Some of the group at the den in the Isle of Man.

Athlone Scouts return from successful camp on Isle of Man

Athlone's 2nd Westmeath Scout Group returned from the Isle of Man recently after a ten-day annual camp at Crossags Lane Campsite, Ramsey, a short 45-minute drive from the capital, Douglas. It was a return visit of Athlone Scouts to the island following a very active camp there in 2016.

The camp involved 38 Scouts and 12 Leaders camping at a secluded campsite 1km outside the town of Ramsey. It took four vehicles and trailers to move the camping gear to the campsite but with an experienced group of Venture Scouts and Patrol Leaders, the tents were up and food cooking in next to no time at all.

The Venture Scouts (15 to 17 year olds) challenge was to complete as much of the Millennium Way as possible. The Millennium Way is a 90km hiking route running down the spine of the Island across its highest point Snaefel, down to Douglas and back up the West coast through Peel. The Venture Scouts and their Leaders, Keith, Paraic, Caoimhe and Carmel took on the task with relish, camping overnight in one person dome tents and cooking for themselves in remote locations. Weather was great and spirits high for the whole of the challenge and Venturers returned after three days away delighted with their experience. The Venture Scouts also had a day at the Outdoor Education Centre The Venture Centre where they did Costeering and Kayaking.

The Scouts (12 to 15 year olds) also did hiking, walking from Glen Mona up one side of Snaefel, around Slieau Lhean and Slieau Ouyr and down to Laxley. There was also a visit to The Venture Centre where Scouts did kayaking, shooting, rock climbing and abseiling.

Much of the camp was spent cooking for themselves in patrols, swimming and bowling, town map quiz and maintaining their patrol areas. A particular navigation challenge followed lessons in map reading and doing compass work and counting paces. The patrols hiked to the Albert Tower as a navigation challenge, about 2km through forest and along numerous tracks and had to pin point their position on the map when requested to do so by Leaders.

There was a day trip to Douglas to visit the Manx Museum and catching up on much needed retail therapy, with pizza and cokes on the Promenade, probably being the highlight of the day.

Returning to Ireland, the Scouts had the opportunity to stay in the Den of 2nd Onchan Scout Group on the outskirts of Douglas and had to rise at 4am in order to catch the very early Ferry to Dublin the following morning.

The Scout Group would like to thank all the Leaders, Keith Tuohy, Trevor and Noelle Lee, Carmel Lough, Caoimhe Nally, Caoimhe Manion, Paraic O’Nuailain, Sean Mimnagh, Corey Egan, Katie White, Emmett Arrigan, Eoin McCarthy and Karen McGee for their time and all their hard work on the Camp. A special thanks to all the Scouts and Venture Scouts, hopefully the camp exceeded your expectations and a thank you too to Steve White, Group Leader with 2nd Onchan Scout Group for their warm welcome and use of their den.