The scout section held their first activity of the new year this weekend. A troop of excited scouts and scouters converged, early doors, Saturday morning at Portmarnock Scout den, our temporary home for the night.
Once all the scouts and ventures had arrived we kicked off with a scouts own. Here we were reminded of our scout promise and law to do our best, help one another – the youth learn from the old (like Brendan and Donal) and the adults learn from the youth (scouts, ventures and the two Fiona's).
From there the day started off with a bang, or rather, a spark as the patrols, along with the Venture crew, had a refresher on their pioneering and backwoods skills. The patrols worked together to put their newly perfected pioneering skills to practice, building an alter fire using two Tripods and two half-barrels. There was some impressive lashings and frappings in evidence.
Once their engineering masterpiece was finished we proceeded down to the Venture camp in the nearby woods where the scouts and scouters had a knife safety refresher session with Brendan. We wanted the kids to make two feather sticks before we even struck a flint and stee! Remember Ballinteer?
Meanwhile, the ventures headed straight for the woods to set up their camp. They were going to be sleeping out in hammocks and cooking a backwoods lunch so they needed to get their fire going straight away. They set to work gathering fire wood and learning the correct techniques for lighting fires and chopping logs.
Luke and Darragh offered to prepare lunch for everyone. The ventures had decided to have Pitta Pocket Pizzas with Salami and Chicken. Unfortunately, they had never made them before so we ended up with pitta sandwiches rather than pockets. The first round were, lets say, slightly well done, but round two was perfect. Well done guys.
After lunch, it was time to set up the hammocks and gear/wood bivvy to keep them dry while Brendan gave a knife and axe safety talk and demonstration to the scouts.
Once there were feather sticks aplenty, they quickly got to work on cooking a delicious lunch of sausages, bacon and salmon, backwoods style, on the open fire. The food came out perfectly. Even the pioneering poles got a good cooking…
With some help from the scouters, they perfected their lashings and knots, something that the whole troop has been working hard on during our weekly Thursday meetings. It wasn’t long before the Scouts had worked up a good appetite… again.