Youth teams up and down the country have taken part in a series of virtual events to keep one of the largest outdoor youth events in the country, the Ten Tors Challenge, flame blazing brightly.
The Ten Tors Challenge (Ten Tors) takes place annually on Dartmoor, Devon and sees 2800 young people aged between 14 and 19 tested to their limits over some of the most demanding routes that the northern part of the Dartmoor National Park can throw at them.
Despite being cancelled this year, in line with England’s COVID lockdown roadmap, many youngsters have been able to adapt and overcome the disappointment by participating in virtual events.
To date, 31 teams from 19 establishments have planned and completed their own challenges, and more will take up the torch in the coming months.
Paul Miller, Team Manager of Gloucester’s Kingswood District Scouts, has been involved with Ten Tors for over 22 years. He said:
“The youths were very keen to take part this year. A lot of them have been training with their families whilst the COVID lockdown prevented us from holding our normal training plan.
They really enjoyed the virtual event and they are thoroughly looking forward to the full experience next year at Okehampton Paul Miller, Kingswood District Scouts
Ten Tors is the flagship event for the British Army’s Headquarters South West and should have celebrated its 60th Diamond anniversary last year.
Over 1000 Reserve and Regular tri-service personnel are normally involved in supporting the event through a large-scale UK Resilience Exercise, known as Exercise WYVERN TOR. This exercise provides the opportunity for the event to take place safely whilst affording valuable training to the service personnel.
They are supported by blue light services and other agencies such as the Duchy of Cornwall, British Red Cross, local authorities, and volunteer agencies.
On 8th March 2021, Colonel Neville Holmes MBE, Commander Headquarters South West and Director Ten Tors said:
“It is with regret that I have to announce that it was no longer possible to hold a physical Ten Tors event. We have worked closely with the local authorities and Ten Tors Policy Committee to plan a safe and enjoyable event but the restrictions still in place over that period means it is no longer possible.”
“I can confirm plans are already underway to run a full Ten Tors event in May 2022 and I look forward to seeing you all there.”
For 58 years, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, was the Patron of Ten Tors, holding that position since January 1963. He was a tremendous supporter of the annual youth Challenges and we will remember with gratitude The Duke’s outstanding commitment.