Andy’s Roverway Experience

We asked two of our Venture Scouts to record their experiences at Roverway. Here’s Andy’s report

I first heard about Roverway at Ventect last year. I thought it would be cool to see scouting at an international level. It would be my first international camp. My friends and I began fundraising for the trip in September. To be honest when the time came to head for the airport I wasn’t really excited because I thought it was going to be like every other camp I had been on. How wrong was I!

We left the grey, wet skies of Ireland for the sunny Helsinki on the 19th. We had the opening ceremony in the Olympic stadium which was fitting as London’s Olympics were going to kick off in a few days. The opening ceremony was amazing! There were scouts from all over the world. It was funny to hear different countries sing a song you know, just in a different language. After the ceremony we headed out on our paths. A path is a four day activity you take part in with your tribe (a tribe is made up of 6 patrols). In our tribe there were two Spanish patrols, one Swiss, one Portuguese, one Dutch and us (the Irish).

Our path was to experience Finnish life with the Forest Visitors. We got a bus to a forest about an hour outside Helsinki. Our leaders were really nice and always smiling. There was Pinja, Iris and Pippuri. We pitched our tents and began playing games to get to know everyone’s names. The four days we spent in the forest was so much fun. We usually got up at seven to raise the flag and then had breakfast. After breakfast we did activities like capture the flag in the woods or build a MOSS BEAR. After lunch we normally headed to the lake which was a short walk from our camp to cool off and clean ourselves. Dinner was always a hit and miss. There was salmon two nights which I didn’t eat and then we had reindeer which was delicious. It tasted like burger meat (and not like chicken which everyone was probably expecting!). My highlight of the path was on the last night when we were invested into the Forest Visitor group. We all got neckerchiefs which I am very privileged to have as Forest Visitors aren’t allowed to swap their neckers so you have to be a member to get one.

We headed for EVO the 24th. When we got there I was slightly awe stroke. It was like a little city in the woods. There was the main street which had all the cafés, shops and contingent tents. Off the main street were the sub camps and valleys. Valleys were activities you did each day and you had two valleys a day. There was Rover Momentum, Creative Corner, Forest Fun, Aqua Arena and Live Your Life. My favourite parts of EVO were the festivals at night. It was like a mini Oxygen. Everyone was packed into a field and there were people crowd surfing and going crazy. One night we had to write a message and put it in a balloon as part of Loverway. We the music started we had to throw the balloon up in the air and keep them up. It made some great photographs seeing literally thousands of balloons in the air. When the music stopped you had to pop a balloon and read the message. My message read “hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but I love you!” .

Leaving EVO was hard. We had made so many great friends and had gone through the whole Roverway journey together. We all promised to go to the next Roverway in  France and If we are lucky we might all be in the same tribe again! I think every scout, venture and rover should go to an international camp if they get the chance. It gives you a whole new perspective on scouting when you talk to scouts from around the globe. I think I am a better scout because of Roverway and can’t wait till France!

By Andy O’Carroll

Clonmacken Sleepover/Hike

Clonmacken Cubs held a sleepover and hike this weekend.Despite the small numbers we had an enjoyable time.The boys on Saturday did bamboo Pioneering ,they also cooked on a trangia as well as a first for the group the slept in a Bivy outside the back of the Scout Hall.
On Sunday before going to |Cratloe for hike the did stage some adventure skills pioneering and hill walking.At the woods we did a 7 km hike,each cub took a section of the hike in the lead and had to follow the map correctly.After lunch the cubs bulid Bivys in the woods.This was the first time for most of the cubs to build an outdoor bivy with just Natures materials available.
A big thanks to Ashley ,Ger and Mike for going ahead with this event despite the low numbers and to Barry for his help as well

Scouts/Venturers Summer Camp/Brian Boru Challange 2012

Our Scout/Venturer camp which also took in the Brian Boru Challenge took place fron Thursday July 5th to July 8th

.The first 2 days took place in Castleconnell Camp site and here we also had the scubs with us.The lads did pioneering on Friday. That evening we did an adventure skills assesment with all the Scouts and Scubs reaching level 4 in Camping.

.On Saturday the scubs went home while the rest of the Scouts & Venturers began their Brian Boru Challenge at Killaloe Water Centre(scouts).They were taken on a 2 and a half hour journey up Lough Derg to their Bivy site at Tuamgreaney where they set up there bivy site for Saturday Night.On Sunday morning they hiked back 13km to Water centre where some of the lads were invested into Venturers while on a boat on Lough Derg.The weekend finished with a quick spin on a speed boat for the lads.Well done to all involved and to Leader Barry Kennedy for organising this event and Mike O Halloran who helped out for this event.

Thanks to Terrence and TJ for getting us sorted in Castleconnell and to Kieran, Jason, Jack and all the crew at the NWAC in Killaloe. Also a big thanks to Joe for transporting the trailer, the 2 Ger’s for coming out to Castleconnell on Saturday and transporting the lads across to Killaloe.