The Dundalk Venturer Section based in the Scout Hall on the Castletown Road recently returned from a number of camping trips. Their first port of call was Larch Hill in Dublin, Scouting Irelands National Camping site. Here they were joined by Troop 354 from Dundalk, Maryland. The Venturers were kept very busy over the 5 days that they were there. The first day they repacked their rucksacks and hiked the first part of the Wicklow Way, a 19km walk where they enjoyed the craic and banter on the trail in an area of beautiful scenery.A number of trips were organised while staying in Dublin including a trip to Baldonnell Air Base, where the Venturers got to look at a number of different aircraft from past and present and even got to sit behind the controls of some helicopters. The government jet was also on view but it was being cleaned out at the time and the Venturers had to be content with looking in the
The local Venturers and scouts from Maryland were also honoured when they had a visit from Chief Scout of Scouting Ireland, Martin Burbridge and former Chief Scout Peter Dixon. A presentation was made to the Chief Scout to commemorate the special occasion of the two Dundalk Scout Groups coming together.
While in Larch Hill both groups were also interviewed for a Dublin radio station and the 15 minute interview went out on air the following evening. A good time was had by all and at the end of the camp a number of scout badges, belts and shirts were swopped as well as email addresses.
So the Venturers packed up their tents and rolled up their sleeping bags and arrived home on Sunday, but they had just enough time to unpack before they had to repack their bags and headed off down to Mount Mellary in Co. Waterford on Monday. First job was to pitch their new top of the range tents before pitching the Troop Marquee, which was used for the Scout Leaders, and was also the tent the Venturers used for tea-making.
On Tuesday the Venturers did some Site Service where they gave up some of their time to do some odd jobs around the Scout Centre in Mellary. The following day the Venturers were split into 2 different teams and were given a map and compass. They had to complete a 20km over-night hike which included going over the Knockmealdown Mountains. The two groups also had a number of projects to carry out along the way.
After their return from the overnight hike on Thursday, some Venturers decided they had not enough walking, and decided to follow the Glenshelane River Trail which took them into the town of Cappoquin. Along the route they came across another Scout Troop who were camping in Glenshelane, and they were brought into the Marquee and had a cup of tea.
On Friday, the Scouts and Venturers went to Mitcheltown Caves where some very interesting stories were told, before heading on to the busy town of Clonmel where Scouts were able to do some shopping.
Saturday was an action packed day, with the Group heading to Dunmore East where they participated in some archery, windsurfing, rock climbing and kayaking. Great fun was had by all with the windsurfing proving most popular. Back to site on Saturday evening, where the Venturers held their Mexican night. A wonderful evening of Mexican food and songs was enjoyed by all. This was a new idea that was tried out on this camp, where a country was picked as a theme for the night and the food and entertainment had to come from this country. It proved to be very popular and could now become a regular feature of annual camp.
By the time Sunday came around again it was time to break camp. All the gear, including Venturer mascot Patricia, was loaded onto the bus. The Venturers had a wonderful time and took home some fond memories of the week in Mellary, including the singing around the campfire and listening to the story of the "Mad Monk", the trip around the Scout Museum which is located in the Mellary Scout Centre, and the fun that was had on the trampoline which was on the site.
Having had such a busy couple of weeks, one would excuse the Venturers for taking a break, but that is not the case. Already they have plans in place for a number of activities in August and are looking forward to another busy and successful year to come.
If you are interested in joining in on the fun and adventure of Scouting, pick up a phone and call Gerry on 087-7839649. The Scouting year begins in September, so now is the time to join. The cubs meet on either Tuesday or Thursday nights and for boys between the ages of 7 and 11, the Scouts who also meet on Tuesday nights cater for boy between the ages of 12 and 16, and for the 16 – 19 year olds you can join the Venturers who meet on Friday nights. Any adults out there who feel they have something to offer in terms of leadership are also more than welcome to give a ring.