Saturday was hot again. It was only Donal and Brendan on the morning run. Those guys must have something to prove. Adam from Ventures was, surprisingly, the last out of bed and so awarded the grumpy hat.
After breakfast and sun screen application, the scouts headed for Air-soft shooting. We did this activity on our very first Summer Camp in 2015 and it seems that these scouts wanted to give it a go as well. The instructor gave them their safety talk and showed the scouts how to use the rifles. They even had bi-pods and scopes. The scouts were delighted that Mickey Mouse was on one of the targets and took great delight in shooting him.
When they arrived back on site, the scouts had a snack and started to prepare their gear for our overnight bivvy in the woods. The owner of IOAC kindly let us use his land. It is and amazing oak forest planted 8 years ago that is is great grandchildren's inheritance as it won't be harvested for another hundred and fifty years.
Brendan and Fiona spun everyone down in the cars and we headed off into the woods carrying everything we would need for the night- Food, water, shelters, sleeping bags etc. We felt really sorry for poor Ruth who had just arrived down on camp and was then told to get ready for a night bivvying in the woods. Sorry Ruth. Timing is everything.
We set to work clearing away long grass and bushes that were in our way to make a more comfortable area for ourselves. The scouts put up one bivvy for the girls and one for the boys. They were really well done and everyone had plenty of space. Jack and Seanie put up a separate on for themselves as all the boys could not fit in the one.
The leaders helped by Ben, Nicole, Daragh, and Ellie May gathered firewood as getting a fire going to cook food became a priority. Brendan helped Alex to start the fire using hay, char-cloth and a steel striker. He did a great job and got the fire going in no time. 90% of lighting a fire is preparation and they had prepared well.
Sean and Bugsy set up a bivvy for the 4 leaders who were also going to be sleeping out. It was cosy to say the least.
Parcels of chicken with peppers and onions were made and placed in the embers of the fire to cook once the fire had died down a bit. Only 9 parcels could be cooked at a time so we needed to have 2 sittings for dinner.
After the meal, the leaders sat by the fire and minded it. The scouts sat in their bivvys and chatted and sang songs from when "they were young". It was great to hear them all chatting and singing. Some if not all of them were nervous about bivvying in the woods, but scouts that are singing are happy. We know this. After a while and it started to get dark, they started to appear at the fire by the leaders. Freshly made skewers were made from the branches we cut away and sausages were impaled upon them and roasted over the fire. Some fell in, some fell off, but all were enjoyed and more craic was had sitting around the small fire.
The craic then turned into singing and an impromptu campfire broke out. We had everything from traditional campfire favourites to oldies that only some of the leaders knew to pop and even cartoon them tunes.
Some of the scouts were literally out on their feet and were super pleased when Brendan said they could go to bed if they wanted. Nobody wanted to go to the bivvy in the dark woods by themselves, but when told it was ok to do so, they left in a gang. Some of the older scouts stayed up a bit longer to help the fire burn down.
All was quiet until about 3 am when the rain came. It wasn't too heavy, but just enough to make things damp.
How damp? You'll have to wait for tomorrow'd post to find out, because after all, tomorrow is another day.