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Blog | 12 December 2023

Sixty days of summer: The Great Woggle JOGLE

Alanah Reid, Creative Content Producer

Over sixty days this summer, a Scouts family (a Cub, a Scout and Guide, and two volunteers), along with an Explorer and a Network member, walked and cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Their ambitious challenge was all about raising money for two causes – BBC Children in Need, and a local build project to renovate their Scout meeting place. 

Often known as the JOGLE, this classic and beautifully scenic route took the team from the top of the Scottish mainland, right down to the tip of Cornwall.

They truly made the adventure their own, by calling it The Great Woggle JOGLE. They created their own website and wrote a blog to share updates on their travels, and even set up a local version of their trip, so their whole community could get involved.

We caught up with Phil, one of the volunteers and trip organisers, to find out more.

The image shows the backs of Ollie, Bethan and Hattie as they sit on a hill and look out towards the sea. Next to them are grassy hills and to their left are their bicycles and belongings. We can see the backs of their heads as they look at the view.

Hi, Phil. Why did you decide to embark on this adventure?

It’s been almost a year since we came up with the idea of The Great Woggle JOGLE. We were determined to raise as much money as possible for a project in our local area, so all the Scouts in our area (and other community groups) could enjoy a brand-new meeting place. We thought, ‘Why don’t we start a big fundraising challenge?’

Taking on the classic JOGLE route seemed like a brilliant idea. Since it’s a pretty big challenge, we were excited by the adventure and the scenery we’d see, as well as the chance to fundraise in a big way.

We began working out the logistics, planning how long it would take us and where we could stay. It was tricky to find time for training, but we started getting as prepared as we could.

The Great Woggle JOGLE stats

  • The team completed an incredible 1,757.08 kilometres or 1,091.8 miles over the course of their journey. That’s 4.96 times the length of the River Severn.
  • Their total ascent was 22,667.16km – the height of 2.56 Mount Everests.
  • They raised just over £8,000 for their fundraising causes.

Who came along for the ride?

There were seven of us in our core team. Jennie and I (the volunteers) were joined by five Scouts – Ollie (9), Hattie (11), Bethan (14), James (18), and Cara (18).

We wanted the expedition to be as inclusive as possible, so we encouraged people to join us even for just part of our journey.

It was great to meet people along the way, whether they joined for half of the trip, just a day or even for a few hours.

The image shows Bethan, Hattie and Ollie sat on a bench inside a wooden hut. On the blackboard behind their heads, 'Welcome Woggle JOGLE' is written. They're all laughing together.

Where did you stay?

We’re so grateful for all the kind hosts who welcomed us throughout our journey. A shower and warm bed at the end of a long day of travelling was definitely needed. We stayed in some very interesting places, including:

  • Scout meeting places
  • Scout and Guide campsites
  • A mountain rescue hut
  • A boat
  • A fire station
  • A bird sanctuary
  • A farm

Did your trip relate to any badges?

Yes, it did. As well as those doing the challenge from start to finish, the Scouts who joined us for part of our journey could use the opportunity to work towards badges, such as the Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge, Explore Activity Badge, and Expedition Challenge Award.

Having completed the Woggle JOGLE, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself. I’ve learned that with the right motivation and the right people around me, anything is possible. And although I do love sleeping in my own bed, I still miss being out and about every day and can't wait for our next adventure.

Bethan, Explorer

Hattie, Ollie and Bethan are sitting on a wooden bench surrounded by trees. We can see their backs as they look out at the view, with a lake in the distance.

What were you fundraising for?

Since our Scout meeting place is over 100 years old, we fundraised for a local project called Brickfields Big Build. This project aims to replace our meeting place with a brand new Scout activity centre, which Scouts and other community groups can use. We created our own sponsor page and shared it on our website.

The new meeting place will be eco-friendly, accessible, and greatly used by our local community. It’ll help Scouts not just exist but thrive in our area. To help us raise money, we made and sold Woggle JOGLE badges, woggles, and scarves.

We also raised money for BBC Children in Need.

How much did you raise?

We amazingly raised just over £8,000, which we’ve split between the two causes. Brickfields Big Build is going well, but we’re still in the fundraising stage and a long way off the total we need for the community centre/climbing wall/HQ. We’re hoping things will increase with speed soon!

Did you get any sponsors along the way?

We were so lucky to be sponsored by lots of generous organisations: 

  • Trangia gave us stoves to feed and water the team.
  • The RSPB team at Haweswater let us stay with them on our way through the Lake District.
  • Frog Bikes helped us out with affordable bikes for the youngest two in our team.
  • Spotty Otter provided us with outdoor gear.
  • Splash Maps helped us navigate during the journey.
  • Hendy gave us a van to transport all of our kit.
  • Ysgol Y Deri helped us thank our kind hosts and supporters.

We were entirely blown away by the young people on the team. They were totally amazing and we couldn't have asked or dreamed for more from them. They were so determined, resilient and demonstrated the ‘never give up’ spirit that Scouts inspires in people. I hope they’re as proud of themselves as we are of them.

Phil, volunteer

The image shows the Great Woggle JOGLE team walking by a road on a grass verge wearing raincoats. There are grey clouds in the sky and it's raining.

What challenges did you face?

It was pretty tricky to work out the logistics. Most cyclists will do the journey in less than two weeks and most walkers in around 80 days, but how do you calculate the length of a mixed route, especially with a 9, 11 and 14-year-old?

We aimed for 4 hours of activity per day, and we guesstimated that 20 kilometres walking and 50 kilometres cycling should be about right. Strava, our official record of the route, reported we were doing less than 4 hours activity most days (despite some of the days lasting 6 hours!), so we got this spot on in the end.

It was a bit of a challenge working out what kit we needed. We had to be entirely self-sufficient in case we didn’t find anywhere to stay. This included food, cooking, sleeping, washing and bike maintenance for up to 7 team members and any team support. To help, we started making lists.

It was all worth it in the end. We can definitely confirm that the trip made us more resilient and prepared for any future outdoor adventures!

We hear you made your epic journey a local one, too. How did you do that?

Since our JOGLE adventure was to raise money for a local cause, and our route not passing through our home county, we wanted to make an alternative Great Woggle JOGLE for our local community.

This meant people from our area could take part in the fundraiser for our local Brickfields Big Build project, without embarking on the entire journey – which would be a challenge for families, young people, and people with certain accessibility needs.

We created our Mini Woggle JOGLE as a circular route around Chandler’s Ford and Eastleigh, covering 1/100th (17.5 kilometres or 10.87 miles) of our total distance. There were 59 checkpoints for people to find, each with the name of a place we were visiting during our main expedition, along with a picture acknowledging our kind hosts in each location.

A big well done to The Great Woggle JOGLE team for their brilliant fundraising efforts and for successfully completing their ambitious challenge. What an inspirational team of Scouts.

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