Lowestoft scout group return from successful camp in Ireland

Scouts from Lowestoft travelled to Ireland for their summer camp. Picture: 14th Lowestoft scout grou

Scouts from Lowestoft travelled to Ireland for their summer camp. Picture: 14th Lowestoft scout group - Credit: Archant

More than 30 members of the 14th Lowestoft scout group have just returned from their annual summer camp.

In all the group's 80-plus years of summer camps they have never camped in Ireland, so it was with much enthusiasm that the long journey to the Larch Hill International Scout site in the beautiful Wicklow mountains of Dublin started at 4am on a recent Friday morning.

Travelling in hot conditions, the convoy of two minibuses, large truck, and scout van consisting of 34 members took 14 hours to travel via Hollyhead Ferry to Dublin port. Much to their dismay it was raining in Ireland, and continued to do non stop for the next two days.

Undeterred, camp was soon installed, although the trek up to their camping area as they carried 4.5 tons of equipment in wet, muddy conditions was very testing.

Despite the wet conditions the scouts and leaders participated in several high octane activities ranging from a forest adventure high in the treetops involving ziplines, rope challenges, and even riding a bicycle over a narrow wooden bridge with an 80ft drop on either side.

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Travelling south for 150km they spent a lovely day at Dunmore adventure park with activities ranging from giant paddleboarding, to inflatable challenges over the sea, to climbing and caving.

A high altitude hike over the Spinic Trail, part of the Wicklow Way, in the Wicklow mountains saw the group's stamina tested, but the views from the long climb were breathtaking. A visit to Kilmainham Gaol for a very interesting conducted tour was followed by an exciting indoor go kart event at which they were joined by their District Commissioner and Assistant District Commissioner for Scouting who had flown over to join the group to see all that they were doing on an international camp, which included them observing the scouts preparing and cooking all their own meals.

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Other activities included cycling in Phoenix Park, followed by a shopping afternoon in Dublin. The group returned the next day to kayak along the Liffey River, which runs right through the centre of Dublin.

The camp ended with the traditional Indian banquet which was cooked by the leaders, and the rain held off to enable the 26 scouts to sleep under the stars on the last night.

A parents evening is scheduled later to share camp highlights, photos, and videos.

A spokesman said: 'This evening is combined with a badge presentation, and the 2019 summer camp destination will be revealed.'

Troop nights resume on Friday, September 7.

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