On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June four members of the Tuesday Beaver section of Roscrea Scouts attended the National Beaver Camp held at the National Scout Centre in Larch Hill, Dublin.
The four who are attempting the Beavers Chief Scout Award left Roscrea from the Scout Hall in Abbey Street, together with three leaders from the section, at 8.30 on Saturday morning. They arrived at their campsite in Larch Hill at 10.30.
This year’s camp was themed ‘ The Stone Age ‘ and catered for over 200 Beavers from around the country. On this theme the camp was sub-divided into four sub-camps, Dinosaur, Sabre Tooth, Dodo and Mammoth. The Beavers from Roscrea were part of the Sabre Tooth sub-camp. Beavers, and their leaders, were expected to wear costumes based on the Stone Age theme and also had to make a flag to represent their group to bring to the camp. Each Beaver received a special neckerchief to mark the camp on arrival.
After setting up their campsite an opening ceremony was held at 1.30 after which the camp activities began. Some of the different activities included kite making and a mystery trail, where following a map the Beavers had to find buckets and guess what was inside each by touch. They also played football in an inflatable football pitch, played on bouncing castles, made ‘grass heads’, learnt to light fires using flints and cooked bread on sticks over hot stones. There was also a talk on bird’s nests and eggs, which the Beavers found very interesting especially to see the nests of different types of birds. After all these activities it was time for a break and dinner. They also took time to play in the Beaver playground at the campsite.
At 7pm they took part in a treasure hunt. They were given a map with six different locations; they had to find a member of the camp staff at each location to get a piece of a code that they then had to break. When they got the answer to the code they had to go to another location to get a key, one of which would open a treasure chest, unfortunately our Beavers didn’t manage to get the right key.
At 8pm there was a reptile show that the Beavers loved and was the highlight of the weekend for many of them. Amongst the animals that they had the chance to see were snakes, a tarantula spider, snapping turtles, a giant millipede, a chameleon, a baby crocodile and a monitor lizard. After the show they all got a chance to touch a snake. At 10.30 they went to the camp campfire before going to bed at 11.30.
On Sunday morning they took down their tents and packed for the journey home, before that they spent sometime in the Beaver playground again ahead of a closing ceremony that was held at Midday. They arrived home in Roscrea at 2pm Sunday, tired but after having enjoyed a fun, exciting and action packed weekend.
With members of the Tuesday Beavers off tackling the National Beaver Camp and their Chief Scout Award the activities also kept coming thick and fast for the other Sections. On Sunday June 12th the Tuesday Cubs took on the challenging hike on the Devils Bit. Friday June 17th saw the Scouts, Ventures and Rovers head to Portumna. The Patrols built rafts and competed in a Raft Race which was won by the Eagle Patrol. The Scouts then enjoyed a brief swim in the lake. After the Scouts were changed the end of year ceremony took place with the New Scouts presented with their Scout Section badges and all the Scouts presented with their badges including their Adventure Skills awards. The main awards went to the Badger Patrol PL Niamh Marks and APL Kyle Cahir & Allana Rigney who won the Best Patrol of the Year; Niamh Marks who won the Scout of the Year Award and Kalen McNamara who won the Venture of the Year Award.
On the 19th June, the Thursday Beaver Group went on a day trip to Dublin Zoo. The weather stayed fine all day after an early start and the Beavers had a great time exploring the grounds of the Zoo and seeing the animals. Favourites were the Orangutan who put on a great show on a rope strung between two trees high above our heads, the male Silverback Gorilla who didn’t do anything at all except sit there and stare at us, his size alone was enough to stun anyone to silence sitting as he was ten feet away and the baby rhino out and about with his parents and family. Other highlights included gibbons howling, tigers pacing, lions sleeping and Beavers eating (namely us - having our lunches with the Wolves beside us. We didn‘t share as we thought Wolves mightn’t like Beaver food!). The bus got everyone safely home for 6.30pm and though everyone was very tired we all declared it a great day out!
Despite a showery evening the Thursday Beaver Group also recently went on a Nature Hike to Orange Hill in Golden Grove. With all the troop well kitted out in hats and jackets the evenings activities consisted of a Nature Hunt where the Beavers were given a list and shown some photo’s of plants and flowers which then had to be found and identified. The Beavers were then given a small talk about the various types of plants they had discovered, as well as the trees growing in the wood. The second part of the evening was a basic demonstration of the compass and how it worked. The Beavers were separated into about 10 pairs and each group was given a compass and shown how to find North and where the other points (West/East/South) were in relation to it. The Beavers were shown how to get a direction from the compass also. After an enjoyable hour or so the children returned to the entrance for collection by their parents.
Luke McAndrews adventures continue on staff at the International Scout Centre in Kandersteg where so far Luke has undergone his training induction and taken part in a hike to over 2,500m and white water rafting. Three more of the Rover Scouts have been selected to take part in Scouting Ireland’s tent pitching service at Oxegen which raises money for charities supported by Scouting Ireland. We wish Joe Kelly; Gillian Lupton and Eoghan Talbot all the best for that challenge.