Last weekend it was the turn of the Cork South County Scout Troops to show off their Scouting skills during their County Shield competition held at Kilcully campsite. The County takes in the following Scout groups St. Finbarr’s South (Ballyphehane), Ballinlough, Blackrock, Douglas, Frankfield, Passage West, Carrigaline, Crosshaven, Ballinhassig and Kinsale.
Enjoying the best of the weather the competition got off to a flying start on Friday evening. There is always a great buss at the start of competitions with a great flurry of activity. Always waiting to see the patrol who have their tent erected first and indeed the first patrol to show a bit of smoke coming from the site. Getting the fire going with the tent erected always indicates that at least the Billycan is on the boil. There is always something very welcoming on any scout site to see the water on the boil, so easy to make the cuppa tea. The same can be said when visiting any household, the cuppa cha as we would say in good old Cork slang, creates a conversation in itself.
The theme for the competition was Medieval and they certainly did it in style with the opening ceremony where each patrol had to produce and display a family crest with the theme in mind.
The art work was fascinating and it was obvious that hours and weeks of work had gone into producing these. While some used the form of a shield, many used a double sized white bed sheet to great effect and imagination. These were displayed for the weekend in newly decorated wet weather shelter. That was only the beginning, for working behind the scenes were Anna Bouncir and Liz Moloney preparing a banquet for nearly 100 scouts and staff. It went down a treat with all especially the scouts who has been busily working on their campcraft sites for nearly three hours. It was a very welcome treat for all the scouts and indeed staff. One of the best compliments came from Scout Mollie O’Connell from the 2nd Cork St. Fin Barre’s/Douglas patrol who said ‘there was a taste of more from it’
On Saturday over half the day was taken up with bases which included estimation, carving, making a mini raft, riddle solving and code breaking. The code breaking was most interesting and included the use of semaphore, morse code and walkie talkies. It was quite intriguing where the patrols had to divide up with two sending a message in morse code, those receiving had then to send it on to two more with the use of semaphore and the two at the semaphore base had to send the message by walkie talkie to the finish central point. Needless to say the messages going through all those sequences seemed to differ greatly from the original message. It was the base that was most talked about over the evening test meal. For the test meal patrols had a free choice and the variety of starters to main courses and deserts differed greatly. There was great imagination used in dress code from medieval style to current style chefs and waiters in white jackets and hats. In speaking to the markers they agreed on one thing and that was that the standard was very high and quite difficult to find fault.
When all is said and done and were winners in various sections of the competition. The winners of the campcraft over the weekend for the John Lyons memorial trophy were the 2nd Cork (Ballyphehane) while the winners of the Hubert O’Donovan Memorial trophy for the best development patrol were the 17th/51st Cork (Blackrock). The winners of the overall competition were as follows, 1st place: 2nd Cork (Ballyphehane), 2nd place: 41st Cork (Passage West) and in 3rd place: 2nd Cork St. Fin Barre’s/Douglas. The trophy for the Spirit of Scouting was won by the 55th Cork (Carrigaline) with the trophy for the most improved troop going to the 26th Cork (Kinsale). The presentations were made by County Commissioner Richard Pumphrey who in speaking made particular mention of Naima Bouncir and Stephen McCarthy for putting the whole weekend together and ensuring that it was enjoyable for all.