Anyone up for a scout challenge ? In Wicklow? Say no more.
34th/161st Balbriggan /Dublin Group organised a County Challenge Day to a surprise location. With no more information than that coaches would be laid on, it was a scout challenge, it was on most of the day and it cost €15 we were hooked.
We managed to enter two natural patrols. Led by Seanie and Aaron and APLs, Alex and Jack. We had a lot of our wonderful first year scouts with us on this occasion which was great to see. Following on from our Ballinteer weekend and the lessons learned ie make sure to be really warm and really dry we met at 7.15 at Lidl car park. We had 15 eager (not at all sleepy) scouts, myself and Catherine, well let's say that was a different status - anyone bring coffee??
The coach arrived, so did 34th/161st (Balbriggan) and off we went to WICKLOW, more specifically Glendalough. We weren't daunted by the rain hitting the coach windscreen. Look the windows on the sides of the bus were dry, sure what's the big deal ? :)
Well rain and rain it did, despite the forecast having said dry, cold and a couple of showers. They didn't say the showers would come at one time in the form of heavy persistent rain, but we are scouts and we are prepared and we DEFINITELY were organised. We were so happy to see rain gear, boots, layers, hats, GLOVES, fantastic scouts, you certainly brought the gear and enthusiasm with you.
Well David, organiser, gave all the scouters a task, there were scouters who were to man basis (3), sweepers, to help the scouts all along the trail(s), keep them on track and bring them back on track. Catherine was on the pioneering base (no better woman) and I was on the fun base (:)).
From here on I can't say more except that I met Seanie and Aaron's patrols when they hit my base which was at the top of the waterfall. Seanie a trooper kept his patrol together and everyone worked well. Aaron did a phenomenal job and also pulled everyone together and they got through their challenges. Two great groups of kids all around. They were wet, they were possibly cold, they were wet (!) but they were in good spirits.
[If scouts from the patrols on Saturday want to write a post - then by all means it'd be great to hear your experiences]
We next saw our two patrols at around 4.30ish - the weather had dried up, every one (scoutwise) had dried up. It was smiles all around and even bigger smiles when every group who joined in got a box of choccies.
We were joined by a beautiful frog at one point who took shelter under one of our rucksacks but for his own safety we moved him away from all the foot fall.
Our scouts absolutely loved the day, they went on detours, I don't blame them, a beautiful part of the county, why not investigate the local area. They were safe, they were fed, they gained invaluable experience and created memories. What more could you ask for ? OK apart from a drier day but what can you do!
The time arrived when it was necessary to pack up and call it a day and head back down to base. We could see a mist starting to settle for the evening so it was definitely time to head.
Taking a moment to dry out....
We will do a full review with them this Thursday but we also know that we have a lot more to learn, which between us we will get through. But by going on these events we can see what it's like and what we all need to do and to me that's an absolute positive.
So big thanks to David Smith and Shane and all the guys who organised the day WE CAN'T WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR to do it all over again!
[Apologies limited photos and quality but I was reticent about taking my phone out in the weather conditions that day]