The 23rd Limerick would like to wish our three Scouts Andrew O’Neill, Conor Hempenstall and Michael Quigley who will be setting off on their Icelandic Adventure at the weekend. Last August the three Scouts were selected to be part of the first ever Crean Challenge Expedition which is being run alongside the Icelandic Scout Association. Only 15 Scouts from across Ireland will be taking part in the expedition.
In September they met up with the Expedition Leaders and their fellow participants for a training weekend. The Patrols hiked from Castleconnell to the National Water Activity Centre in Killaloe where they made their way out to an Island and bivied for the night. A second training weekend was held in Dublin in Decemeber. At this weekend they got to meet Guðmundur Finnbogason from the Icelandic Scout Association and Brendan O’Brien, grandson of Tom Crean. A final meeting for each patrol was held in January. In between the training weekends, the participants had to go on several training hikes, keep a logbook of their preparations and work on personal challenges they had agreed with the Expedition Staff.
The Troop will depart Ireland and head for the Iceland where they will be challenged by the climate and terrain. Using the physical and mental training that they have completed in preparation for this Expedition they will overcome these challenges.
The initial few days of the trip will be a learning experience to allow them to familiarise themselves with some of the equipment that they will use throughout their Expedition including, Skies, Sledges and Safety Ropes. On top of this they will be shown how to build Snow Holes, Igloos and trek in the difficult snowy terrain.
They will then take part in a Two Day Expedition trekking to basic Mountain Huts high in the Iceland Mountains, spending a night in these basic lodges and returning to base camp the next day. The end of the event will involve a review and an assessment of the individual Scouts expedition and hopefully they will be awarded the Crean Challenge Expedition Award.
We would like to wish our 3 scouts, their fellow patrol members and the expedition staff the best of luck on their epic voyage and look forward to hearing their stories when they return.