What were you doing exactly a year ago…..

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Posted by Enda | Posted in 47th Scouts, 6th Scouts, Camp, Camp 2013, News, Scout News, Venture News | Posted on 04-08-2014

Well if you were at camp in the Czech Republic, you were queuing to get off the Celtic Link Ferry after an enjoyable crossing.

 

Ahead was a very long road trip – but hey, great craic all the way….

 

Ah, the memories!  Half what Scouting is about!!!

Camp 2013 – Prague – PHOTOGRAPHS!!!!

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Posted by Enda | Posted in Camp 2013 | Posted on 27-08-2013

Hi All,

Sorry about the delay – pictures have arrived at last!!!!  (Work had to be done first!)

Enjoy….

 

Camp Report – Prague 2013

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Posted by Enda | Posted in Camp 2013, Group News | Posted on 24-08-2013

Hi All,

Time for some thoughts on Camp 2013 – Prague.

Introduction

For the last while, Douglas has had a “serious”camp about once every 4 years or so. In recent past we went to Rome & Kandersteg & these were superb.

About a year ago, while at camp in Boyle, we decided that 2013 should be another “serious” year. We had never used Jeka before, but chose to do so. This was a decision we were not to regret. After some consultation with Shaun Taylor in Jeka, we decided on Prague as our destination.

Having decided where we were going, and announced it to the group, we were left with the decision of how we would travel – air or overland. There are benefits of both. The biggest influencer on how we would travel, would be based on the numbers travelling. Initial numbers seemed good, so we decided to travel overland by coach.

 

Jeka

Jeka are a non-profit organization, based in Belgium. While we would know them as an organization offering good value holidays to young people, they are also involved in providing much needed aid to people in the third world, most notably the Philippines and Brazil.

Throughout the camp process, we found Jeka to be wonderful to deal with. At all stages of the planning, Shaun Taylor and his colleagues were there to help and advise. Once we arrived at camp, Wim took over to make sure that our every need was sorted.

Basically, Jeka arrange so much of the camp for us. They arranged the accommodation, the food, and the activities. The accommodation was just great. Our hostel (Mucha) was in an area called Dobrichovice. This is a small village about 25km’s outside Prague. The village has a selection of shops & restaurants, and a railway station nearby, offering easy transfers to Prague & other areas nearby.

 

Accommodation

The hostel offered everything we needed. There were three floors of accommodation, containing between 2 & 8 beds. On each floor were a few toilets and showers – plenty to cater for the group.

Downstairs we had a large kitchen with fridges, freezer, large industrial cooker – all more than adequate for our needs. We got the hostel in a good condition, and were delighted to leave it that way too.

It is really great having your “own” hostel. To be able to turn the key in the door when you’re leaving, gives a really great feeling of security!

 

Food

The food supplied was of a really good quality – and there was lots of it. Having a full kitchen available to us meant that we were able to have menu’s that would not be possible on an “ordinary” camp. (Roast Pork over a campfire just doesn’t work out too well!!) Quantity wise too, there was plenty of everything available to us.

Activities

The activities offered to us & availed of by us, were just amazing. We took part in:

  • Mountain Biking
  • Two day canoe trip with overnight camping
  • Rock Climbing
  • Abseiling
  • Geocaching
  • High Ropes
  • Bob Sleighing
  • Beroun Water Park

The activities were challenging, fun and great value!

In addition to this, we spent a day in Prague and also did some hiking in the local forest.

Travel

We travelled with Celtic Link ferries. These were a somewhat “unknown” entity to us before travel. They were amazing! Throughout the booking process, and the journey itself – nothing was too much trouble. On board, they gave us our own private room of Pullman seats. This was an unexpected but wonderful benefit. Meals were great, embarking and disembarking was quick, EVERYONE was friendly. Suffice to say, if we need a ferry again, Celtic Link will be our first choice!

Coach Hire

Traditionally, Douglas Scout Group has always used Counghlans Coaches, and through them we booked Mannings Coaches of Croom for this job. This worked out so so well. Tommy Manning and Michael Coughlan drove us to Prague and back with a just amazing spirit and attitude. It’s easy to say that driving was the smallest part of what they did for us! They were just an amazing contribution to every part of the camp. We can never thank them enough for their genuine friendship.

The coach we had was a Volvo 9700. It was a fantastic machine. Comfortable, with toilet, DVD screens, fridge….. you name it, it had it! We were truly spoiled!

While the journey was long, it was really enjoyable! In these days of budget airline “pack em in” mentalities, it was wonderful to go on a real roadtrip. Also, having the coach with us was just amazing. No worries with luggage limits, bring what we wanted with troop gear, no problem getting to or from activities, no problem’s with airport security. All in all – no problems!

Journey Home

On our way home, we left Prague in the late afternoon, and drove at our leisure through to Paris. By early the next morning, we were outside Disneyland Paris – a small “surprise” destination that nobody knew about in advance! To say the screaming was loud, would be an understatement. A great day was had by all in Disney. That night we stayed in a Premier class hotel outside Paris. The next morning, we left and headed for Cherbourg – stopping along the way at some of the Normandy sights, and then at a Hypermarket in Cherbourg before boarding the ship for our voyage home.

 

Accidents and Incidents

Thankfully, we do not know where the doctors surgery / casualty is in Prague – we didn’t need to!! While Jeka were available at all times if we had had an emergency – we didn’t even have to open the first aid kit really! Happy days…..

 

Financial

At this stage, all bills and outstanding debts of the camp have been paid. We charged €700 per person for the camp. Did this cover the costs? Regrettably, no! All camps have to start off with costs being estimated. Normally we get this fairly close. In this instance, a lot of our estimates were “under” – which has resulted in the group covering quite a large amount of the costs. Lot’s of fundraising in the months ahead!!

 

Summary

Camp 2013 has been a huge success. This is primarily down to the people involved.

The young people, Scouts and Ventures, at this camp were amazing. It is many years since we went to a camp with such confidence in the behaviour of the young people at camp. That confidence was well deserved – thank you all.

To the slightly older people :-) The adults at camp all worked in that amazing fashion of Douglas Scouters. We have fun, while working hard to make everything a huge success. The gratitude of the group must go forever to:

  • Conor Crowley
  • Nick Swanton
  • Niamh Fullam
  • John Cleary
  • Stephen McCarthy
  • Wendy Swanton
  • Vickie Swanton
  • Cian Swanton
  • Gavin Shanahan
  • Ciara Hosford
  • Kevin O’Donoghue

and as mentioned before, huge thanks for Michael Coughlan and Tommy Manning.

A particular thanks goes to Siobhan Hodkinson, for coming out all the way from Cork just to go canoeing!! It was great to have her there along with Ger, Eoin and Emma – as it was to have Mary & Nisha Coughlan with us. All added greatly to the trip!

Huge thanks too to the various members of the Group Council for their contribution & support before and during the camp, especially to Billy and Margaret Desmond who were there as ever helping along the way!

 

That’s about it! Apologies to everyone whom I’ve forgotten! No slight is intended – just old age on my part!!!!! It’s always the risk when you start thanking anyone – if I have forgotten you – thank you too!

As a parting note, if any other Scout groups are reading this & thinking of a similar trip, get in touch. I’d be only delighted to chat about all and any part of the trip with you.

 

Regards,

 

Enda.

Almost home

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Posted by Conor Crowley | Posted in Camp 2013 | Posted on 17-08-2013

We’ve just gone through Dungarvan so will be at the car park in Frankfield Church at approximately 5:30

Day 12 – Czech Republic, Germany into France and surprise!!!

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Posted by Conor Crowley | Posted in Camp 2013 | Posted on 15-08-2013

Just a short update on the recent number of hours of Camp 2013.

We left our base in Dobrichovice yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon after packing up our belongings and passed on the keys of the hostel to a Scout Group from Kildare who arrived as we left.

Our drivers, Tommy Manning and Michael Coughlan, had the task of bringing us out of the Czech Republic, across Germany and into France and did so with the professionalism we’ve come to expect from them.

We arrived close to our surprise destination around 6am and had breakfast and then at around 8am announced to the Scouts where we were taking them…. Disney Land Paris awaited.

Lots of tired people around our hotel tonight (yes we’re in a hotel) and looking forward to the next stage of the journey tomorrow morning as we head to Cherbourg for the boat tomorrow night.

Road trip return

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Posted by Conor Crowley | Posted in Camp 2013 | Posted on 15-08-2013

Currently on the French side of the French/German border en route to our surprise European city

Day Whatever – 12th Aug

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Posted by Enda | Posted in Camp 2013 | Posted on 12-08-2013

Here we are, time is flying by. Everyone is having a blast. All sections off on various hikes & excursions today. Scout sections then takin part in a cooking competition!

Most importantly though, parents, take a bow. It’s been a long time since we were away with a better behaved, more enthusiastic or more fun group of young people. They’re just wonderful. Life is truly worthwhile!!!

And finally, we have LOADS of pics, but very little Internet access. We will post them, but it may be after we get home….

Day 8 – Prague

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Posted by Conor Crowley | Posted in Camp 2013 | Posted on 11-08-2013

An earlier than usual start on day 8 as the big trip into the city of 1000 spires.

The city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits.

We got a train into the outskirts of the city and then to get the local feel we took a tram into the city centre.

We started our exploration in the new city for a while in patrols then all regrouped to wander across tye historic Charles Bridge and some lunch by the river.

Into the old city square where we got on the tour train!

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I’ll let the kids explain what that was like! Needless to say though we got plenty of waves from the public as we sang campfire songs and chart topping hits while we toured around Prague!!!!

We spent some time then around the historic Wenceslas Square which is also the main shopping district so be prepared for lots of presents no doubt.

We took the train back to our base in Dobrichovice and took it easy for the evening.

Day 7 – Week one down already???

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Posted by Conor Crowley | Posted in Camp 2013 | Posted on 09-08-2013

As the saying goes… Time flies when you’re on camp!

Today, Friday, the Scouts went on a new experience and went Geocaching which is a form of orienteering but using a GPS device to locate objects and points over a 3 hour course.

After lunch we headed back to base and unfortunately the weather turned against us for the evening so it was a chance for some downtime.

After dinner the 4 Rover Scouts arranged speed gaming for everyone and thats happening right now.

Day trip to Prague tomorrow!

Day 6 – Rock Climbing

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Posted by Conor Crowley | Posted in Camp 2013 | Posted on 09-08-2013

How time flies when you are having fun! Time for a blog post!

Thursday, we had another early morning and after breakfast we headed over to a neighbouring town called Srbsko where the team from JEKA took us on a short 2km walk to an area of stunning rock faces and our rock climbing began.

All the scouts took part and we’ve discovered a few mountain goats amongst them they way the scaled up the side of the mountain!!

Movie night after dinner and early to bed.

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