You can read Aisling's excellent pre-log for the Phoenix AND Annual camp log HERE

Annual camp Cappanalea Kerry 2013

Thursday 1st August

Early start for us all as we congregated at the scout den. The bus was waiting for us (which was to become the norm for the week). We all get on the bus and we start our long journey down to Kerry. 5 hours later we arrive at Cappanalea. The place is in the middle of nowhere, beside 2 big lakes and too far to walk to the nearest town of Kilorglin.

As we disembarked the bus the rain decided to piss down on us. So we all got drenched as we took all our gear out of the bus and put it into the main centre. We then get our “talk” of the rules of information about the centre itself, most of which turned out to be incorrect!

We are lead to our campsite, which involved heading up some grassy steps and over a style and then heading down the road to our field. We were delighted to find a big marquee there so we could use that as our base. We set up our tents quickly finding that the ground was full of rocks as we tried to bang the pegs into the ground.

Poor Karl was feeling ill so he went to bed early. The rain subsided and we were able to get all our tents up. We all congregated in the Marquee and some scouts were modelling onesies. Paul took out his Diabolo which proved to be a popular diversion for the week.

It was an extremely windy night and this was punishing on the tents!

Friday 2nd August

Up and Atom. The group gets split in two, where one group heads off to kayak and the other group heads off to rock climb and then vicaversa in the afternoon.

Ciara Beatty had now joined us now.

The sun was shining and it was a crackin' day. We walked the short distance down to Cappanalea lake where we get into out kayaks and head out into the lake. Paul was the first to throw himself in to the water. We played some games in the water before getting out and back to the centre for a shower and then back to our campsite for lunch.

After lunch we went rock climbing. We walked the long distance to the rocks where with our two loverly guides and then went rock climbing and abseiling.

After our very active day we enjoyed a dinner of Spagbol. We “collected” as much wood from the woodpile as possible and lit the campfire. We all waited patiently for midnight so that we could say happy birthday to David and give him his present, which was a scrapbook signed by the scouts and leaders.

Saturday 3rd August

Up and Atom. Today was David's 14th birthday. We enjoyed a lie-in before getting up for brekkie.

Joe was cycling down from Kilarney and he joined us in the afternoon.

After breakfast we decided it would be a good idea to build a tower. So we did.. Unfortunately the inverted tripod was too heavy and also a wee bit off line so it was not the most stable tower in the world. However we climbed it anyway before we took it down.

Ciara headed off as she had work the next day.

We headed down to the big lake for a swim before heading back up to the site for dinner. After dinner we headed down to the campfire before we go to bed.

Sunday 4th August

Up and Atom. Bright and early for our bus to the foot of Carrauntoohil, Cronon's yard. We arrived at Cronin's yard and set off on our arduous journey. It was a hazy day, no sun but it wasn't raining.

We proceed up the main track and then we split the group. The faster scouts and Vents proceeded up Brother O’Shea’s Gully while the “not so fast” scouts and Vents had to do a bit of back tracking and headed up the shorter and more direct Devil's ladder route.

We made our way up the steep, rocky ladder with very loose rocks that got dislodged from time to time. We eventually reached the top of the ladder where we dropped our gear and most of us made a dash for the top. The rocky summit ridge took about 40 mins to get to the summit but we were delighted when we got there and met up with the other scouts.

We touched the big cross before descending the way we came (well at least one of the tracks as there are a good few and they all lead back down to the top of the ladder). We carefully descend the ladder before the tedious track all the way back to Cronin;s yard where the bus had been waiting for us all day. We got back on the bus tired but elated after climbing Ireland's highest mountain.

We decided against cooking that night so we order pizza from Apache which went down well with everyone.

We then lit another fire and chilled out before going to bed knackered.

Monday 5th August

We enjoyed a lie-in. After breakfast we headed down to the lake for more swimming. After swimming we headed back up to the campsite for lunch, More pioneering then as we proceeded to build ourselves a table. Paul tried his best to start a fire by friction but to no avail.. Next time...

Joe left us today and cycled back to Kilarney before getting a train back to Dublin. Dinner that night was good old bangers and mash which went down well.

The Venturers and 3 of the scouts decided they wanted to bivvy down by the lake so they made their bivvy sites and spent the night down there.

The rest of the scouts played Werewolves and Villagers in the Marquee which proved to be our annual camp game. In this game you really find out who your friends are :)

Tuesday 6th August

Another lie-in for the lads. After brekkie, we headed down to the lake again. Ciara joined us again today.

After the lake there was a game of footie. After more games of Werewolves and Villagers we had dinner and after dinner we had a challenge game for the Scouts and Vents organised by Paul. The scout lads won this challenge.

Another chilled out evening in the Marquee, where the Werewolves game was played to its extreme. And then we all headed to bed.

Wednesday 7th August

Up and Atom. We had our brekkie and headed to the car park to get our bus (which of course was waiting for us).

Our bus took us to the beautiful town of Kilarney. We proceeded to head down towards the lakes where we hired out row boats so as to row out to the islands.

We walked back through the “gardens” having to get out of the way of the many horse drawn carriages with big fat Americans in them.

When we got back to the town the scouts went to Subway for some foot longs while the Vents went to Eddie Rockets for some “food”.

We then had free time to wander around the town shopping. There was a Dealz where pretty much every thing is €1.49.

We got back to the bus and headed back to Cappanalea. Another night of Werewolves followed before we all went to bed for the last time on the campsite.

Thursday 8th August

Up and Atom. We get up early and start dropping our site. We managed to get the whole site down and clean by 12pm. However the bus was picking us up at 1pm. So we had an extra hour to chill out before getting on our bus and bidding farewell to Cappanalea.

The bus stopped in Adare, Co. Limerick, where we got chipper for everyone in Norio's. We then got back on our bus and headed back to Dublin. We arrived back at the den to awaiting parents. We then pack away the gear and hang the wet tents and head home to recover from a tiring but fantastic week.