The Beaver Scouts spent the weekend getting back to basics on a mini camp in Larch Hill. Learning to light a fire with flint & steel, building shelters, preparing survival kits and of course roasting marshmallows to make s’mores.
On the 10th-12th May 8th Kildare Maynooth Scouts attended the Cill Dara County Shield. The County Shield is a scout competition which puts scouts’ skills and teamwork to the test. This year saw 9 patrols from across our county camping, catering and caring for themselves over the weekend. For the 3 days scout patrols were being tested on their abilities to construct the living quarters they need including; table and chairs, safe fire area, sleeping, wash up and food prep areas, and a large gateway entrance to their site. They also had to complete a series of challenges (bases) requiring problem solving, survival skills and their ability to function as a cohesive independent team.
Here is an account from our young patrol leader, a 13 year old scout, Sophie Lee.
“8th Kildare, Maynooth attended County Shield 2019. It was Grace, the first aider, Ciara, the scribe and Tim, the fire master’s 1st year in scouts. This was mine, the Patrol Leader, and Francis, my Assistant Patrol Leader, the chef, Emily and the quartermaster, Daragh’s 2nd year in scouts.
We arrived on Friday at 5:30pm and checked in. We were given site number 4 and unpacked our trailer. We had 4 hours to build our site which included our tents, food storage Icelandic tent, table, wash up area, food preparation area, our bins and our altar fire. We made some supper and had our opening ceremony. After that it was lights out.
We woke up at 7am on the Saturday and made breakfast. At 8am we continued our site build including our gate and finishing touches. Our gate was made like a ‘turn style’.
At 10am we got ready for our bases and left for them at 10:30am. Our bases were 2 hours long.
Our first base was a water base. Our task was to make a boat out of the materials given: wooden planks, insulation board, a tarp and duct tape. We were unable to make a boat and ended up making a raft which didn’t float so we sunk into the lake.
Our second base was a hillwalking base. To go with the theme of Tom Crean, we did an activity where we were given a map and we had to find questions and tasks to do related to Tom Crean.
After our two bases we went back to our site and began lunch. Then shortly after we headed to our third, and last, base. We were given a man-sized doll representing Evans, Tom’s companion, with a balloon head, a bag of flour, a tarp, a first aid kit, and a piece of paper describing his ‘injuries’. He had fallen and cracked his head open, had severe hypothermia, scurvy and broke his leg. We had to use those materials and the materials in our day bags. We first put up a tarp to protect him from the ‘snow’. Then two first aiders treated his ‘injuries’ while another talked to him to distract him. Myself and three others gathered materials from the forest around us and used our flint and steel we had in our day bags to light a fire. We had water in our day bags so we mixed it with the flour that was given and found a flat stone with which we pored our dough onto over the fire to make a flat bread to feed to our ‘patient’ as he had scurvy. We finished the base with Evans all treated and the balloon not popped.
We got back to our site and began the test meal. It all needed to tie into the theme ‘Tom Crean’. It included a three-course meal. The starter was a fruit salad with strawberries, raspberries, apples and citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges as scurvy was a disease caused by lack of citrus fruits that one of Tom Creans companions died from.
The main course was a chicken curry that was formed to look like an igloo with curry inside as people travelling in the south pole would have often stayed in igloos.
The dessert was a chocolate biscuit cake as Tom Crean had only little chocolate and three biscuits with him on his expedition to the south pole.
Markers came around and tasted our food and some even came back for seconds and thirds helpings!
We then practised our sketches and at the campfire we all presented them.
After we had a bit of free time to socialise then it was lights out.
We woke up at 7:30am on the Sunday, made breakfast and then at 8am took down our site and packed the trailer. We made sure to fill up all the holes in the ground from the pegs and picked up everything that wasn’t there when we got there.
After we had our closing ceremony where they gave out the awards. 8th Kildare, Maynooth won Environmental, Logbook, Test Meal, placed gold standard and 2nd runner up which means we will be going to phoenix in Cork, which is a competition with all of Scouting Ireland.
We’re so proud to have qualified for phoenix this year”
The Rover section conducted a canal clean up with a difference! Instead of walking the banks trying to gather the litter they built a raft and used kayaks to gather as much of the floating materials. It was a big success in that they gathered a lot of waste and had a great day on the water at the same time!