107 Aberdeen Squadron Air Cadets
Location: Activities -> Scottish Poisk -> Poisk 2010

Scottish Poisk 2010 - A personal account by Cdt Jordan Gall

After applying to take part in the Scottish Poisk I really did hope that I would get a place in the team
("107 Stags").  Luckily I did get a place along with Cadet(s) Douglas, Stephen & CWO Macdonald....
and of course our great team leader Mr.Whitehead!

Here is my personal account of a tiring yet very fun and rewarding weekend!

FRI 2ND JULY:  We were all raring to go, once we had all successfully loaded our luggage and Mountain Bikes into the van we made our way down to Forfar to pick up CWO Macdonald, there we had an energising snack at Burger King, not the healthiest but after all we had a weekend of enduring and hard going exercise ahead of us!

The 107 Stags team - Stephen, Douglas, Gall and MacDonald
The 107 Stags team
Stephen, Douglas, Gall and MacDonald

Two hours later we eventually arrived at the campsite on the Achaderry Estate, near Spean Bridge in the North West Highlands... the weather was fine and dry... but this was to our disappointment as there were so many midges, when we got out of the mini bus we were attacked by midges, luckily we all had repellent spray and CDT Douglas cleverly took a midge net with him.  So that relieved the problem greatly.

We then all worked as a team to set up the tent which was a success, after that we had to get our kit checked as the Scottish Poisk leaders were very strict about having correct equipment, if there was any kit missing there would be a penalty added on to your final time at the end.  We thankfully had the correct kit.  Time was moving on and it was 10pm before we knew it, the weather turned damp and rainy, but this was a relief to us as the midges decreased rapidly in the wet conditions.

That night was very wet and as this was my first experience sleeping in a tent I didn't sleep very well... but that went for all of us.

SAT 3RD JULY:  After a short sleep, we had to get up at 05:30am!!  The rain had stopped so this made the morning easier, feeling very tired we knew that a good breakfast would give us an energy boost, so after having a reviving breakfast we were ready for the day ahead.

There are eight stages in the Scottish Poisk, Stages A-H, Stage A was a 2K Run, which was very easy, although we had to run through a field with cows which was extremely muddy!  After that we had to wait at the Roybridge Train Station for the 08:02 train.

Starting off on Stage D
Starting off on Stage D

We had to wait for half an hour so we used that time to get our bags sorted out into a more logical order with water bottles at the top.  The train arrived at bang on 08:02am, the journey was 20 minutes long, when we arrived at our destination in Corrour, we were all rather surprised as the location was so remote and deserted!  This is where Stage C began, a 21K Walk/Run.

The thought of this felt daunting, but we were all determined to win and we had good team spirit.  We got off to a great start, we ran the first 2K, and then walked and ran intermittently through the rest of the stage. The surroundings were truly spectacular in the rugged hills and lovely valleys of the Highlands of Scotland, this to me was very enjoyable and I wish I had taken my camera with me, but there was no time for photos as time was ticking on.  After three hours we completed the 21K, feeling very exhausted we all deserved a hearty lunch.

As only three out of four team members could take part in each stage, CDT Stephen sat out the next stage, which was a 15K cycle, believe it or not this sounded like a breeze compared to the 21K walk/run.  So, CDT Douglas, CWO Macdonald and I set off for the cycle which involved many steep gradients and hills, the first ten minutes for myself were very difficult and challenging.  The sun was beating down on us so finally there was some nice summer sunshine.  That night we all slept very well, because we were all so shattered after extreme exertion.


SUN 4TH JULY:  Today there was another cycling stage, I sat out of this one, there was a lot of confusion about the correct route in this stage, so some teams were sent in wrong directions by accident/human error. After all teams had completed this stage everyone was given an equal 1st place because it was unfair that teams were sent out in longer routes than others.

The final stage was orienteering, the rain was torrential but even though the weather was awful... I have to say that I enjoyed this stage the most, although we were all soaking by the end.  But that is what the Scottish Poisk is all about, putting cadets through their paces and testing their physical and mental determination.

This experience was definitely worthwhile and I would recommend it for sure, although at times it was tough, the sense of achievement is amazing!