Saturday 26th September 2015
The annual navigation and evasion event for Scouts and
Explorer Scouts in Montgomeryshire.
This year in the Hafren Forest, Montgomeryshire Scout Area
NOTES FOR SCOUTS & EXPLORER SCOUTS
Location: Rhyd-y-Benwch car park and picnic
site, Hafren Forest. Approx 7 miles eastwards along the
minor road from Llanidloes (via Old Hall), Powys. (Drive
into the town centre and turn off by the old black and white
timbered market hall.) OS grid reference: SN 857 869
Start time: 9.30-10am. There will be a staggered
start so that teams do not set out together.
All participants must register themselves in the tent at the
start and all must log out at the end of the event before
leaving the forest. This applies to ALL involved – whatever
part you are playing on the day.
After registering, each team will have a kit check followed
by a briefing about the day. Only then can they set out on
Maps: All maps will be provided to the participants on the
day (two per commando team)
Finish: The event is expected to conclude by 5-5.30pm.
It is appreciated that some teams may finish earlier and
they may choose to leave before 5pm – but only after
logging out at the end base.
COMMANDO TEAMS = Scouts or Explorer Scouts
Teams must consist of 4-6 Scouts or Explorer Scouts. Teams
must not join or move together.
If, due to illness or injury, numbers fall to below 4
persons the team will be amalgamated with other teams so
that they may continue.
CATCHER TEAMS = Explorer Scouts and Scout Network
These consist of Explorer Scouts who hunt the Commando Teams
all day. Most catchers have been part of Commando Teams in
previous years. The teams of catchers operate under the
guidance of designated adult leaders and are moved by car to
different locations throughout the day.
Explorer Scout catchers should operate on
foot and not be driving themselves or mountain biking.
ENEMY AGENTS / CATCHERS can be identified by yellow
markers on their vehicles and they will be wearing yellow
head or arm bands.
FRIENDLY FORCES can be identified by blue markers on
their vehicles and they will be wearing blue head or arm
Commando Teams: The object of the exercise is for the
commando teams to get to all the bases in order whilst
avoiding being caught by ‘enemy agents’. The ‘agents’ will
be patrolling most of the area, but there will be some ‘safe
areas’ defined on the map. All teams must go through ALL
checkpoints in the correct order.
Catcher teams’ (usually 2-4 members) task: to catch up with
the teams and to then be given a token by the team they have
‘caught’. NEW for 2014: each catcher team is in competition
with other catcher teams to capture a token from each of the
New for 2014: at the request of Explorer Scouts after last
year’s event, this year there will be an added level of
competition. Each commando team will carry unique tokens and
each catcher team will be tasked to collect one token from
each of the commando teams. This will mean that for the
first time the catcher teams will be competing with each
other to collect tokens.
The use of camouflage clothing and face
paint is welcomed as this fits well with the theme of the
day - to navigate through forest whilst evading the catcher
NO ROUTE - JUST CHECKPOINTS AND A MAP!
All teams will be given the same maps and information with
regard to the locations of the checkpoints that they must
visit and in what order. What route each team takes to get
the checkpoints is up to them, this is what makes Operation
Commando so challenging.
COMMANDO TEAM TACTICS
Commando team tactics for the event: • Either use forest
roads and get caught frequently (not recommended!); or •
Stay ‘undercover’ to avoid the catchers between the
checkpoints. Use available cover and natural features and
minimise the number of times the team gets caught. (N.B.
There is a 100m radius safe zone around each of the
There will be more than one ‘winner’: - The commando team
that is caught the fewest times will be the ‘stealth
winner’. (All teams will be issued with a bag of tokens, and
must hand one over each time the team is caught.) - The team
that returns to base zero after visiting all bases in order
will be the ‘speed winner’.
RULES of ENGAGEMENT
1 A team is caught (and must hand over a token) if any
member of the team is touched by one of the catchers. All
catchers wear a yellow head or arm band. All enemy vehicles
display yellow markers. (Rules will be fully explained at
team briefings given at the start.)
2 All ‘Commandos’ MUST wear their troop scarf visible on
their person at all times.
3 There are three ways to ‘win’: 1. Enjoy yourself. 2. Be
the team caught the least. 3. Be the quickest to visit all
the bases and return.
4 You cannot be caught within approximately 100 metres of a
5 The area around a ‘Friendly Forces’ vehicle (marked blue)
is to be considered a safe zone – no catching allowed within
1 If one of your party is injured, do not leave them alone.
At least one person should stay with them whilst a minimum
of two others go to a base or the nearest track to find
help. Make sure you know where you are on the map! If the
casualty is in the forest, leave an easily seen maker on the
nearest road – to identify access to the casualty.
2 The “Blue” marked vehicles and people are there to help
you, and you cannot be caught whilst near them.
3 If a Catchers’/Enemy Agents’ vehicle is showing blue
markers, it has changed sides and is there to help you.
4 If you get totally lost, find a forest road and walk along
it. If it comes to a dead end then turn around and go the
other way – DO NOT wander off into the forest again. If you
come to a junction with a main tarmac road – stop there.
5 If you hear 6 long blasts on a whistle, repeated after a
pause, this is the International Rescue Signal and somebody
needs help from you. Your reply to them is three long
If a team has not finished the course by 4.30pm they MUST
report to the nearest checkpoint.
(All teams must have reported to the nearest checkpoint by
4.45pm at the very latest.)
(N.B. it will be wet and streams and bogs will need to be
Outdoor clothing (remember you don’t want to be seen, so
bright pink is not a good colour!
Camouflage clothing and face paint is good). NO jeans to be
worn as they are cold when wet.
Walking Boots (it will be wet even if good weather!)
No uniform, except Scarves – which must be worn as
Spare Clothing (incl. socks!).
Waterproofs (jacket & trousers)
Packed Lunch, including plenty to drink.
Emergency Rations (not intended to be eaten)
Whistle (for emergency use only)
Scout Emergency Card (or home-made version), & pencil (in
2 Silva type Compasses
First Aid Kit
3 Torches (plus spare batteries)
2 Bivvy Bags
KIT LOAD must not exceed one-quarter of the person’s weight.
A kit inspection will take place at the start. Any team not
meeting the above requirements will not be allowed to take
Please do not bring walkie talkies; this is because their
use will interfere leaders’ communications and make the
event more difficult to organise.
Mobile phones are also not required and should be left with
your leader before setting out into the forest.
The cost of entry is £4 per Scout or Explorer Scout.
This is to cover the expenses of marshalling / safety, maps,
bases, refreshments, etc. This fee must be paid by your
leader on the day and any team failing to pay will not be
allowed to compete. The fee applies to all Scouts and
Explorer Scouts, whether they are team members or catchers.
Address: Abermule Community Centre