Last weekend again saw a great flurry of activity at Kilcully campsite for the Cois Laoi County Shield. The make up of Cois Laoi takes in fifteen scout groups stretching from Youghal to Knocknaheeny in the city, goes north to Watergrasshill and south to Cobh. The weekend started on Friday evening with a formal opening ceremony by County programme coordinator Ray O’Flynn and then it looked as if their was a race up the main camp field as each patrol got to work immediately. Within ten to fifteen minutes the green of the Icelandic tents began to appear all round.
The Icelandic tents have been the much preferred tent for scout patrols especially for competition. The great sound of the continuous striking of tent pegs with wooden mallets adds to the atmosphere and some scouts in each patrol are tasked by their patrol leader to start putting up the boundries that marks off each patrol site. By night fall things really take shape with many pioneering type structures and gadgets, all made of pioneering staves and square lashings with light rope. The variety of gateways, tables and raised fires can differ greatly with elaborate designs. Over the weekend as part of the marking scheme each one is examined in detail from progress inspections right through to final inspections. Tents play an important part, as a well pitched and properly secured tent should never let in rain in adverse weather conditions.
The programme for this year’s competition was made out by the patrol leaders from each troop at a P/L’s forum many months ago. At that forum they said they wanted two parts to competition, a county expedition and a campcraft weekend. On the weekend they requested a trade fair, trek-cart race, greater social integration and interaction with the other patrols. They also decided that there would be a full Irish breakfast on Sunday morning and that half of each patrol would go and dine with another.
Each patrol completed a log of the weekend. On having a quick look at them it was obvious that we have some very talented artistic scouts around. They looked very well and it was interesting to read some comments from the scouts in the logs. Alex O’Brien, patrol leader with the 3rd Cork wrote how much he enjoyed the weekend but sadly said that it would be his last year as patrol leader but was looking forward to the next stage in scouting and especially the troops summer camp.
The overall competition which included the weekend skills expedition from the Knockmealdowns to Glenshelane, Co. Waterford which was held in March. When all the combined marks ere totalled up the winners of the Cois Laoi Shield were, in 1st place 80th Cork (Little Island), 2nd place 21st/71st Cork (Mayfield) and in 3rd place were the 3rd Cork (St. Patrick’s). The winners of the Knockmealdowns Glenshelane skills expedition were the 21st/71st Cork (Mayfield).