Shaun Hope, Ann Harvey-Hope and Don Nelson provided logistics and emergency support.

 

The expedition team thanks everyone at 4th Trafalgar who helped them prepare for this challenging and rewarding journey, and look forward to many more Scouting adventures.

 

The Amory Award was first presented by the Rt. Hon. Viscount Amory, GCMG, one-time British High Commissioner to Canada. The award plaque has a reproduction of Jacques Cartier’s ship Grande Hermine and the Canadian space satellite Allouette mounted on it.  For more information about the application process and deadlines, please visit the Amory Award page.

 

Congratulations 4th Trafalgar on this major achievement!