Lucky for us Nida rents out The Glade from time to time, and was only too pleased to help out the boys and girls of her local Scouting Ireland group. For enquiries regarding the availability of this delightful venue please contact Nida on 086 172 8700.
Our annual camp consisted of a three night camp for the scout troop, who were joined by the cub pack on Saturday afternoon for an overnight together. Our programme was quite loose, as the weather was variable to say the least!
First on the agenda was setting up the scout's campsite, which included their sleeping quarters, a dining shelter, boundary and an impressive gate made from pine spars lashed together using sissal or blue poly rope...
When the cubs arrived on Saturday, they were treated to various pioneering (scout engineering) structures around the site, including a hand washing station outside the portaloos.
The cub's first task was to erect their tents, with assistance from the scouts; this was a part of the scouts completing their camper badge. Following this was a hike around Rahin Woods, led by the scouts and our very own venture scout Danielle.
Afterwards they had time to explore the site. As there are two rope swings on the property the scouts and cubs spent a lot of their free time playing. One of the swings is an old fashioned tyre swing and the other one a board swing which is large enough to accomodate three cubs at a time! They all had great fun...
The weather conditions fluctuated from torrential downpour to lovely warm sunshine, resulting in a lot of chopping and changing from raingear to t-shirts. This had the curious effect of encouraging the different groups to mingle more than expected as several of the cubs joined the scouts in a card game or two!
The scouts prepared a fabulous barbecue for dinner, which was enjoyed by everybody, while the two patrol leaders acted as house parents for the two cub tables, which relieved the leaders for a short while, allowing them to grab a bit to eat too.
Fizzy drinks were kept to a minimum, as the leaders prefer not to deal with hyped-up cubs and scouts suffering the consequences of a sugar/caffeine rush!
After dinner the scouts set up a campfire circle. They'd been collecting deadwood for the past two days in preparation! Finally it was time to set light to it and launch into song, at one stage we were so loud, with everyone joining in, I'd visions of us being heard all the way over in Edenderry...
Believe it or not, Sunday morning found the cubs up bright and early, (despite a late night at the campfire). One of our scouters found them up, dressed and playing on the swings at the ridiculous time of 05.30am!!!!! Needless to say they were sent straight back to bed again.
Two o'clock saw the arrival of the cub & scout parents for our award ceremony. Mrs Maura Flanagan arrived with a tray heaving with delicious cakes and rocky road which was served with tea and coffee, while the parents mingled with the scouters and got to know us a little.
Given the fact that we've only been open since January 18th this year a lot of hard work has gone into training the cubs and scouts, resulting in a sum total of 75 or so adventure skills badges! Finally our second scout patrol decided upon a name, which meant we could also present the scouts with their patrol badges. This is something we've been anxious to do for months now!
We also had three investitures. The cubs concerned were quite surprised, as we'd sat down for a chat about scouting earlier in the day, while the scouts worked on a few pioneering projects outside. We hadn't told these cubs that we were going to invest them, so they were thrilled!
After all the cubs had gone home, the scouts had another night at the Glade. This time, due to the change in temperature the evening was spent around a blazing stove inside the Glade itself. At the insistence of some of the braver scouts a few ghostly scout tales were told, before hot chocolate and bed - I think some of the scouts weren't quite as brave as they made out for they were still talking at three am!
All in all, I think that this first camp, albeit short was a great success. The boys and girls of the scout group did fantastically well and also got to know the adult scouters a little better, they tried their hand at new skills and enjoyed their night/s under canvas immensly...
As for the adults, well it was hard work but it was great fun too and we can't wait to get out there again for our next group camp!