142nd's & 180th's Scout Section Summer Camp

Hi Guys! Platypus Patrol here to tell you about our annual summer camp 2015! This year we went out to Lough Dan for 3 Nights. We all met at Heuston Station and got the Luas to Connolly Station, the DART out to Bray, and then finally a bus to Lough Dan. Our equipment was brought down to the campsite for us in a van. Once the van arrived, we unloaded the equipment and got started on our camp.

While putting our tents up, some Senior Scouts decided they wanted a bit more fun, they decided to bivee for the weekend. They set up a bivee using tarps and rope while the others set up the mess tent. So with all of the tents up, and with all of the work having been completed, the scouts and leaders grew hungry. It was time for dinner! We split the work for the weekend amongst three teams. Team 1 were to make hotdogs for that night. Everybody ate their food, had a chat, and then headed off for some free time before our first activity. We all met at the mess tent later and were told what we were doing.

It was time for a night hike! We all head off to gather our equipment, filled our water bottles and gathered back outside the mess tent. We were also given some ration packs which we were to take with us. The Phoenix team were given maps and compasses and it was their job to lead the group to where we would be cooking our ration packs. The journey wasn’t too long, but we made it there just as it had gotten dark. We set out our cookers and lit them. We took out our mess tins and cooked our deserts, with a wide range to choose from; rice pudding, fruit cocktail, brownies, chocolate cake, toffee pudding and more! Although some didn’t quite work out, everybody still enjoyed it. We headed back to camp the same way, lounged around for a while then went to bed.

We woke early in the morning. We had our breakfast and then had a little bit of free time. It was time for an activity, so we headed off to the assault course. At first, we all queued up and all had a turn on the course. Next we went back to the start and got in a line again. This time we were going to time everybody. Everybody had a great time but we had to go back to camp for lunch. We had sandwiches and after that, everybody prepared themselves for the next activity!

There was plenty to do during our spare time. With a great tyre swing just off of our camp, a tree house beside it and the lake surrounding us. We got plenty of free time and a number of chances to go swimming. Although the lake was cold, we still had fun. Diving off of a mid-lake float, or swimming across the lake to the other side, raft building and canoeing, everybody had fun (although nothing could beat the hot showers that followed!) There were loads of places to go on a walk and have a chat with friends or to have a water fight or play some Football and Frisbee. There was definitely no chance of getting bored on this camp.

On Friday afternoon, we left camp in search of a bivee site. After our leader showed us 3 locations, we decided location 2 would be our home for the night. As we all worked hard on our bivees, the night crept upon us. Our leader, John, and our Head Chef for the Phoenix team, Kiera, went and built a fire while everyone sat in the dark, unaware of what they were up to. Afterwards we noticed a small fire being made, not too far away. We walked over and sat around the fire as we all cooked our dinners of ration packs. After the fire we left our bivees and were led to a premade bivee. Our leader showed us in then went to his own Bivee, leaving us for the night. All 14 of us, stayed up, singing songs, telling jokes and stories. After all that, and everyone called down, we all drifted asleep. When we woke up, there was a small circle outside, where we could all sit down and have our breakfast. We made soup, tea, coffee and energy drinks, ate peanuts and sweets all from our ration packs. We then decided it was time to head back to camp so we packed up and did a quick litter sweep, and off we went.

We decided to have a pioneering competition, to test out our skills. We were told to build an Hourglass Tower. Both teams opted for different methods of building the tower but both turned out great in the end. The competition meant a lot to us all, with the honourable prize, a pack of Oreos! Everybody put in a lot of effort, showing off their lashings and working as a team. The winner was announced later at the campfire and the winning team didn’t take too long to “enjoy” their prize.

Later that night we had a campfire! We asked another group, camping in Lough Dan at the time to join us and so they did. Some of our Phoenix Team members got the fire going and it turned out great! Everybody joined in with the songs and most volunteered to lead some songs. We had a great time singing some songs, telling some jokes, some ukulele performances and sing-songs, some raps and dances. It was a great campfire enjoyed by all. After all the songs the marshmallows came out! Although most were tired and head off to bed, we still had our fair feed! We got our sticks and roast our marshmallows while continuing to sing. We stayed up very late that night having lots of fun between us.

We woke up the next day, being quite tired. Sadly, the camp had to come to an end. It was a great camp enjoyed by all. This was the last troop camp for some of the scouts as they would be moving up to ventures. We have a tradition of pranking the scouts moving up to Ventures on their last camp, so for this camp, the scouts put lots, and when I say lots, I mean LOTS of Nicholas Cage memes printed out, into their tent. They found it very funny and said they really were going to miss scouts.

We got a bus from Lough Dan to Bray, where we were given an hour of free time, to walk around, go on the amusements, sit by the beach or buy an ice-cream, before we all met up and got some chips. We then walked to the DART Station and head back into Town, where we got the bus back to Lucan, and back to our den. Everybody was very tired but if I do say so myself, one of our best camps to date!