The scouts of the 9th Cork (Bandon) have just returned from their annual summer camp held Castle Saunderson International Scout Centre Co. Cavan. Twenty two scouts and five leaders took part in the Camp. This has been rated by the Scouts as one of the best Camps in a long time. The facilities and staff at Castle Saunderson are excellent. The crew were extremely friendly and went out of their way to make the camp a success.
The activities included Chimney climbing, scaling the large chimney attached to the building, Crate stacking was also very popular with the various Patrols and individuals trying to outdo each other. The best on the day was 20 crates stacked by Venture Scout, Lucy Gilmartin.
The troop slept out in the woods on two nights. The first night was in Adirondacks shelters. These are fondly referred to as chicken coops, and that is what they are like. The banter into the small hours was mighty.
The second night out and possibly the favourite activity was a survival exercise. The scouts built and slept on pioneering platforms, in the woods. They cooked their dinner backwoods style on open fires. All scouts gave this activity 10 out of 10 for adventure and fun.
Other activities included, Orienteering, archery, Kayaking and rafting. The scouts built a raft with barrels and paddled it across the river Finn crossing the border into the North of Ireland. There was a great sense of thrill and excitement being able to cross from the South of Ireland and to the North. One scout quipped that he felt like a pirate.
Castle Saunderson is rich in Flora and Fauna and steeped in History. The many walks around the Castle make the area ideal for exploring. A visit to a crypt under the little Church gave rise to some real life ghost stories. The campfire circle was excellent built in a natural slopping semicircle with a stage and a raised platform for the fire. Scouts always learn new campfire songs and sing the older ones with great gusto. Parents often remark that it is nice to hear the scout singing or humming some of the songs around the house in the weeks after they return from camp.
Bandon will definitely return to Castle Saunderson in the future and highly recommend the campsite to other scouting groups.