The month of May has kicked off with scouts around the county showing off their scouting skills to the best. Last weekend no fewer than three of the counties held their annual shield competitions. West Cork were at the Show Grounds in Skibbereen, Cois Laoi County were at Kilcully while the North Cork County were competing at the Mount Melleray Scout Centre. These competitions are a qualifying round for those with ambitions of taking part in the All-Ireland Scoutcraft Competitions for the ‘Phoenix’ trophy at the end of August.
Visiting the West Cork Shield held in Skibbereen, I must say the hospitality and welcome was econd to none. At atmosphere was great and everyone was so relaxed with groups as far apart from Kilbrittain to Mizen Head which is the Most South Westerly troop in Scouting Ireland. Apart from all the normal campcraft they had special bases on compass points, orienteering, emergencies, making a water rocket and backwoods cooking. They also had quite a puzzler is trying to saw a pole with a bow saw, the catch was you could not hold the saw. Amazing how some patrols managed to use light rope to hold the saw with tension and saw away. In the final analysis there are winners and in first place were the 102nd Cork (Kilbrittain), and in second place came the 13th Cork (Caheragh).
The Cois Laoi Shield in Kilcully campsite displayed a very high standard of campcraft. The competition also included raft building at the Lee fields on Saturday and a subsequent raft race. Back at the campsite there was the usual Test meal with the best of culinary skills where some of the chefs were all geared up in appropriate white jackets and hats. An interesting and meaningful ‘Scouts Own’ was conducted by John Maher on Saturday evening and one could only say it was thought provoking. Sunday morning was a great old scout favourite of a Trek Cart race and this was won by the 25th Cork (Cobh). In the overall results the winners were 1st. 80th Cork (Little island), 2nd 46th/92nd Cork (Glanmire) and 3rd 118th Cork (Watergrasshill). All three qualify to go forward for the All-Ireland Scoutcraft Competitions.
The results for the North Cork County Competition held at Mount Melleray were as follows.
1st place, 24th Cork (Charleville), `2nd place, 29th/30th Cork (Mitchelstown) and 3rd place, 18th/19th Cork (Fermoy)