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Nuns on the run. Photos and result of ShelterBox’s Wild West Challenge 2016, October 1 and 2


Last weekend saw one of the South West’s toughest annual endurance events, as teams pitted themselves against Dartmoor’s landscape and elements in ShelterBox’s Wild West Challenge – and among this year’s hardy adventurers were Yeovilton’s Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, and three teams of scouting ‘nuns’!

Observers on the roadside and riverside at this year’s ShelterBox Wild West Challenge did a double take as its thirty participants cycled, canoed or trekked by. Amidst the energetic throng were three teams from 1st Backwell Scouts in North Somerset dressed as nuns. 

They were part of a two day challenging fundraiser held every year on Dartmoor, with its start and finish in Exeter.  

The nun costumes were the brainchild of Scout leaders Iain Rhodes, Graham Wild and Ben Buckle. Ian said, ‘Our 3 teams included seven Explorer Scouts aged 15-16, who took it upon themselves to give this challenge a go. Usually this event is restricted to over 18's due to the nature and scale of the challenge!’ 1st Backwell Scouts previously helped ShelterBox at the WOMAD festival in July.

But the flying nuns had their work cut out. Among their challengers was a team of four from Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm at RNAS Yeovilton, no doubt well-used to arduous outdoor endurance events. And the overall winners were Park Community School in Barnstaple, who performed best in every one of the weekend’s challenges.

The Wild West Challenge takes two days across a gruelling 67 mile course, including five miles of canoeing, over forty miles of cycling, a night under canvas, and around twenty miles of hiking over the tors. Each team also has to carry a distinctive green ShelterBox.

More information

  • The photos above are courtesy of © Emily Whitfield-Wicks and should be credited as such if published.
  • We will supply high res images on request
Scouts navigating the moors - © Emily Whitfield-Wicks
Scouts navigating the moors - © Emily Whitfield-Wicks

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Mark Nicholson, Media Relations Officer

Subscribe or tweet @shelterboxpress to get in touch, or use marknicholson@shelterbox.org and +44 (0) 7584 489194

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