We started off with a short safety briefing where we discussed the dangers of rafting in the canal, including infections we may get if we have open wounds
We had spars, sisal and 4 barrels of air so we planned how we would make the raft. Once we had a plan we thought would work, we gathered the spars and sisal we would need to build it.
We started building the raft using square lashings. We took a small break to have lunch before we finished building the raft.
Once the raft was built, we carried it over to the edge of the canal. We were originally going to start by the ramp, but the swans were there so we had to move further up the path instead.
We gently lowered the raft into the water and got on. We rowed down the canal before returning to get out. Although the lashings were made well and the raft stayed completely intact, everyone got wet since 3 scouts decided to jump into the water and we were all splashed.
We returned to the scout den and changed into dry clothes. Some of us began to take apart the raft, while others built a fire and others walked to the shop to buy ingredients for the pizzas we were going to make.
While some people made the dough, others made the camp ovens out of cardboard boxes and tinfoil. We all put toppings on our pizza bases and put them on trays over the embers of the fire with the camp oven over them. Once the pizzas were cooked, we ate them and then made smores over the fire before tidying up and going home.
We arrived at the Aurora campsite, Co. Wicklow at 8pm on Friday the 6th of March. We spent that evening setting up our tents in the best spot we could find. We had opening ceremony before preparing dinner. That evening we ate hotdogs before going to bed at 11pm.
We woke up at 8am the next morning. We split one of the patrols in half, one half to make the breakfast the other to clean it up. We had French toast and beans for breakfast. We began our hike at 11am. We had planned the route ourselves a week prior. We began our hike with a steep upward climb, it wasn’t very long but it took a while due to the relief of the land. Once we made it to the top of the mountain, we began walking along the cliffs. The view was breathtaking. We took a half an hour break to eat our lunch consisting of fruit, sandwiches, crisps and chocolate. We continued our hike, through the clouds at the top, and made our way over to the road nearby and made our way back to the campsite.
We arrived back around 5pm and began making dinner which was burgers. We made a very large campfire and sat around it, enjoying the warmth for an hour. We went to bed at 11am like the previous night.
The last morning we awoke around 9:30 pm and used up some spare supplies to prepare some more French toast. We began packing up our tents and bringing our supplies back up to the entrance. We finished our packing before having closing ceremony. We all went home after that. All in all, a good camp.
Wicklow Mountains Hike
By Alastair McAndrew, Patrol Leader
We began the hike at approximately 11am. We exited our camp and went up to the crossroads between the road leading to our campsite and the main road. From there we checked our bearings and made our way up the mountain via some fields.
The ground was harsh and unforgiving and it took a good bit of willpower to get ourselves to the lookout point at which we ate our food. This was a great time to rest and stretch. We checked our route card and our bearing which guided us to the road that would bring us all the way back to our campsite.
The total length of the hike was 10.7km and it took us around 5 hours to complete.
This years County Camp took place in Larch Hill over the weekend of Friday 13th to Sunday the 15th of September.
County Camp involves scouting groups from all over Kildare coming together for one big camp. This year we had over 300 people!
Each year the camp has a theme and this year it was based on Irish Myths and Legends and the children had an opportunity to dress up for the occasion.
Our Beaver Section is the largest section in Maynooth Scouts and they were very busy beavers at the County Camp!
They did some wonderful arts and crafts including making Giant’s Causeway replica stones. They then sold these at the camp marketplace in return for tokens which they exchanged for drawstring backpacks that they could take home with them!
Other activities included learning to set up their tents, start a fire, how to cook on a campfire, playing lots of games, and lots of singing around the campfire in the evening time!
Our Ventures section even had the opportunity to go zip lining!
They all had a fantastic time at County Camp, learning new skills, making new friends and even earned a new County Camp badge.
We can’t wait until next years County Camp for even more adventures!
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