13th to 19th July 2003

We decided to go to Stradbally Co. Waterford for our Summer Camp. We left at 10a.m. on Sunday morning. Stradbally is a very small beautiful village, beside the sea close to Dungarvan Co. Waterford. We had organised the use of a field right beside the beautiful cove. On Monday the 13th of July 18 scouts and 3 leaders sets of for Stradbally.

Lots of activities were organised for the week as some of the lads were keen to get their badge for organizing their annual camp and Jim O Donnell had planned to organize a hike in the Commeraghs and the building of a Bridge as part of his Chief Scout Award Challenge. Our priorities for Sunday were setting up camp and then we had time for a swim in the Cove which was right beside us. Some of the lads had body boards with us and we had great fun in the big waves.

We were joined on Monday by 14th Kilkenny Bennettsbridge who were also staying for the week. Bennettsbridge Scouts are also part of our District and it was great to have another group we knew right beside us.

On Monday we had to do some site development. We set up a volleyball court, a gate and washstand and Jim and his team started the building of the bridge. Progress was slow and the bridge was left for finishing another day but we still had time for the daily swim and lots of games.
< br> On Tuesday we had decided to go on a hike up Mahon Falls and the Commeraghs. Jim had to organize the hike and with the help of Tommy O Brien completed the route card and gear lists. Mahon Falls are a particularly beautiful part of the Commeraghs and we were all looking forward to the hike and Bivy out on Tuesday. We headed off early. The weather forecast wasn’t great but we decided to go a head anyway. We started at the car park close to Mahon Falls and headed up along the Falls. It was a good climb to the top. Once we got to the top we thought the going would be easier but the peat hags in the Commeraghs make the going tough. We headed for the highest point in the Commeraghs 792m and then on to Coumshingaun, one of the many Corrie lakes in the Commeraghs. During the afternoon the cloud thickened and we knew rain was on the way. We had planned to Bivy out but the rain got so heavy and everyone got so wet we decided to head back to Stradbally.

On Wednesday we had our parents evening and lots of parents came down to visit us. It rained all afternoon but that didn’t deter anyone’s spirits. On Thursday morning it still looked like rain so we decided to head to the Clonea Strand Hotel in Dungarvan for a swim and a much need shower. However the day picked up and when we got back to Stradbally it was a beautiful afternoon and we all headed for the beach again. Jim and his team were still busy building the bridge.

On Friday we decided to stay on site and finish the bridge and do some backwoods cooking. We had planned to have a campfire on the beach with Bennettsbridge but it started to rain in the afternoon and we had to have the campfire in Bennetsbridge’s big tent without the fire, but we had a great sing song.

On Saturday morning we all had to be up early to pack for home. Everyone had a great week. Some said it was better than Switzerland but we all enjoyed ourselves immensely.

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