The trip to Scotland had begun months ago with many fundraising events and meeting leading up to the departure date.
The time had finally arrived for us to depart
Thursday August 14th .
And so here is the story of 10 Scouts,5 Ventures and 10 Adults and their trip to Scotland
Leg one of the journey took us to Dundalk where we stayed over night at a local scout hall.
Friday August 15th
Leg two of our journey was from Dundalk to Larne to the P & O Ferry to Cairnryan.The journey across the sea took 2 hours
The final leg of our journey from Cairnryan to Glencoe Scotland took roughly 4 hours.We stopped on route for food.It was 10pm when we finally arrived at the Red Squirrel campsite Glencoe which was to be our home for the next 8 days.Everyone now chipped in to get the sleeping tents up for that night.Once this was done it was time for bed as everyone was just shattered
Saturday August 16th
Our first full day in Scotland and i think most of us were blown away with the scenery when we got up that morning.After breakfast it was time to get the campsite in order.the tents were put it their proper positions and the lads assigned their tents.With this done it was off to Fort William to do a bit of shopping.most of the lads purchased gear for our upcoming Ben Nevis Climb.We were due to go to the Highland games from here but as there was a Shinty match on in Fort William we decided to go to this.This was most interesting and enjoyable.It was back to camp from here for dinner and some free time before lights out
Sunday August 17th
Today after breakfast we got our first chance to see some of the most spectacular scenery you could ever see when we went on the Glen Etvive Drive.It is hard to describe this drive as it can only be described as stunning.It was a the end of this road where some of the Harry potter film scenes were made,also on this road scenes from Skyfall were filmed.It had been hoped that the scouts would hike up a mountain here but due to the bad weather conditions it was felt it would not be safe for them to do this.The ventures and some Scouters did Climb that day the Beinn NanAighenan Climb.
The rest of the group then went to the Kings Head Hotel to see the deer.Although wild these deer seemed almost tame as you could get fairly close to them and get some great pictures
It was back to the campsite for free time and dinner.Our Climbers arrived back after a hard days climbing at 10pm.The excitement was great that night with the thought of Ben Nevis the next day.
The boys at this time presented Mark and Laura with a dinner gift as a thank you for the time and effort they had put into organising this event
Monday August 18th
Probably the biggest let down of the trip for the lads as due to a mechanical problem for one of the leaders cars the climb of Ben Nevis had to be cancelled.Great credit is due to all the young lads for the way the took this disappointment.The boys spent the morning amusing themselves around the campsite.
In the afternoon the group went on a hike around the local area taking in Signal rock.
That evening one of the highlights of the camp took place when we held a campfire.This was one of the best campfires we every had and a huge thank you to Ashley and Andrew for making this such a great event.We finished the evening with a most enjoyable game od charades.
Tuesday August 19th
Today after breakfast we departed for a day trip to Edinburgh.Edinburgh is a beautiful city and the lads got the chance to see Edinburgh Castle from a distance.Edinburgh was really busy while we were there due to major festivals taking place their.The lads had their picture taken with a lot of the on street entertainers.We also went on the big wheel in Edinburgh.it was in Edinburgh that we met up with a group of scout from Hanover Germany and most of the lads swapped the neckerchiefs with their Germany friends.Everyone was really tired when we got back to the campsite that evening
Wednesday August 20th
With the exception of the Ben Nevis climb I think this was the most memorable day of the journey for the lads in particular the morning when we visited the Ice factor in Kinlochleven.This is an indoor Ice Wall and a great mornings fun was had by all.Climbing the ice wall was a challenge for us all but one must mention one of our scouts Jordan O Sullivan who managed to scale the hardest climb there and also Venture Andrew O Neill who scaled every wall they had.Everyone who attempted the climbs should be so proud of themselves whether you got to the top of a climb or not its all about making the effort.Well done to all.
From here we went to the Glenfinnan Viaduct to see the steam train cross this
The rest of the day was spent in Fort William Shopping
That evening we all went to the Clachaig Inn for dinner.This was really enjoyed by all.We celebrated 3 birthdays during the dinner Happy birthday to Ger,Joey and Fursa.
Thursday August 21st
After breakfast we departed for a day trip to Loch Ness.Again the scenery on our way to Loch ness was stunning.Also the lads had their first real view of Ben Nevis on our way and it was awesome
We visited the Loch ness visitors center and did the tour. We also visited Inverness which was an extra trip and had a great dinner here.
Back a t the campsite once again the excitement for the climb of Ben Nevis the following Day was clear to be seen.With a good weather forecast it looked good for the climb.
Friday August 22nd
And so finally the highlight of the trip had arrived the climb of Ben Nevis.We had to groups.the older lads doing the more difficult hike up the Arate Route while the rest of the group went up the Tourist trail.Could we all get to the top.We started the climb at 11am.The first section of this climb was hard but we all got over this it was then onto the zigzags and again all made it up this section.The higher we got the more incredible the views became.And so the final charge to the summit.At 4-15pm the main group reached the summit while the older lads on the harder climb reached the summit at 5pm approx.One cannot but be so proud of all these young lads on getting to the top of the highest peak in Britain they should be so proud of this achievement.We did leave our own calling card at the top of the mountain A PINEAPPLE.
It was a long hard slog back down the mountain and I think everyone was glad to get back to the cars at 9-30pm after a long 10 hrs climb.Congratulations to all on completing the climb.
Unfortunately it was here that Leader of the trip Marks car decide to pack up on him and so began another adventure for him and Ashley(an extra week in Scotland)
Saturday August 23rd
All good things must come to an end and today was the day we left Scotland.After packing away all the gear we departed Glencoe at 10-30am.Unfortunately we had to depart without Mark and Ashley.The drama for us going home was far from over as we missed the ferry.It was decided at this stage that it would be too late when we got to Larne to try and drive back to Limerick safely so a quick call was made to Dundalk Scouts and we decided to stay there over night.
Sunday August 24th
We departed Dundalk at 11am on Sunday on the final leg of our journey stopping once on the way down at Junction 14.We arrived back at the Scout hall in convoy Scottish flag flying at 4pm.All that was left now was to hang the tents in the hall and pack away the gear.
We got a great welcome back from the lads parents.
On behalf of all the lads,Scouters and the boys parents a massive thank you to Mark in organising such a great trip for us all despite all the problems he had leading up to the trip.Mark thank you very much for a great trip and to Laura in helping Mark put this trip together.
To the leaders who gave up their time to look after the lads thank you and a massive thank you to the Leaders who had the hard job of driving everyone around for the 10 days thank you for taking on this great duty.
Finally on behalf of all the Leaders a huge thank you yo all the lads for the great behaviour over the 10 days.You were a credit to yourselves,your parents and you represented Caherdavin and the Country so well
LADS YOU SHOULD BE SO SO PROUD OF YOURSELVES
The memories and the stories will last forever of this trip
Heres to the next one looking forward to this very soon again