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Battling the elements to pioneer ? Scouts didn't care!

Our Scouts are pretty into their pioneering to be fair, considering that we don't have a den to call home and accessing gear is not so easy as arrangements have to be made! So when the call to pioneer something is made we get a good reaction.

Fortunately, one of our scouters has a stash of pioneering poles at his place and with a date picked we rendezvoused near his abode.

We had a good turn out of scouts plus one venture scout, which was good to see because the forecast was not great! Apologies now if I make frequent references to the weather... it was one of those days ...weatherwise!

We had everything we needed, scouts, a venturer, sisal, poles, great attitude and the adults! We were ready to go.

One of our PLs, Seanie, sorted out patrols for the day. It was agreed that we wanted a good distribution of pioneering knowledge - peer to peer learning at its best. As usual the scouts who had knowledge to depart rose to the challenge and their peers receptive to it all.

Brendan one of our Venture leaders, had kindly printed out a sheet of gadgets to build as a guide for the kids. They had a look and got started bearing in mind that they could build their own version of the gadget so that it ultimately they could see how it was might or might not work, what they could build on and tweak or change. Aaron had a plan, Charlie had a plan and Seanie's patrol had a plan.

[Weather reference - it started raining - it was windy!]

We generally left them to it in terms of starting the gadgets and arranging themselves, as in case you've not picked up on it yet, we are very much a section focused on letting the young scouts take charge and work independently of us (with guidance of course) but to gain experience in running the show as best they can and that to be honest is a great reward for us adults when you see it slowly starting to take shape.

Tripods slowly started appearing. Lashings were being lashed and frappings were being frapped. One of our newer Scouts, Sophia, was very eager to show off her skills that she'd picked up on our Portmarnock weekend with Josica keeping a watchful eye on matters.

Brendan, Catherine, Mary and the two Fionas mingled passing on their words of wisdom which were taken on board! :). I had some great ideas .....thanks Brendan!

There were some very nice lashings on view, certainly you could see advice given in P'nock was being taken on board this weekend, neat lashings for a start. No long poles sticking out for knees to walk into.

Lunchtime arrived (and it was raining properly) so the kids piled into our cars to get warm, eat and get warmer. In the meantime outside the scouters stood in the rain admiring my now empty coffee cup, whilst Catherine and Mary enjoyed a hot cuppa with rain droplets! Sorry Fitz, you'd just left :(

At this point the other Fiona had to leave, so Brendan, Catherine and Mary (Fionaless) continued working with the kids as they aimed to complete a gadget before calling it a day!

Despite the rain and the wind and the cold, the kids enjoyed themselves. Glad to see they mostly were properly geared up.

No surprise though - later that day it turned out to be a spectacular evening!! Typical Irish weather!

Brendan handing over to you....

Thanks Fi - Just a few bits to add. There were a few discussions about the height of braces needed and how high the working surface of the gadgets needed to be. Not having worked with the scout section for a few years, it was great to see they were well able to tie the required lashings, but were also now thinking about the functionality of the working surface of the gadgets. Rather than simply tying lashings for the sake of it, they were designing a useful gadget to make life on camp more comfortable.

A very valuable lesson that was learned is that sisal contracts when it gets wet - making lashings much tighter and subsequently more difficult to open. We NEVER slash. The idea of the print outs was to give the scouts ideas and let them use their imagination. One patrol embraced this and as such needed to learn a new lashing (Diagonal) to help complete their gadget. It didn't fully work, but the idea was there at least to try something new.

Everything was packed away super quick as nobody wanted to hang about in the rain. Well done to all of the scouts and scouters who participated. This is what scouting is all about.

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