All was quiet in Lough Dan on the morning of Friday 6th 2018. The rain was pouring. The water table was rising in line with ever-increasing checks on the ‘met.ie Rainfall Radar’. However, optimism remained high on this unusually wet, yet auspicious start to the weekends 100 year celebrations.
The Scouts were first to arrive and brought with them a welcome end to the heavy rain. We briefly considered allowing them to stay in the hostel… or construct themselves a floatation device. But ultimately, as Scouts, on the centenary celebrations, in early April, they would set up a standing camp, come hell or high water.
The camp quickly took shape with precision only enviable by Pythagoras himself, while the rain ensured the utmost attention was given to their shelters and sleeping quarters.
As the Scouts’ Section Team Lead, Colm Finlay was carrying out a vital midpoint inspection of the camp, suddenly the ground began to tremble. A distant squeak developed into a rumbling hornets nest of wide eyed, fully charged Cubs. The pack was twenty two strong to be exact.
While the sensible senior Scouters slowly backed away carefully ensuring they didn’t make any sudden movements, the courageous Cub Scouters took a communal deep breath and stepped up to the challenging night that was surely coming.
On the morning of Saturday 7th 2018 final preparations were made to the stage, decorations were adorned and inspections were made before the guests arrived.
We had the pleasure of welcoming back roughly 120 members, former members, guests, families, friends and VIPs.
The Scout section provided a warm welcome with games, entertainment and glass of juice or water on arrival. (No expense spared here.) Guests were then invited up to the hostel for a cup of tea and to inspect the 100 year timeline made from the archives and global milestones and events.
We were blessed with a relatively dry start to the day, considering the previous day. But this was soon to change. Moments before the official ceremony began a few ominous spits fell from the sky. As could be expected they got gradually heavier so, at the last moment, we chose to move the event indoors. (Luckily we had many many helpful hands available.)
We were swiftly transported from fresh northern winds to a sub-tropical paradise of humidity. But ultimately this aided the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Scouters and Guests with their presentations.
Our longstanding and ever suffering Group Leader Tina Finn extended a kind warm welcome to our guests and officially kicked off the ceremony. First off, we had a Scout reading from Baden Powell’s “Scouting for boys”. Next we had the Cubs reciting their favourite elements of Scouting.
We then welcomed David Lunney (former Scout) to officially donate an art piece titled “Draw Nearer” to Randall Gray from Christ Church Rathgar. (Our gracious hosts.) It was business as usual for Chief Scout Christy McCann who closed proceedings with a rousing speech reminding us all why we do what we do and the truly unique, positive impact Scouting has on society at large.
Despite the plethora of engaging speakers and acts the tropical heat was becoming too much and the crowd began to tire. All except for the Cubs of course who were ready to transcend into a higher plane entirely composed of pure energy.
We poured outside for a hectic group photo and some well deserved dinner.
Overall it was a fantastic event. It was really inspiring to see so many previous Scouters and members coming together to celebrate the core values we all share and recognise the commitment from Scouts, Families and their Scouters to keep the group thriving for 100 years. Here’s to the next 100 years of adventures, friendships, happiness, exploring, learning, growing and helping young people be their best selves.
32nd Rathgar Scouts – Centenary Event Manager
Proud SI Member since 1994