Saturday 21 October 2017

Girl guides go wild in week of adventure

Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

IT sounds like a recipe for a disaster -- 1,500 girls and just one shower allowed each for an entire week.

But the Irish Girl Guides (IGG) are nothing if not resourceful, and the group cleverly opted for plenty of water sports during the week of adventure activities.

The girls from guide groups around the world are braving the elements and conquering their fears in the wilds of Roscommon this week.

More than 25 different activities were set up for girls from 13 countries who descended on Lough Key Forest and Activity Park for the Irish Girl Guides Camp 101.

While it was a case of back to nature for the week, they couldn't do without the internet, with queues for the handful of computers lasting all day.

Girl guides from as far away as Sri Lanka and Taiwan joined troops from the Lebanon, UK, USA, Mexico and New Zealand for the week-long adventure camp which saw them zip-lining from the trees and taking part in overnight survival stints on an abandoned island.

There are 300 staff on site to keep everything running. Hundreds of camps dotted the forest park, including the Jedwardian camp, the Katie Taylor camp and the McAleese camp.

A group of six girl guides from Sangam in India were loving the wet Irish weather this week, much to the surprise of their Irish counterparts.

Members of the IGG raised funds to bring them over for the week. They had hoped to bring over 20 in total, but passport issues for many of the girls made it impossible.

"We are loving the weather here. It is very pleasing and everything is very green," said Grishma Nagpure (20). Her friend Meghane Sanas (17), was also having the time of her life.

"It's like a funfair where you can stay the night. It's brilliant.

"The hot chocolate is the best bit," she added.

Climbs

The queues for the zip-line and rope climbs in the forest singled it out as one of the top activities on everyone's agenda.

The girls were all taught how to use their safety harness.

Emma Leddy (12) from Monasterboice, Co Louth, said making her way across the suspended logs to the zip line had been terrifying.

"Everything about it was scary, except for the zip-wire. It was actually grand. The wobbly logs were the worst," she said.

Emer Hickey (14) from Kinsale, Co Cork, had an early start yesterday when she got up at 4am for the dawn walk.

"It lasted about two hours, but it was really enjoyable. The whole thing has just been the best fun," she added.

The camp continues until Wednesday morning with the 1,500 guides getting the chance to 'bivvy' and sleep out under the stars on Tuesday night as the smaller tents are taken down.

"They all have survival sacks so it won't matter what the weather is like, but if it's really miserable we'll put them all in the bigger activity tents," said one of the organisers.

Irish Independent

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