Thirty Scouts in 4 Patrols from Athlone’s 2nd Westmeath (St Mary’s), the local Scout Troop had the chance to be in the heart of Galway recently when Galway came to Portlick.
Galway Scout County held their Annual Patrol Shield and Patrol Plate competition at Portlick Scout Campsite when 30 Patrols from across Galway met to compete against each other in skills as diverse as cooking, Map and Compass, Camping, Pioneering, Drama and Camp Craft. The 4 Patrols from Athlone were invited to take part in the competition, achieving 3 Bronze and one silver award.
The competition was a 3 day event over the May Bank Holiday and each Patrol, in their own marked out areas, had to arrive set up their own tents, dining shelters and cooking areas, make their own tables and cooking stands using pioneering poles lashed together. They built their own Patrol entrances to their areas, decorated them and their work on their knots and lashings was examined in detail for structural integrity. Over the weekend they had to cook their own meals and look after themselves under their Patrol Leader and on Saturday evening, had to prepare and cook a meal to a high standard which was assessed by Leaders from Galway. Frequently, their Patrol areas were scrutinised by Leaders for tidiness, tents and dining shelters being maintained, their personal, Patrol and Troop gear looked after properly. On Sunday, after all the hard work the previous day, there were fun challenges organised between the Patrols.
Sean Mimnagh Troop Leaders said he was grateful to the management team of Galway Scout County for allowing Athlone Scouts to take part in their well run competition as there were many valuable lessons to be learnt from running competitions on that scale. The Scouts developed a lot of their skills and made a lot of friends on the weekend which is always worthwhile.
Keith Touhy, one of the Leaders said that 50 Athlone Scouts and Leaders are heading off to Kent in August for 10 Days to take part in a UK Jamboree, which is a get together of 10,000 Scouts from across Europe. He added “All the Scouts were looking forward to the Trip, which would be the experience of a lifetime.”