A big Cead Mile Failte awaited the group of 17 Scouts from Dundalk, Maryland, USA who arrived in town as guests of Castletown Road based St. Patrick’s Group, 1st/2nd/5th Louth, last weekend.A lot of interest was generated around the town as on Friday afternoon after a visit to the local museum, the scouts were ‘let loose’ on the town and were dressed in distinctive uniform. A lot of locals had questions about the Dundalk in America, with many of them not realising that the town existed there.
Despite the bad weather on Saturday morning the scouts along with the local Dundalk Venturer Section (who are the scouts between the ages of 15 and 19) got up early and headed off to the Giant’s Causeway and then on to Belfast to do some shopping.
Although it was very wet and windy around the Causeway the scouts appreciated the beauty of the area and managed to get some nice photographs. By the time they got to Belfast city the weather had cleared up and scouts were able to shop in sunshine.
That evening the American scouts were able to sample another part of the Irish culture when they were invited to Allan Mathews (a local scout leader) 21st birthday party in the Rugby Club. Many of the young American scouts said it was the best party they were ever at and would definitely return to Ireland even if it was just for a party.
On Sunday morning it was up bright and early again for 10 a.m. Mass in St. Patricks, where Fr. McNulty, the scout’s chaplain, welcomed the American scouts to the town and country. After Mass a number of photographs were taken on the steps of St. Patricks with both the American and Irish scout uniforms on show.
Sunday afternoon the group of scouts met at the Long Woman’s Grave and from there hiked over the Cooley mountains into Carlingford. After a tour of Carlingford it was out to the Tain Holiday Village in Omeath where scouts were staying overnight and partaking in a number of land based and water activities.
The scouts left Dundalk on Tuesday morning heading to Scouting Ireland’s national campsite in Larch Hill, Dublin where they will camp with the local scouts until Sunday 4th July when they will return to the United States. Local Venturer Scouts meanwhile will move on from Larch Hill to Mount Mellary in Waterford for a further week of camping and hikin activity.