Annual camp Lough Keel 2008
Friday 1st August
Arrived in Connelly station at 10.30 where everyone had been waiting for at least half an hour. Conor decided to save a bit of cash and dodge his Dart fare. He would have got a way with it too if it was not for some dedicated train employees. He managed to escape a fine, court appearance and/or criminal record as he was a scout and he managed to bulls**t the staff.
We board our train from platform 3 and we set off on our arduous journey towards Boyle. Most of the scouts seemed to think that the train seats are for everything but sitting on. Anywho we managed to make it safely and uneventfully to Boyle with only one question in our heads… “Why does one need an ipod in the toilet???”
We taxied to Lough Keel and set up our wonderful campsite. Taking up as much room as possible we pitched the tents in a big semi-circle.
Some of the scouts then built a loverly table and shelter.
After dinner, Joe and Sharon and all the scouts went on a night walk around Lough Key forest park.
Saturday 2nd August
After breakfast we all headed down to the lake and went for a refreshing swim. The lake was cold but after a while we all got used to it and it was fantastic.
We had to wait until 7 before we could get the boats to head over to the island, so we head back to the campsite. After a small bit of rain we gather all the gear and put them in bivvy bags and head down to the lake.
We get in 4 separate boats and row out to the island. Constructing bivvy sites in the rain was not the most enjoyable task in the world and as the weather cleared up a bit everyone got their sleeping bags and settled down by the fire.
We had dinner of chicken and (burnt and undercooked) rice… beautiful. We then settled down pretty much on top of each other next to the fire until about 7am.
Sunday 3rd August
We row back to the mainland and hand back the boats. We then drop the gear back to the site and chill out.
After a bit of clean up, we all head out for a walk. We head to the big tree for lunch. Then back to the campsite for dinner.
After dinner we have our standard campfire which always featured “Falling Slowly”.
Monday 4th August
Another lie in for the lads… We head down to the lake for a bit of a swim and then mosey on down to Lough Key forest park.
Sarah Cashel joined us then to fill in for our female leader.
I have to point out that the Lough Key experience was not as great an experience as I thought. None of us could really have been bothered listening to the audio experience and as we walk through the cattle driven route the only highlight was the tower where we could look out over Lough Key forest park.
Anyway, the best thing about the day was that it was sunny all day and we all had a great time. We head back to the campsite and chill out.
Tuesday 5th August
Day trip to exciting Boyle today. We got up late as usual and we have breakfast.
We then set out on the mammoth trip to Boyle. Along the road, under the archway, through the second archway and up the road into the massive and happening town of Boyle.
We saunter around Boyle where the probability of bumping into everyone at least 3 times is greater then 90%. After 2 hours of complete and utter excitement we mosey on back to the campsite in less time then it took to get there.
Wednesday 6th August
Better day trip to Carrick-on-Shannon today. We again got up late and had breakfast. We got a coach to Carrick and got dropped off at Lidl. Carrick is much bigger and first on the agenda was to pop down to the “pervert”… Well the statue of the man and naked child, a must see in Carrick. From there we all went to the cinema.
3 films were the choice, Angus something and something snogging, Wall-e and Space chimps. Myself and Conor fell asleep through Wall-e mainly due to the comfortable seats rather then the film.
We head for Supermacs after and have a bit of grub, before we head back in the coach and back to the campsite.
We had a late night this night singing into the night… After being told to go to bed, people moved from the fire to the tent to the kitchen and then back to the fire then eventually to bed by 5am.
Thursday 7th August
Jacqui and Maedbbh joined us on this day as Sarah had to head home. Jacqui arrived early (well 11-ish) and blasted her horn.
We get up and have brekkie. After this we saunter down to Lough Key and have a bit of a swim. From there we head to Boda Borg. After being split into groups of 4 or so we had to saunter into rooms and solve numerous problems in order to progress to the next level. Fun and games especially if you get help from some kids that have done this (without word of exaggeration) at least 1 million times.
After this “Krypton factor” experience, we head back to the campsite and have some dinner.
We decide to light the giant campfire on this night and we all get our sleeping bags and mellow out by the fire for the entire night. Most people got no sleep. Nathan and Lee decide to do a couple of laps of the site whenever they got a bit cold.
Friday 8th August
At 6am we got up from our campfire and some of us mosey on down to the lake for an early morning swim. Derek, Ailbhe and Nathan make the mammoth swim to the Castle island. We decided not to swim all the way back so we bail over to the right where the closest land was. Ailbhe found out that the wire over the water near the land was actually electric as she managed to touch it twice (just to make sure)! We walk back and then joined the others and then walk back to the campsite.
We start the extrodinarily tedious job of cleaning up. Striking the tents, taking down our alterfire and trying to hide the burnt patch of grass underneath.
We finished half an hour after the taxi arrived to take us to the train station. Regardless we got everything done and we got to the train station 15 mins before the train was due. A quiet-ish journey home in the train and we arrive in Connelly at 6-ish where we get taxis back to Stillorgan and finish off the camp by having McDonalds… Classy…
Fantastic camp, everyone enjoyed it and all is good….