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Annual Camp 2015 - Day 4

We were spending the day in and around Lough Key and the campsite today. There was no Jog this morning as we were having a bit of a lazy day. After Flag up and the morning auction, we had another brilliant breakfast of Rice Crispies and toast in the Wet Weather Shelter and we gave the scouts time to prepare for a full kit and site inspection. They were a bit confused as to the reasons why the leaders wanted to see all of their kit, but we explained it to the PLs and it was ok.

With Ciaran back in Dublin for the morning, the remaining leaders had a fairly handy morning chopping wood and relaxing while the scouts feverishly prepared their kits and site for the upcoming inspection. Luckily, it was a beautiful morning and everyone was in great form. The inspection began with the Raven Patrol at midday. Their site was very clan and their tents were well pitched. They had built a gate too, which was great to see. All of their gear was laid out on their sleeping bags. Next up was the Cobra Patrol. The scouts all stood outside their site while it was being inspected. The Cobra patrol were not nearly as tidy as the Raven patrol and the boys tent in particular smelled like something had died in there. Their fire was not even close to being sturdy so they they were told to take it down and rebuild it. As the scouts were dismissed, to pack up everything again, Ciaran arrived back with Mary and Kilian. There was great excitement to see him again. After all, it had been nearly 20 hours since he had left

For the afternoon, we headed to Lough Key and hopefully earn our Stage One Adventure Skills badge for rowing. We rented out 3 boats. Ella was delighted to be able to have a go in a boat bearing her own name. Alan and his intrepid team of explorers made it all the way to Castle Island and even hopped out for a sneaky selfie. The wind was picking up though, which made it more difficult for the people having a go after them.

A visit to the shop for some fizzy drinks and chocolate, oops sorry, I mean healthy water and oat based cereal bars, followed the rowing. Brendan met a friend who just happened to be a camping in Lough Key with his family. He is a scout leader in Killarney and remembered doing a 2 night survival course with his ventures a few years back on some of the islands in the lake.

Back at site later in the afternoon, we set up some tarps and hammocks in the woods behind the wet weather shelter. We were planning on sleeping in them later that night. Fiona prepared most of the dinner for us so that we could get all of the hammocks and tarps set up. It was really helpful.

That night we brought a fire pit and some benches down to the hammock are with us and we had a great campfire. It went on until very late. There were songs and skits and stories. We set the hammocks up like bunk beds so as to maximise the space under the tarps. The girls under one and the boys under another with the leaders under their own one just a little bit away.

None of us had ever slept in hammocks before, but I reckon I am now a convert anyway. Some of the scouts were a bit cold, but That is more to do with the sleeping bags and the position of their camping mats than the hammocks, because I had probably the most comfortable night sleep on camp ever – even if it was only 4 and a half hours. Fiona even enjoyed it and somehow managed to sleep on her side in the hammock. If we didn’t know it already, we know it now. Fiona is amazing.

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