More than 80 Scouts from across Hadrian District descended upon Dilston Scout Camp for a competitive back-to-basics camping weekend from June 21 to 23.

The annual contest, known as "The Mexicans", bears witness to the camaraderie and skill-building as participating Scouts engage in various hands-on activities.

The Scouts, aged between five and seven, stayed in canvas patrol tents or bell tents during the weekend.

The core of the competition required them to exhibit traditional scouting skills which included setting up camp infrastructure like gateways, fences, and crafting tools such as boot racks and kitchen drainers from available natural materials.

The young Scouts showcased their knowledge in employing different traditional knots and lashings while putting a sharp focus on safety when handling equipment like axes and saws.

A highlight was their demonstration of cooking, when they prepared breakfast and a three-course meal over wood fires on Saturday night.

Throughout the weekend, teams were subject to two inspections.

Competition was evidently intense, with each team excelling in designing gateways, creating facilities, and presenting delectable Mexican food around the theme.

A new addition this year was a raft-building competition, which allowed Scouts to cool off in the river on Saturday afternoon.

It showcased team spirit and provided a fresh challenge for the youngsters.

The exceptional facilities at Dilston Scout Camp indeed helped the scouts acquire new skills, and further their development towards becoming responsible young adults.

A crowning finish was the announcement of the overall winners: Las Catrinas from Prudhoe.

Stuart Ford, assistant district commissioner said: "We are very much looking forward to next years Back2Basics camping competition where I hope to have representation from all the District Troops and have more than 100 Scouts in attendance. Next year its a Hawaiian Lu'au theme."