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Friday 24 November 2017

Scouts give Mary lowdown on Bengal trip

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

NOT many teenagers would be looking forward to a summer spent labouring in hot and humid conditions on a building site with a wash from a bucket at the end of the day -- and to top it all off, having to sleep in a tent.

But that is exactly what this remarkable group of Venture Scouts will be doing when they travel to Durgapur in West Bengal, India, in July to undertake four building and development projects in partnership with the Hope Foundation.

The 32 young people, aged just 16 to 18 from the Dublinia Scout organisation, from Mount Argus, Crumlin and Donore Avenue in Dublin are busy raising funds of €40,000 to pay for the plans.

Yesterday they paid a visit to President Mary McAleese at Aras an Uachtarain, where they presented her with a model of a scout campsite rendered in wood.

Examining it admiringly, President McAleese prompted laughter when she told the scouts she hoped their own campsite in India would "look like that and that all the tent pegs stay in place".

The President said her own son, Justin, had done similar work, building a school in Zambia and she told them the effort they put in would pay them back "a thousand fold" in friendship, memories and fun.

"Where else would you get it?" she said.

"You wouldn't have half as much fun sitting at home."

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