Camp 2015 – Castle Saunderson – The photo’s are here now!!!!!


Posted by Enda | Posted in 2nd Scouts, 47th Scouts, 6th Scouts, Camp 2015, Venture News | Posted on 09-08-2015


Camp 2015 – Castle Saunderson- Photo’s update…


Posted by Enda | Posted in 2nd Scouts, 47th Scouts, 6th Scouts, Camp, Camp 2015, Group News, News, Rover News, Scout News, Venture News | Posted on 02-08-2015

Hi All,

Just a quick note that we ARE working on the photo slide show for camp.  This year, we have WAY more photo’s than normal – so it’s taking much longer to pick the ones we want to use.


Keep an eye on the site!!!

Some thoughts on Camp 2015 – Castle Saunderson


Posted by Enda | Posted in Camp 2015 | Posted on 20-07-2015

Well, we’re back!

It’s really amazing how quickly two weeks can pass.  At the start of camp it seems that 2 weeks is forever – by the end of camp it’s just like a blink of an eye.

I just thought that maybe I should put down a few thoughts (purely of my own) on the camp that has just passed.


Probably the best think to say is let’s not go there!  Over the years, we’ve had good weather and back.  Suffice to say, this year wasn’t great!  It’s very rare that we’d go through two weeks of camp without ANY good weather. It’s also true to say though that it could have been much worse.  We rarely had any time that we could not partake of planned activities – and that’s a definite plus.


It is no exaggeration to suggest that the work that goes into organizing a camp is significant!  A huge thanks is owed to all the Scouters on camp – and in particular Conor, Nick & Wendy.  The work put down between initial planning, booking activities, arranging transport etc is huge.  Kudos to them all.


I think Wendy has to get huge thanks here.  It’s often “behind the scenes” but it’s certainly not unnoticed.  Wendy is always on top of the food etc that we need, while also catering for any dietary needs.  We couldn’t ask for better.


I know that I’m going to regret trying to remember everyone but… Sincere thanks to Conor, Nick, Wendy, Vickie, Cian, Mark, Brian, Shane, Michael, Richard, Evan, Siobhan, Ger, Katie & Joe.  In Castle Saunderson, huge thanks to Tony, Siobhan, Stephen & Brevin & all the other staff.

Special thanks must go to Michael Coughlan.  Without his ongoing assistance, camp couldn’t have happened in Castle Saunderson.  Not only did we have a coach for the two weeks, but Michael was also there for some of the time grafting hard, putting up tents etc.


We often talk about how great the young people on camp are.  This year it’s absolutely 110% true.  Rarely if ever have we had a bunch of campers as positive, enthusiastic & good humored as the people at camp this year.  Every one of the Scouts & Venture Scouts at camp can take a well deserved pat on the back.  And their parents can take responsibility for these virtues in no small part as well.


A great camp – despite the weather issues.  Often, after camp, we just want to forget about Scouting for a few weeks.  Not this year!  We’re already thinking about where we might be going next year!!!!

Yours In Scouting,

Enda Downey
Joint Chairman – Douglas & St. FinBarres Scout Group

Camp 2015: 3rd update…


Posted by Admin | Posted in Camp 2015 | Posted on 14-07-2015

Day five, written by John Issacs

We got up and had breakfast. After breakfast we had to do a pioneering project called the gladiators of castle Saunderson. We had to build a cage for the captured gladiators. We put Kim in ours and the other team put Owen in theirs. Both teams raced each other and the other team won. After that we had a picnic. There was sandwiches, crisps, jellies and cookies. We then had to make a flag pole. We all got really competitive and tried to have the tallest pole. Ours fell and the other team won, AGAIN! 

That was the end of the day really (I forgot what we had for dinner) we just had dinner and went to sleep.

Guest post by Katie Spillane, visiting leader and friend of the group from 34th Clonoulty-Rossmore, Co. Tipperary

I visited Castlesaunderson for two days to lend a hand, and to see how Douglas and St. FinBarres run their summer camp. I’m 19 years old and have recently become a National Rover representative so I love coming back to basics in Scouting and getting to meet new people. After the language barrier of my Tipperary accent was overcome, I settled in well to the family. Each patrol have their own site in which they eat, sleep and *try to* keep neat and tidy. Each patrol have a PL and APL who organise their patrol, and are a credit to their section. Every patrol had no problem cooking their meals, keeping the fires going and cleaning their clothes. What’s more, they each worked together as a team an invaluable skill in Scouting and life. I had the pleasure of witnessing the skills each scout and venture possessed, with thanks to their brilliant team of leaders. I saw pioneering structures flying up, bridges daringly being crossed and (unfortunately) people falling in. Seeing how the troop behaved when we visited Marble Arch Caves and the town of Enniskillen was a sight to behold, they have mastered the skill of ‘switching off’ from camp-mode into real life (almost). I was almost caught in a game of cards to try and make me stay on sight, but unfortunately work called. However, I enjoyed the trip so much that I ventured from Tipperary again to stay a few more nights on site. Douglas and St. FinBarres is an excellent troop, run by an excellent group leader (yes Conor) and team of leaders. I cannot wait to see the next adventure that I have the pleasure of attending. #roverandout #youthempowerment 


Camp 2015: A visitors prospective…


Posted by Admin | Posted in Camp 2015 | Posted on 09-07-2015

A report from Ger Hodkinson, Group Treasurer, and family

Ger, Siobhan & Emma made the trip to Cavan on Tuesday (for one night and got on so well stayed two).

It was wet when we arrived after lunch, we did a quick headcount and the good news parents, was that they were all there (we got to many the first time, we had added in the minions) five minutes later, Conor made a decision that struck terror in the Treasurer- took an axe to the emergency fund to take the gang Bowling as the rafting had been cancelled due to circumstances outside their control.

Having Enda available to drive the bus was great, while they all went to Cavan we went with Nick & Wendy to have a look the options available for a hike in a few days, as always, they check to make sure that the routes are suitable.
We had not realised that it was so close to Fermanagh, the entrance gate is only a couple of hundred metres from the North.

We were back before the Bus and Wendy started the preperation for Dinner. It was very interesting to observe each of the 4 sections working together, gathering firewood, cooking , cleaning etc, their appeared to be great teamwork but the leaders could spot anyone not doing their share and have a quiet word with them. As the cooking was underway Michael, Mark, Vickie, Brian & Shane would keep an eye on progress.
It was still damp later when staff from Castle Saunderson came to organise a game of rounders with the other groups – there is a big indoor area so they were not soaked.
The woods are great for Scouts and they spent the Wednesday building cages, flagpoles and a bridge. No doubt the great work will at some stage be featured on the website.
After dinner in the warm and pleasent sunshine, they had 4 games as part of the camp challenge – they loved the simple games, even picking up peas with a straw. 
Everyone was up by 8am on Thursday as they headed to Marble Arch Caves and later on to Enniskillen. They were all on the bus for 9am as they headed away as we passed them by the gate as we headed home.
Are you heading to Castle Saunderson on Sunday ?

We followed our sat nav which took us off the Motorway before Portlaoise and over towards Tullamore, Mullingar etc and reached Castle Saunderson which is quite well sign posted in just under 4 hours.
On the way back we travelled by Dublin, if anything it took a couple of minutes longer and there was 4 additional tolls.

Thanks again Conor and everyone else who made our brief stay very enjoyable. 

We got back safely, Ger, Siobhan, Emma and the cheque book. 

Camp 2015: 2nd Update…


Posted by Admin | Posted in Camp 2015 | Posted on 08-07-2015

Day three – written by 6th Cork Scout, Liam O’Donovan

We got up at 7:00am to pack bags for our day long hike. We took the bus to the starting point of our hike Little did we know that instead of climbing a mountain or going on a trek trough a valley we took an hour long walk in the country on the side of the road, fortunately we didn’t get splashed by any oncoming traffic and there wasn’t much of it. We were given packed lunches which were eaten before we got to the town. Various strict safety precautions were taken in advance to prevent any casualties. It took us about an hour to get to our destination, Newtownbutler in Co. Fermanagh. 

When we arrived we spent about 20 minutes siting in the rain as we were unable to find any open shops or restaurants, we sat across from a cottage named “The Cottage”. When we continued our search for shops we found the 47th group, who were also wandering around aimlessly, we found a spar in which we bought a list of food and drinks. We stood under a bus stop for another 20 minutes after giving up looking for a supervalu when someone walked past us with a supervalu bag. We found the supervalu minutes afterwards. I bought a jambon and it was delicious. We spent the rest of our time in a nearby public park before parting ways. We took hundreds of wrong turns before, after 2 hours, finally getting picked up by the bus. 

Day four – written by Venture Scout, Mark Salter

We were woken up at 8:15 by Michael with his peaceful voice. We were told by our patrol leader Laura Hurley(Salad), that we would be doing water activities. After our breakfast we left the campsite and walked to a river where we found out that we would be kayaking. We were given our equipment and were brought out on the water. Some of us being a little more comfortable than others. After spending our time on the water, we returned to the campsite for lunch. The second we returned for lunch we realised that everything inside the boys venture tent had been covered in tinfoil  by the 2nd Cork Scouts. Everything inside Shaun Stanley’s bag had been covered in tinfoil including everything inside his wallet. The best ones were the hammer, the 45 individually wrapped tealights and the fact that they used 75 meters of tin foil. We would like to thank Michael (Venture leader) for coming up with this prank and his only regret was not buying more.

We were then supposed to go raft building but it had to be rescheduled. So to our surprise we were brought bowling. On the way there Conor (Group Leader) gave us a lot of useful information such as that Castle Saunderson was owned by the Saunderson’s. Enda dropped us in the middle of nowhere and we had to walk and were late. Everyone enjoyed it and Shaun Stanley got the fastest bowl of 19.5 mph and Brian getting the slowest of 2.3 mph. After returning to the campsite we played a game of rounders where Michael was way too competative. Cian (leader) was a huge cheat and was a sore loser even though his team lost fair and square. After Michael screamed at us to go to bed we said our prayers to almighty Michael and went to sleep.

Next update in a few days…


Camp 2015: We’re settling in…


Posted by Admin | Posted in Camp 2015 | Posted on 06-07-2015

We’re now getting the chance to give you our first update from Castle Saunderson International Scout Centre

Introduction by Group Leader, Conor Crowley

Departing Cork on Saturday July 4th, shortly after 08:30 and after two scheduled stops en route, the bus pulled into Castle Saunderson around 3pm. First impressions are of a fantastic and modern campsite with plenty of room for hundreds more Scouts. Our site is perched in the top right hand corner of the camping field and suits our needs perfectly.

Tents for our youth members and leaders went up in record time and basic site work started to make our two week stay more comfortable. Some scout patrols built their tables and others their fires. Dinner on night one was centrally cooked by the leadership team. We met some of the onsite staff and were made feel very welcome. There are over 100 other Scouts onsite from, Dubin, Sligo and Beaver Scouts from Northern Ireland. 

Our first night ended with a site campfire where we made ourselves known to the other groups onsite and got stuck in and also learned a few new songs from the other troops. Our beds were calling and after hot drinks for everyone a good nights sleep was needed after a long day. 

Everyone is having an excellent time; now over to our scouts to explain the rest of camp in their own words.

Day one – written by 2nd Cork Scout, Eoin Comerford 

When I first arrived at the church where the bus was parked I felt excited but at at the same time tremulous. The atmosphere around me was buzzing with eagernes to get to Cavan. I don’t remember the bus ride very well so I’ll  skip to the arrival. When I first arrived we were so happy to get off the bus but what the scouts and I didn’t realise was tents. Tents. I found it funny that all the patrols except ours were building a normal table but we worked all day on building a complex table. The highlight of the day for me was when all of us started taking pallets so we destroyed a bug hotel that was made from them. Conor got absolutely killed for that although I’m not sure if that was on 2nd day or not. The bug hotel apparently took 6 months to make even though there was a forest next to it. We had spag bol for dinner which was delicious. The first day was tremengous so I see good things for the future of this camp.

Day two – written by 47th Cork Scout, Ciara Barrett

We destroyed a bug hotel and Conor was killed. We got up and had breakfast at 8:30. We were split into two teams at 11:00 a.m. One group did orienteering and the other did crate stacking. At around 12:30 we came back to the site and had lunch at 13:00. After lunch at around 14:00 we did activities and the two groups swapped. During the time we were doing orienteering there was a thunder storm and we had to stop because the Venture leader Michael got scared of the lightning. After we went out again our team won and we got a cd from the 2008 Jamboree and a ruler. Afterwards at 15:30 we started our fire, tidied our site and started our dinner. Saoirse was our cook and I was the assistant. We made sweet and sour chicken. After we ate it, me and Joyce did the washing up. It started raining so we went into the tent. When the rain stopped Mark, Shane, Brian and Michael did a rounders league. The Ventures beat the 2nd and we beat the 6th. Afterwards we came back to the site and talked for a while. We had hot chocolate and biscuits. We went to bed at 23:00

Next update in a few days...


Camp 2015 – We depart Saturday week…. Yahoo


Posted by Admin | Posted in Camp 2015 | Posted on 23-06-2015

The excitement is building as we fast approach our departure date for Camp 2015. Castle Saunderson awaits!!

An email has gone to all parents involved a short while ago with a few reminders and we’ll all meet tomorrow night (Wednesday 24th) in the Scout Hall at 19:00 for one hour to sort out the last bits and pieces

Gear List is as follows:
All Scouts & Venture Scouts are reminded that we travel in FULL Uniform to and from Camp. No exceptions….

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Bivvy Bag
  • Ground Mat
  • Rain Jacket & Leggings
  • Decent Hiking Shoes or boots
  • Runners
  • Tea Towel
  • Unbreakable plate, bowl and mug
  • Knife, Fork and spoon
  • Enough spare changes of clothes, socks and underwear for 2 weeks
  • Old/Worn clothing (that doesn’t need to come home)
  • 2 Towels and personal wash gear
  • Beach Wear including sunscreen
  • Empty Water Bottle
  • Torch or Headlamp

Mobile Phone Policy
We are asking that Scouts & Venture Scouts DO NOT BRING their mobile phone to camp. Apart from adding to any homesick situations that may arise for first time campers it is an expensive item that will get damaged or lost. We understand that some people are going to completely ignore this request so please note the following:

  • Douglas & St. FinBarres Scout Group accepts NO responsibility for any loss or damaged of a mobile phone on camp.
  • Douglas & St. FinBarres Scout Group Leaders will NOT look after, mind, watch over or charge up a mobile phone for Scouts/Venture Scouts on camp.
  • Any Scout or Venture Scout seen using their mobile phone while onsite will have it confiscated and only returned to them when we arrive back in Cork on July 18th (no exceptions)

CAMP 2015 – Here we go…


Posted by Conor Crowley | Posted in Camp 2015 | Posted on 11-06-2015

The countdown is almost over and the start of Camp 2015 is in sight! I hope the Scout or Venture Scout in your life is looking forward to our two weeks away. Here are a few things to note before we do head off.
Everyone going to Camp 2015 now meets on Wednesday nights in the run up to Camp;
Consent Form
Those in attendance last night would have been handed a consent form. This MUST be signed and handed back to the leaders next week or your child cannot attend Camp 2015
Click this link to download and print the form Camp 2015
Money/Fees Owed
All outstanding monies owed are now overdue. Please pay the balance owed at next weeks meeting
We will be departing by coach from the car park of Grange/Frankfield church on Saturday July 4th at 8:30am and returning to the same location on July 18th around 5pm
Location & Visiting
We are staying in Castle Saunderson International Scout Centre, Belturbet, Co. Cavan. As this is an Irish Camp we will assume one or to parents will make the trip to come and visit. We have set aside the second Sunday, July 12th, as parents visiting day and have worked our 2 week program so that we will be onsite that day. If you are intending to visit you might let us know in advance.
Camp Bank/Spending Money
We operate a Camp Bank system while away on summer camp.
  • The Scouts and Venture Scouts spending money is handed up BEFORE we head off and will be looked after by the leaders.
  • This will be given out then to the Scouts & Venture Scouts on activities and hikes etc
  • Please; everyone should have their camp bank handed up by June 24th at the very latest.
  • Camp Bank should include some sterling as we intend crossing into Northern Ireland for a visit on more than one occasion.
  • We recommend 70% of your childs spending money is in €euro and the remaining 30% is in £Sterling
We’ll post a gear checklist here in the next few days.
Online Updates
Where possible we hope to keep our blog up to date to let you know what’s happening. We are on social media and if you wish to follow us and keep up to date with whats happening while we’re away.
Mobile Phone Policy
We are asking that Scouts & Venture Scouts DO NOT BRING their mobile phone to camp. Apart from adding to any homesick situations that may arise for first time campers it is an expensive item that will get damaged or lost. We understand that some people are going to completely ignore this request so please note the following:
  • Douglas & St. FinBarres Scout Group accepts NO responsibility for any loss or damaged of a mobile phone on camp.
  • Douglas & St. FinBarres Scout Group Leaders will NOT look after, mind, watch over or charge up a mobile phone for Scouts/Venture Scouts on camp.
  • Any Scout or Venture Scout seen using their mobile phone while onsite will have it confiscated and only returned to them when we arrive back in Cork on July 18th (no exceptions)
If you’ve any questions please come and talk to one of the leadership team going on camp at one of the upcoming meetings: Conor, Enda, Nick, Wendy, Richard, Michael, Vickie, Mark, Cian, Shane or Brian
Our next meeting, Wednesday 17th of June, will actually take place up in the grounds of Douglas Hall Soccer Club at 7pm until 8:30pm where we’ll be checking all our tents and going over a few cooking tips for everyone.
The following meetings, Wednesday 24th and July 1st, will take place in our hall from 7pm to 8pm
Yours In Scouting,
Conor Crowley – Group Leader


Scout & Venture Camp 2015 – Update


Posted by Conor Crowley | Posted in 2nd Scouts, 47th Scouts, 6th Scouts, Camp 2015, Venture News | Posted on 06-05-2015

With only 9 Saturdays left until we depart for Castle Saunderson it’s time to start getting into the serious business of final planning for Camp 2015

We have 30 youth members travelling this year which is up from the 18 that went to Swansea last year. We are really looking forward to Camp this year.

We are travelling by coach from Cork and will have access to the coach for the 2 weeks which will help hugely in planning activities and trips offsite

Any outstanding monies to be paid for camp should be done so in the next 2 weeks. Please arrange this directly with your section leader.

As it’s an Irish Camp there will be some parents and fellow leaders that may want to come and visit, but please let us know in advance so we can let you know if we’ll be offsite or not!

We are putting Sunday July 12th aside on our program for visitors day so we’re guaranteed to be onsite that day!  The Group Leader is looking forward to welcoming you to the site…

Please note that spending money for Camp will need to be in both Sterling and Euro (we plan on crossing the border)

From June onwards the 3 scout troops and the Venture Crew will meet together so we can get to know each other and make specific plans for our two weeks away; more details on this soon.

Thats all for now…

Conor Crowley
Group Leader