A GROUP of scouts have been crowned the top campers in Hampshire.

Children from the 4th Romsey Bramshaw Scout Troop beat dozens of competitors to scoop the award at the Emlyn Trophy Camping Competition in Botley.

Approximately 75 scouts attended the county competition, which is designed to judge scouts for an entire weekend.

Some of the skills the outdoor enthusiasts are judged on are tent pitching, cooking, tidiness, site layout and teamwork.

All of the teams had to go through a selection process, which can be a nearby camping competition, in order to qualify to attend the Emlyn Camping Competition.

Romsey Bramshaw Scout Troop leader, John Heagren, said: "I think they were all happy and surprised to win because we were not expecting it.

"In the last 11 years we have come second and this year the group were a good team and their patrol leader was good at managing them.

"Our group particularly focuses on working together in patrols every week and that means they get to know each other.

"The cooking is always a bit of a challenge especially for youngsters as they have to cook a starter, main and pudding all on a fire."

Other challenges the boys had to face were "timekeeping" which required them to put up tents to a deadline and making sure their tents were kept "clean and tidy", according to John.

When asked what the group will do to prepare for next year's competition, John said: "We will have a practice competition, but some of the lads would have moved on to other challenges so we will have some new boys.

"Hopefully one of the current scouts will go on to be the team leader."

The 29-year-old added: "I think some people are surprised the boys are left to their own devices without leader intervention. It helps prepare them in later life as well."

The Romsey group were crowned the winners of the Emlyn Trophy Camping Competition on September 22.

The scouts also managed to win the Special Challenge Trophy “The Egg”.

The Egg is run alongside the Emlyn Trophy and is awarded to the team who works the best together to combat several challenges.

Previously, it was awarded for the best pioneering project.