The cubs wanted to go out so we made it happen!
What with fire regulations and dens situation at the moment, the pool of dens that we can access is quite limited but Portmarnock is always one of our favourites. Emma who arranges their bookings is always so accommodating and efficient. We have had this weekend booked for a few months already and the weekend finally arrived.
We decided to walk the cubs from Malahide Train Station to the den. Reasoning? Well why not. It's a coastal walk, a beautiful shoreline and fantastic views and tbh we don't want to be indoors all day, even though Portmarnock Scout Den has a nice little wooded area nearby and a lovely outdoor area.
Rendez-vous time was 10.30am at the Station. There's a funny story about our meeting time on Saturday but you really woulda had to be there :):)! Honestly, no reason to start doubting yourself at all !
We had a plan. Cubs meet at station, myself, Andrea and Winnie walk the kids. Mary and Dimi are back at the den doing the shop and getting re-acquainted with the den. A lot of the time our activities are split like this with scouters out and about and a team at base to take over when we get back. Meanwhile several parents very kindly offered to bring the kids' gear to the den whilst we were walking.
Andrea and I had done the walk a couple of weekends ago. Although familiar with the area she wanted to be sure of the walk. Whilst doing it A took notes and cobbled together a route card (words not bearings etc) which we would ask the kids to follow on the actual day.
Phelim (one of our Beaver Scouters) joined us, the more the merrier we say!
We were ready to go. But before we did, we went over the ground rules, we handed a spare "route card" to Mary and handed out eggs for the kids to keep safe. They like to name and put a face on their eggs, so we had a Steve, Melissa, Guacemole (very popular) and another 8 eggs. We didn't have a Benedict or Fried with us but ah they're young!
So off we went...
We (sorry the kids) followed the route card. Our first break was at the dunes.
We had our hot choc/ribena/drinks and took a moment to appreciate the sand whipping into our faces. It was cold but undeterred we continued on our way. No egg casualties at this stage.
We continued walking along the beach. Beautiful clear skies, white horses and smooth sand. We met several cavaliers (sorry dogs of all sorts) and happily greeted every dog that was happy to say hello. The kids started finding beautiful stones and seashells which we encouraged the cubs to gather and take home.
Cara is a true collector....her bag by the end of the walk was laden with shells and stones and she was very pleased with herself!
We lost an egg - scrambled on a wall.....Aoibheann's egg ... gone!
Next stop High Rock. We had planned on stopping here to let the kids (and us) dip our feet in the sea and because it's sheltered, have lunch and a cuppa. We again set the ground rules. The water was put on the gas stove and lunch boxes cracked open. Along the way we treated to several "Phelim's Facts" which went down well!
We stayed here for a fair bit of the time as the kids weren't ready to move on. We soon heard shrieks and squeals of laughter and the kids had decided that instead of dipping feet they would run away from the waves coming in on the pebbled beach. Some chose not to run away and some ran away but not fast enough. Needless to say there were plenty of wet socks and boots and trousers. So where possible items were swapped for dry ones and we decided to get on the move as the wind was cold and the kids were wet to say the least and we didn't want them getting cold.
So we packed up, counted heads and headed on our way. We crossed the road to Robswall in 3 small groups. This part of the walk wasn't so exciting except that we were joined for a while by a little jack Russel who seemed to want to walk with us and not his master, the reality being that among all the oohs and ahhs he couldn't hear his master's whistle so some of the cubs stopped moving and were quiet and helped guide the chap back to his owner!