This is what our Cubs like....
This is how the leaders feel .....afterwards...
Wow what a weekend!
What an enthusiastic team of kids and a great team of leaders (thank you Sean, one our Scout leaders, and Seanie and Antony (youth members)) for joining us this weekend. We appreciate all your help this weekend.
Well where to start, we arrived at Larch Hill at 9.15 am on Saturday and made our way to the "Chicken Huts". We had discussed with the cubs options around camping and/or hammocking in our last meeting in cubs, but we decided to throw a "spanner" in the works and offer out the adirondacks (aka the chicken huts) to the kids. We had a healthy and enthusiastic selection of wants for hammocking and the shelters. Now to start unloading gear and setting up site.
We wanted to get a hike in for the kids but also have kids set up site and/or do some pioneering. A few weeks back we did a shout out in the den of who liked hiking and who wanted to sort out base camp. Again there was a good amount of likes for both options. We decided to divide and conquer and the kids who are heading up to Scouts in September were staying at base camp to sort out the hammocks and do some pioneering and the rest of us went off on a hike. Time was passing fast enough and Mary pointed out that it was nearly 11am so tick tock, time to get off on our hike. So off we went..
I should add here that if you see random photos of eggs, the kids were asked to make friends with an egg, buddy up and see who could keep their new friend safe the longest. Their new friend got a face and a name! Guacemole turned up again and let's not talk about him / her.
Like I said we went on our hike...
.. and the others made some cool things like a flag pole and a suspension bridge and finished hoisting the hammocks into the trees and got fed and minded their eggs...
We were gone with our bunch of cubs oh the guts of 5 hrs but we don't believe in rushing things. We took several rehydration breaks, take in the view breaks, have a snack break (any excuse for us to get our breathe breaks). We found another shortcut which involved a steeper ascent and eliminated some corners. We lost one of the eggs at this point but Guacy was brought home in a popcorn bag #determination.
We reached Fairycastle and had lunch and a cuppa and the kids went and did what they do best which is explore and run off with our phones to make vlogs and take selfies. But they came back to us when they were good and ready to start the walk back to base. Not a grumble not a complaint, happy days.
At one point when we saw the pyramid in Larch Hill from pretty much the end part of our hike Andrea started laughing hard.. what's up we asked... she asked Aoibheann to repeat what she said and she whispered it again..."help us" - everyone burst into laughter or was it tears of joy ah we were nearly back at camp #happycubs!
A finishing photo was requested by the last cub over the line Mr Lippy himself. The one without a boot..
Once we hit Larch Hill, our home for the night, we went down to the stream....never have we appreciated cool water so much as at that moment. Rian went exploring in the stream and the rest of us followed! Feet cooled down and when we had enough we dried our feet on, well our clothes, and we continued back to camp
I can only speak for the hikers but we were very glad to get back and see everyone, downtime!
The cubs all reconnected and the leaders sat and chilled for a bit...but soon it was time to start thinking of grub under the watchful eyes of Dimi and Mary. The cubs at base prepped dinner and the rest of us checked out our beds for the night.
Dinner was gorgeous thank you all!
Andrea checking our hammocks for the night!
We had to have smores of course and hot chocolate. We weren't the only ones at campfire, we had beavers and cubs near us at the next fire circle. It was lovely seeing the glow of their camp fire as well as having ours.
The night went without incident and we rose officially at 9am. Dimi, Martin and Mary worked the breakfast shift
Bacon, sausies (including turkey ones) scrambled eggs and rolls was on the menu and there was loads for second and third visits.
After breakfast and wash-up it was time to drop everything and pack it away and get it back down to the cars. This took a while as believe it or not even though it's one night there's a lot involved and we weren't situated right beside the car park so there was a lot of toing and froing. This part is boring so let's move on suffice to say we did a site sweep and left no trace.
After a lunch of sandwiches and fruit and swiss roll and treats and so forth the kids were divided into teams and off they went to do some orienteering.
At this point I should mention that Patrick and Jethro won a prize (jellies) because their egg survived the whole weekend. Well done boys. Seanie's didn't do too badly either only someone who was tasked with the job of minding said egg got up from their chair and er out fell the egg (ahem), ah he was only cracked a little. Everyone won a treat for the - first to break their egg (guacy) or the longest to keep their egg or the most cracked egg! Prizes ranged from jellies to biccies to a tin of tomatoes.
Nearly there - this will stick with us for a long time and that is Rian's camp chair which in fact if you look closely is from the 80's because it's his dad's stool. It was from a camp he had done many years ago and it was signed by his friends. Tradition was continued this weekend when all of Rian's friends from camp signed the little chair too. Dad is going to varnish said stool and let's see what happens over the next few years.
Well the weekend drew to a close. All I can say on behalf of the leaders is what a great way to end the year. I think i can safely say both the kids and the scouters had a blast and we look forward to seeing all our returning cubs in August!