Many Scout Troops are away on summer camp at the moment and the first report we have to hand is from the 37th Cork (Togher) who are camping at Glenlough Campsite at Union Mills outside Douglas. The 37th Cork have had a very long tradition of camping on the island since the troops first summer camp back in July 1961 at Glen Mona. The first Scoutmaster was Pat Bradley and he is still the Scoutmaster today with the honour of being the only leader in the country still holding that title. Quite a number of years ago the title was changed to Scout Leader. As writer of this page I have very fond memories of being invested a scout at that first camp in 1961.
Last Wednesday the Manx Parliament sat at Tynwald Hill for the annual open air ceremony marking the fact that it is the oldest parliament worldwide having first sat in the year 979. Last Wednesday was a day to remember for a father and son from Greenwood Estate, Togher. They were both invested at a special ceremony at Tynwald, Ethan Bailey making his scout promise at the flag and later being presented with the Crean Challenge Discovery Badge followed by his father Hugh making a promise to uphold the Scout Promise and Law and to guide assist all those placed in his care. Hugh Bailey recently completed his training which enables him to take up a leadership position. The investiture at this historic site will indeed be recounted in years to come with the phrase of ‘I remember or do you remember’
As the writer of this weekly page, it remined me very much of my own investiture as a young scout on my first summer camp held in the Isle of Man back in 1961.
Over the last few days the Togher scouts have seen so much and accomplished a lot.
A full days activity at the Maughold Venture centre saw them take part in a trilling mind boggling assault course. The speed that some of the scouts accomplished made them very proud and being covered in mud at the end added to the adventure. All I can say is that it is grand to be young. They showed off their skills at the air rifle base before going on to try out their hand at archery. The instructors were excellent and you could see how the budding archers improved in the 4th, 5th and 6th attempt. After that it seemed plain sailing. Going for an afternoon of raft building at Mooragh Park, Ramsey went down well and their ability to paddle around the large lake gave a sense of achievement and brought a smile to the faces.
The Isle of Man retains that old world charm and with the five day ramble tickets that had been purchased by the group, they made the best of their time on the island. Using the horse drawn trams in Douglas was a great novelty, the electric tramway to the Laxey Wheel which was the largest water wheel in the world when in use. Going into the mines at the base of the wheel geared up with helmets and lights really appealed to all the scouts. Going by electric tram to the peak of the highest mountain Snaefell was a first for all but one of the scouts. The clear day at the summit enabled all to see virtually the whole Island as well as the coast of Northern Ireland, Scotland and the west coast of England. All was not quite complete of course until the group went on the old steam railway line to Castletown and Port Erin. The huffing and puffing and the sound of the train hooter was something that the scouts had only seen on film. They were somewhat intrigued with the gate keepers along the route not to mention the shunting and the recoupling of the train at Castletown.
There was so much to see and do on the island it was not possible to cover all the scouts may have wished for. The scouting side of things was not left aside or forgotten either. The first task was to erect a flag pole followed by a gate way and boundary around the site. All the cooking for the duration was carried out by the scouts along with the wash up and clean up of course. There was a great scouting atmosphere at Glenlough campsite with a large contingent of scouts from Scotland along with Irish scouts from Kilcullen in Co. Kildare.
Today the scouts were going to higher things with the day spent at Ape Mann Adventure Park where they took part in a High Course Adventure along with going through wooden tunnels and suspended log bridges just to mention a few before they cooked up a Bar-B-Que at the Park.