With quiet calm, 47 Scouts and Leaders from Athlone completed a successful and eventful trip to the UK last week and returned to Athlone on Monday morning after a long journey from London. This was the largest group from Athlone’s 2nd Westmeath Scouts in St.Mary’s Hall to go on Annual Camp together in years. The Scouts from Athlone joined up with 14 Scouts and Leaders from 5th Westmeath Scouts in Killucan, who had camped together with Athlone Scouts last February in order for everyone to get to know each other.
The trip included taking part in the 7 day Kent International Scout and Guide Jamboree at an International Showground near Maidstone, Kent and two days at Scout Park in North London. The Jamboree takes place every 4 years and accommodates about 8,000 Scouts and Leaders and includes Scout Groups from across the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond. The 8,000 Scouts are divided up into sub camps set up around a tented village and activity areas, and Scout Troops camp in close proximity to each other, meet, share activities and get to know each other.
Scouts had the chance to take part in water activities like kayaking and sailing, climbing, driving, crafts, microflights, obstacle courses and a Scouts own village with fun fair, radio station and scout shops and food outlets. Sean Mimnagh, one of the organisers, said Scouts are organised into Patrols with a Patrol Leader and every day it was organised that a different Patrol managed the cooking of meals for 61 Scouts and Leaders and keeping tents and Troop area tidy. The Jamboree Day trip was getting the early morning bus to the famous Imperial War Museum followed by a visit to Covent Garden for a bit of retail therapy.
Following the Jamboree, the Scouts travelled to Scout Park in North London, an 8 acre scout facility of forest, hostelling and camping only a stone’s throw from Bounds Green Underground Station. The Scouts had a break from the camping and stayed in a hostel, again maintaining the facilities and looking after themselves. During the day the Scouts and Leaders travelled on the Tube and visited the Science Museum and Natural History Museum in Kensington, they did some site seeing between Kensington and Trafalgar Square for a photo opportunity and again, did some shopping in Oxford Street.
For the Scouts it was a very memorable trip as the number of pictures taken and Camp Log kept by the Scouts testifies. The Scout Group would like to thank, Keith Touhy, Laura Dennehy, Caoimhe Mannion, Carmel Lough, Caoimhe Nally and Sean Mimnagh for organising and running the trip, and Parents for their support and Scouts for their participation in the Trip.