The last day of camp came with the bluest of skies yet again. At Flag Up Daragh was awarded the Grumpy Hat for a second day in a row. The Blind Auction prize was a lemon, which didn't go down too well even though pancakes was on the menu for lunch.
After breakfast, the scouts headed off for their last activity - High Ropes. Some of them looked quite nervous. The High Ropes course had been looming over us as week as it was right beside the reception area. Orla and Conor were our instructors and they showed everyone how to get into their harness and how to use the safety ropes. You can only open one at a time so there is no chance of anyone not being connected to the safety wires.
Most of the scouts eagerly ran tot eh ladders and started climbing. Some hung back to wait and see what was involved. Only one scout refused to join in, which is fine. Everybody has different limits when it comes to these types of activities. Brendan and Bugsy, of course, joined in. The activity lasted for just over an hour and all the scouts that participated really enjoyed it.
While the scouts were challenging themselves way up on the High Ropes Course, the Ventures were working on their team building, cooperation, and communications skills on the Low Ropes Course. They found it challenging especially when Bugsy decided to join in for the last activity.
Following the activities, we headed back to site and started to break camp. The scouts had QM tents and pioneering gadgets on their sites that needed to come down and the poles returned to the other side of the field. All of this takes time, not as long as it takes to put up in the first place, but still a while. Lunch, as mentioned earlier was pancakes. Alex and Ruth were the chefs on duty for the day and so got busy cooking up a storm. The batter had been made earlier so all they had to do was pour the correct consistency of batter into the pans. Easy Peasy (you'd think). Lets just say some were a bit think initially and slowed down lunch for a while. Toppings of Chocolate Spread, Bananas and Strawberries made the wait worth while.
Dismantling of the site continued for the afternoon as well as packing away all of the personal gear from inside the sleeping tents. There were also some sneaky games of Volleyball and Badminton. Dinner was ordered from the chipper and was polished off with gusto when Fiona arrived back with it. She had picked it up on her way back from the train station. Unfortunately Donal form the venture team was not well and had to head home. Ella had already left early as well due to a bout of tonsillitis. Some people will do anything to get out of packing up camp we guess.
After dinner, the scouts did a review of camp. They were asked to write about the good and the bad and things they'd like to see changed. There was some great feedback with things for the scouters to work on for next year. The primary request was for Brendan to shave his legs. We can't guarantee this will happen, but we'll make an effort on some of the other suggestions.
Following the leaders review of the scouts review, we prepared for our final campfire. It's always a good one with plenty of laughter as prizes are given out. Prizes are awarded for anything and everything. Just little things that the leaders notice and pick up on during the camp. We had Flag down at 10pm while Adam from Ventures got the fire going. He loves it and he is really good at it too. The Venture Challenge crew had a campfire going as well and it was an off feeling to be in an almost competitive situation as there were loads more of them. We had to laugh though when they came and asked us where we got our wood from as they were running out. We told them that we had prepared like scouts should do and offered them some logs to help keep them going.
The campfire was a great success and both scouts and ventures were delighted with their prizes as well as the leaders, which was a new twist. We sang our favourite songs and learned one or two new (really old) ones, thanks to Brendan who is really old. The campfire ended at about midnight, but nobody wanted to leave. There was an air of sadness knowing that we were heading home tomorrow and nobody wanted to admit it, because that meant it was true.