With Scouting Ireland CSI celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, the Venturers, who are aged 15 to 19 years, decided to mark it with a special expedition.The venue they picked was Dundalk, but the Venturers were not to be found camping around the green areas of DundThe Dundalk Venturer Section, of St. Patrick’s Unit, 1st/2nd/5th Louth, Scouting Ireland CSI, who are based on the Castletown Road, recently returned from their Annual Expedition.
With Scouting Ireland CSI celebrating it’s 75th Anniversary this year, the Venturers, who are aged 15 to 19 years, decided to mark it with a special expedition.
The venue they picked was Dundalk, but the Venturers were not to be found camping around the green areas of Dundalk, Co. Louth, but instead they flew out to Dundalk, Maryland, USA, were they had a wonderful two weeks.
Seven Venturers took part in this exciting and challenging trip under the leadership of Fintan Sheridan. Also travelling were Barry McGuinness, David Bolton, Christopher Browne, Aidan McGuinness, Joseph Hughes and Assistant Venturer Leader Allan Mathews.
The town of Dundalk, Maryland was founded in 1896, when a McShane set up a bell foundry there. He was asked to name the railway which led into the foundry, and he decided to call it after his grandfather’s hometown – Dundalk. It is believed that his grandfather came from the Dowdallshill area.
It was also of interest to note some of the road names around the town, such as Ardee Way, Dunleer Road and Fairgreen Place.
The seven local Venturers met up with a Scout Troop from Dundalk, Maryland (Troop 354), who put the lads up in their houses for the duration of the stay in Maryland.
The first day, the local Venturers tried to get used to the weather which was hitting the 40°C mark, and made use of the swimming pool which was in the back garden of one of their hosts.
The next day a trip to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania was organised. First off was a tour of the famous Hershey Chocolate factory, before the boys were let loose in Hershey Amusement Park, which has no less than 10 Roller Coasters including ‘Super Dooper Looper’, ‘Great Bear’, ‘Thunder and Lightning’ and ‘Roller Soaker’. Everybody had a fantastic time there and did not leave until 10pm that night.
The following day it was up early again for a trip into Washington DC. A couple of hours were spent in the Air & Space Museum which contained many interesting and original items from the early years of Space exploration. From there, the party then went and visited the Washington Monument, Capitol Buildings and took a walk around the perimeter of the White House.
One of the main activities of the visit to the USA was the trip to Goshen Scout Reservation in Virginia, were both Dundalk groups were to spend a week camping and hiking together.
The day after the return from Virginia, a trip into downtown Baltimore was organised (Dundalk is actually a suburb of the city of Baltimore). A visit to the local IMAX cinema was first on the agenda, before all concerned went up in a tethered hot air balloon. It was quite a windy day and only 4 people could go up at once as the balloon swayed from side to side. The balloon went up 500ft and gave a wonderful view of the surrounding area.
That evening some of the Scout Leaders from Troop 354 took out their speedboats and jet skis, and each lad enjoyed a wonderful evening of jet skiing and tube surfing.
The final day of the trip was spent doing some last minute shopping, before a Farewell Barbecue in the afternoon. Different presentations were made; scout badges were swapped, as were e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Many new friends were made, and an invitation was extended to Troop 354 to come and visit Dundalk, Co. Louth next year.