Approximately 1,000 Scouts, Venture Scouts and Scouters from the North Eastern Province descended (ascended?) upon Castle Saunderson for the May Bank Holiday to participate in Camp North East 2016 (CNE).
CNE has been taking place for over a decade now with Beavers and Cubs catered for in 2014. This time it was the turn of Scouts and Venture Scouts. The Theme of the camp was Exploration and Discovery, centring around adventurer Tom Cream. Subcamps were named Discovery, Terra Nova, Polar & Endurance and the Programme zones were similarly themed.
There were four Programme zones. At the Antartic Challenge, participants were tasked with building bridges, catapults and Derricks. Emily and Leonie from 2nd Cavan (Bailieborough) enjoyed this area a lot. “I’ve just crossed a bridge I helped to build!” says Emily, who had spent the morning at the Watersports programme zone. There participants could try out kayaking, canoeing, rafting, tubing and an obstacle course. “Tubing was great fun,” Emily says. This was the biggest camp Leonie was on, and she was looking forward to having a swim in the lake at some point.
Eiru from 8th Louth (Sliebh Foy) Venture Scouts was here on her first camp. Her highlight was “not dying”, as she’s allergic to “everything”. She’s not invested yet but had a great time making new friends, and crucially, not having anxiety attacks. She lost her shoes in the obstacle course, but it’s all good.
Caoimhe, a 2nd Westmeath (Athlone) Venture Scout, was busy building a catapult when she was asked what she liked about the camp. She thought it was “very well organised,” but a “bit of free time” would have been nice. Dylan 8th Meath Athboy thought the catapult building was “great craic,” even though it was “kinda work,” so he was “looking forward to relaxing” later in the day.
In the Discovery area, participants could make woggles, rope, t-shirts, penny stoves, drinking glasses and key chains using a variety of sharp, burning, or spinning tools. Paddy from Buíon Setanta Dundalk wasn’t sure what design to put on his t-shirt. He named his Duck Woggle “Ducky McDuckface”, because, of course he did. Ethan from 175th Dublin (Castleknock) gave his duck woggle “Donald the Duck” sunglasses. When asked to describe the camp he was pretty succinct: “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”
Ciara from 5th Meath (Kells) made a woggle named “Ducky” felt the best part of CNE was “making loads of new friends”
In the Backwoods area, participants tried (and risked) their hands at tomahawk throwing, whittling, spoon carving and fire building. Zach from 21st Meath (Kentstown) thought it was a “brilliant camp,” with the highlight being “s’mores!”. James 1st Meath (Navan) really enjoyed the camp but felt that the best part would be getting to sleep in his own bed on Monday night.
There was an arena event by the campfire circle on Sunday night with a slide show of the highlights of the camp, a Talent Show and a sing song feature the Camp Chief, head of Programme and the Chief Scout, and lighting and extinguishing of candles to symbolise the end of camp.
Already thoughts are turning to the next CampNorthEast…