Rafting on the Canal

Scout on their raft

Scout activity May 2021

By Dara Doherty, Patrol Leader

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.

Hiking overnight at Aurora

March 2020 at Aurora

Our camp in the Wicklow Mountains

By Daragh Coakley, Patrol Leader

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.

Scouts: Year in Review 2018-2019

Scouts in forest

What a year for our Scout section! From building bivi shelters in Donadea Forest, hiking in Lough Dan and going for gold at the County Shield.

Have a look below at all the amazing things our Scout section got up to over the past year in a presentation done by the Scout group members.

Here’s to another great year!

Scouts in forest
Scouts holding two plaques and four certificates for their awards at county shield

Scout County Shield 2019

Scouts holding two plaques and four certificates for their awards at county shield

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”