Some 87 Scout Patrols of 8 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 16 from all over Ireland attended Scouting Ireland annual National Competition (“the Phoenix Challenge”) held in Stormont, Belfast from Thursday August 17th to Sunday August 20th.
The 4 day and 3 night competition is the ultimate test in teamwork, leadership and scouting skills. The Patrols working without adult assistance must build a Campsite to live in and meet all their survival needs. The Patrols also compete in Cooking competitions and take part in two days of Challenges covering skills in First Aid, Orienteering, Construction and much much more.
This year the Eagle Patrol won the right to represent the Roscrea Scouts and the Slieve Bloom Scout County by winning the local County competition in May in Tullamore. Months of practice and effort, with no shortage of fun activities saw the team head to Belfast in great spirits hopefully of a good performance. The best place a Roscrea team had previously achieved was Gold Standard and 9th place.
The Team of Brian Bergin (Patrol Leader), Sinead Ramsbottom (Assistant Patrol Leader), Grainne Browne, Stephen Lown, Caoimhe Dooley, Darragh Collins, Saoirse Geraghty & Ella Bourke performed superbly in all elements of the competition which was held in the four seasons of Irish weather.
When Sunday came and it was time for the results ceremony in front of Stormont Castle; the team quickly learned they had achieved the Gold Standard then came the long wait to find out their place. As the countdown continued the team learned they were in the Top 20; then in the Top 10; then they had achieved the best ever result and finally that they had placed a magnificent 5th place. To achieve 5th place from nearly 600 Scout Troops across Ireland was a great result and due to the hard work put in by all the Scouts and their Leaders. The journey home between the sleep was full of discussing the memories and turning the discussions to making the next Scout Year just as much fun and enjoyment.