YOUNG Black Country scouts are celebrating a long-awaited victory in a district-wide camping competition.

Almost 100 youngsters from Halesowen and District Scouts took part in the coveted Jaquiss Shield event – which was started by Oldbury-born Joseph Jaquiss in 1931 – at Kinver Scout Campsite last weekend.

Wollescote Scout Troop last won the prize more than 60 years ago with their successful team entry in 1956, but the Stourbridge-based group were able to take the title home this time out.

The scouts proved they were the best through a variety of challenges including tent pitching, archery, fire lighting, backwoods cooking on an open fire, orienteering and constructing a survival shelter.

Teams also had to deal with emergency first aid role-play situations, with patients who had severe bleeding or who had stopped breathing.

An aroma rose from the campsite on Saturday evening (June 24) when all 16 teams made their own vegetable or chicken curries, together with hand-made chapatis cooked on an open fire.

At the event, scout leaders Karl Elms and Liam Dimmock congratulated their team members, Samuel Bridgewater, Sharna Stevens, Jessica Dimmock, Lucy Skidmore and Jayden Poole, and also paid tribute to all of the teams that competed.

Adrian Jones, assistant district commissioner for Scouts, said: “This was a great achievement for the winning team. However, all the 16 scout teams involved showed considerable stamina, in a real test of outdoor skills and good teamwork.

“The teams from Halesowen and District battled through extreme weather conditions on the hottest weekend of the year to complete all the initiative tests and even a cross country run.

“Everyone was kept going with supplies of sun cream and plenty of cold drinks.”

The district cross country run was organised around the wooded Kinver Campsite on the Sunday morning, with a victory for Coombswood Older Scouts.

The gold medal went to Doiminic Crees (Coombswood), the silver medal to Alex Tierney (Hasbury) and bronze to Tom Skidmore (Wollescote).

Howley Grange Scouts had a clean sweep in the younger scout’s run, winning first place team trophy and gold, silver and bronze medals going to Arron Nicholls, Charlie Baird and Zac Millward.