Finally our first overnight with our scouts. We had planned a weekend in Larch Hill in September but due to red warnings etc we took the decision to cancel that event. We would rather err on the side of caution than take any unnecessary risks. So everything was crossed that the weather would hold out for this weekend so that we could actually start going somewhere with the kids! It was all good, green light, proceed to go!
We picked Ballinteer Den as our base. It's near Marlay Park. It's straight down the M50 so accessible to everyone by car. I have to say we would highly recommend the den, it ticked so many boxes that we have added it to our "go to" list of dens.
12 scouts arrived at the den on Friday night. It was already bitterly cold but thankfully the den was pumping with heat. The kids and scouters checked out the facilities. All good. Once everyone had arrived and the kids had chilled a bit we got on with one of first activities.
A quick discussion around the house rules for the weekend and we were good to go. It was agreed that the PLS would manage the Phone Bank and that phone usage would be limited over the weekend so that the kids got to know each other better.
A quick game of Salt and Pepper (a match the pairs game), once the kids were buddied up they had to decide who was ok with being blindfolded. Once decided they had to go out in the hall. Meanwhile inside the hall the others started building an obstacle course from scratch. They could use whatever they wanted, so they raided the stores and anything that could be moved and they dug in. There was involvement by all and discussion by all and then a trial run. The Health and Safety Committee (ie the scouters) after a couple of tweaks were happy for them to proceed. One by one the pairs reconnected and they had to be led blindfolded around the room. Part of the challenge involved drawing a stick man or woman and writing ones name. This was indeed hilarious! Pics below. There was diving through bouncy balls for a Harry Potter trump card, Sarah nearly hit the rough with excitement at the thoughts of this! We nearly had to pull a couple of the scouts out of the container - it was very very funny!
The obstacle course took up some time and in fact each team was timed. The fastest couple were Aaron and Sarah and the cutest picture was Griffin's!
After tidying up we gave the scouts a tarp and they had to flip the tarp over without anyone coming off the tarp or using their hands. ... I know how to do this now :)
Well done guys ... take a bow.
It was getting quite late now. Having taken on board the feedback from summer camp where some of the scouts really wanted a late supper, they decided at the previous scout meeting to have tea and toast with jam or choc spread. So tea and toast etc was served. One final task before bed build a contraption to protect their egg. The egg(s) were going to be thrown from a height and the patrol whose egg survived the impact wins the challenge
Time to settle in - they got their sleeping arrangements sorted in quick time and "settled" in for the night. Lights out at midnight, phones to be handed back to Sarah our PL at 12.30. Great, this did happen, the talking and boisterousness however continued till 3am (we did tell them they had a long hike the next day ah the youth of today!)
Rise and shine happened at around 9.30am. We in the scout section believe in relaxed weekends and no alarm clocks! The kids had decided the night before which patrol (we had two - 98th Leprochauns and Griffindor) would do breakie etc etc. So the Leprochaun patrol - Aaron, Jack and Ely sorted out french toast, sausies, bacon, toast etc for the gang outside. Ely was super organised with taking orders, as usual there was seconds and thirds!
The other half of the patrol then looked after clean up - Anaelle, Zoe, Ella took control of washup.
Our PLS wanted to be out on the road for 12 noon. We pushed on and got out at 12.15. We were joined by one of our Beaver scouters, Silke. Jack and Griffin led the hike and Sarah and Aaron acted as sweepers at the back.
The slideshow above is just a snapshot of the hike, it was great, we were hot we were cold, we were high we were low, we were flat we were steep. We went through everything as we have different levels of fitness across the board. However there wasn't one complaint. If someone was struggling everyone motivated each other, people shared water if water had been used up too soon, what a great group of kids, really and truly.
When we eventually reached our destination after several stops... Fairycastle we had lunch etc. It was bitterly cold up there. The scouts ran off to investigate and do some heather diving (don't ask) and myself and the other scouters and a little scout had a cup of tea! However it was too cold to really be hanging around so once we got everyone back together the patrols decided who would throw their eggs off the rocks.
Breaking news... no eggs were harmed in the making of this activity!