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Kandersteg 2010 July 29th – August 5th

written by Derek Kinsella (except parts about Bunderspitz hike and Overnight climbing workshop which was written by Cormac Doyle) any complaints please bring them to the attention of the people who were supposed to write the log i.e. the scouts...

Swiss Records

Swiss record for most singing, dancing and chanting over the 10 days: Derek

Swiss record for being the first person up most days: Cormac

Swiss record for the fussiest eater: Keith

Swiss record for the cleanest and straightest hair without washing or straightening it: Joe

Swiss record for being a female leader and containing herself among 3 hot male leaders! (Can't include Cormac here, I mean he is hot and all that but he's her brother, probably): Susan

Swiss record for most attractive person: Dora

Swiss record for being pinkest: Ciara

Swiss record for joke telling: Conor

Swiss record for robbing the most amount of food: Liam

Swiss record for grumpiest person in the morning: Ailbhe

Swiss record for losing his boarding card: Cameron

Swiss record for keeping up international relations: Christina

Swiss record for most smiling: Cillian

Swiss record for never getting lost... EVER: Claudia

Swiss record for Fire lighting: Daniel

Swiss record for hiding in Long grass: Emily

Swiss record for interrupting: Helen

Swiss record for dropping helmets: Jenny

Swiss record for long walks: Kate

Swiss record for holding her true nationality a secret for so long: Katri

Swiss record for most short filming: Lee

Swiss record for protecting female scouts: Leo

Swiss record for using the most profanities: Mark

Swiss record for most use of knife: Mattie

Swiss record for most amount of TV quotes: Nathan

Swiss record for most amount of putting up with annoying leaders: Orla

Swiss record for eating most amount of cereal without alpine milk: Paul

Swiss record for not injuring herself: Rebecca

Swiss record for drawing people: Ruth

Swiss record for barefoot walking on Alpine mountains: Sophie F

Swiss record for descriptive story telling: Sophie L

Swiss record for hip clothes: Trish

Camp phrases

Captain's Log book

Tuesday 29th July: Arrive

Bright and early on this Tuesday morning, we all made our way out to Bewley's Sandyford in order to get the aircoach. We were all on time and we met Keith who had arrived an hour earlier so as to avail of the full Irish breakfast that Bewley's has to offer. This proved to be a prudent choice as we would not be able to get this type of food again for 10 days!

We leave in the aircoach for the airport. On reaching the airport we figured out that we are quite early so we chilled out in 'normal' people's way! Ailbhe decided to join us as she wasn't that sick at all, just faking it and wanted to annoy her mother by making her drive quickly to the airport. Becky had managed to join us on the aircoach and she had the same affliction!

Checked in our luggage and started the slow and tedious process of Ireland's airport security. I for one hate taking my boots off, apart from filling the air with my feet's wonderful aroma, the fact is the laces are a nightmare to tie! Anyway we all got through safely and proceeded towards our gate. The Sophies decided to get lost before heading through security... To be fair you really could have an excellent annual camp in their imagination.

Cameron on the way decided to lose his boarding card. This of course could have happened anywhere between Travelator racing and buying ridiculously over-priced sweets in a limited selection shop-type thing, word of warning, always buy what you want before security, after that you are in a captive market, where the airport could sell “snot in a bag” to you and there is nothing you can do about it!...

Anyway after all the scouts ran onto the plane leaving an ever so happy and always unperturbed Cameron at the gate, he finally got a written one and was allowed board the plane.

I suppose this is the perfect opportunity to comment on the niceties of the Swiss Air flight, they gave us food, rubbish food but it was free so happy days. They also had a bigger plane than Ryanair so kudos to Swiss Air, it was a relatively enjoyable 2 hour flight. Don't get me wrong I like Ryanair, you get what you pay for, but it's kinda like sleeping in silk sheets after being used to cotton, you just don't want to go back to the cotton do you?

We arrived in Zurich and picked up our bags quickly. We weren't waiting around for anyone's bag or anything, like last year Emily! We arrived in the arrival lounge (of course) and saw our name up on a sign, which filled us all with a sense of fuzziness or importance, whichever. Our coach was ready and waiting to bring us the rest of the way.

The coach trip was relatively uneventful except for the odd sight of motorway. That is until we hit the Interlaken area when the Alps decided to throw themselves on us. We then had the inkling that we were in a foreign country, Switzerland maybe...!

We arrived in Kandersteg and we meet Ciara, our wonderful leader who is a pinkie and campsite manager in Kandersteg. How wonderful it was to see her and hugging her was like meeting a wonderful childhood friend after 30 years apart.

We checked in as the scouts set up our site which was half way up the campsite area. We also did some shopping in the Coop. This Coop was to become a very important part of our camp. We met the insatiable and beautiful Dora, who worked diligently behind the checkout with a smile and eyes that draw you in on their first glance.

I presume we had dinner, I can't remember what it was, but it was from the Coop and it was probably chicken of some sort and contained cheese!

Wednesday 28th July: Hikes

Up early as would become normal. Breakfast was some Swiss equivalent of cornflakes with UHT milk which is udderly disgusting and beyond reproach, I mean wow, the stuff may last for ever and stuff but the taste is worse than toenails coated with marmite. It was to be fresh milk or dry cornflakes for the rest of the camp. Paul expressed his immediate dislike and abandoned ALL milk for the rest of the camp.

The group was to be split today, one group was to go on the Bunderspitz hike and the other group were to go on a cheese hike, without the cheese.

Group 1: Bunderspitz hike

Our first morning in Kandersteg started at 6am with 14 of us start getting ready for we later find out to be an 8.5hr hike.

The 14 of us, “Cormac, Joe, Lee, Paul, Danie, Ruth, Mark, Nathan, Christina, Jenny, Claudia, Rebecca, Katri AND Orla;)” still very much asleep head off to meet our KISC leader for the day, Jenneke from the Netherlands. After a quick meeting and gear check, “and yes there’s always 1”, Nathan was sent off to get a loan of a pair of boots from the Center.

We finally set off with a short walk down to the Allmenalp cable car, the steepest in Europe. After being split in to two groups we headed up the on the cable car with amazing views out over the Kandersteg valley. After we all reached the top of the cable car, Jenneke pointed out where we heading for, as we all turned around to have a look all you could here was “We’re not heading up there are we?”.

Bunderspitz was way off in the distance at the top of a huge valley, that was it, our 2546m challenge and according to a very handy signpost it was going to be about a 2hr 45min walk. As Jenneke explained to us that the timings were based on a typical Swiss family of 2 parents and 2 children aged 8 & 10.

The start of the walk was a blistering top day through lush Swiss meadows full of cows all wearing bells, which is to keep the calm and relaxed, who knew..

As we started to leave the meadows we started the real walking, narrow stony paths that twist and wined there way steeply up the valley. At this stage the legs were already starting to feel the burn so it was time to start our Alpine Plod, a slow monotonous place but it would keep us all going.

As we climbed even higher the path started to narrow and narrow all the way to a point where it ran along under a huge rock perched at the edge of a very steep drop, and all along the side of the rock was a steel cable anchored to this rock to give you something to hold onto and stop the legs from shaking. As we rounded the rock to mountain just opened out into another meadow, this is where we were to leave our bag for the final push to the summit and with the help of another very handy signpost it would take us about 20mins.

As we left our bags behind we started to climb a steep stony track that wound its way along a narrow ridge with fantastic views back down to Kandersteg on our right and the other valley on our left. As we got closer we could see a large cross and stone mount marking the top. When we reached to summit we all collected a stone and added them to the mound and then all signed to Log book which is stored with a bible in a tin box at the base of the mount.

As most of us admired the views and took a few photos, 2 of the scouts thought it would be a good time to fix their make-up, yes that’s you Jenny and Christina, keeping it stylish in the Alps.

After a few minutes on the summit we headed back down towards where we had left your bags passing that “typical Swiss family” on the way. This is where we were going to stop for lunch.

As we were getting ready to set off after lunch it was time to wake everyone up again for the second time today. Jenneke explained to us that this would be the most technical part of our walk, almost 3km of steep srcee walking along the base of 1000 foot vertical cliffs and the a short climb to a col between 2 peeks.

As Jenneke went to lead the way we split into 3 smaller groups to make the going a little safer, but just we were about to leave we found what we were all looking for “SNOW!”, so after a little snow ball fight it was time to start for real.

After about an hour and a half on the scree, which was hard going we finally reached the col where we could see our way back down to the adjacent Ueschinen valley floor. YE! Downhill. And about 30mins later, “My legs are hurt”, and yes this was going to be the worst part of the day, 600m down and then another 800m from there down to the Kandersteg valley. But there was something to look forward to halfway down, a toilet! But when we get there, shock horror, its a little metal shed with a plank of wood for a set with a big drop to an open tank “Trainspotting eat you heart out”. So after a very short pit stop we started on out final 2hr walk back to the camp site (which would soon be known as home)

Arriving back at 17:30 it still wasn’t over, time to make dinner...

Group 2: Cheese hike without the cheese i.e. just hike!

The other 14, Derek, Keith, Susan, Cillian, Ailbhe, Emily, Sophie F, Sophie L, Kate, Leo, Trish, Mattie, Helen and Cameron were debating what to do. We walked fallaciously towards the Kandersteg reception and then out by the side of the river. After some frolicking in the long grass and some wrong turns (which was Keith's fault) we finally reached the Allemanalp cable car. In two goes we all reached the top of the cliff where the views of Kandersteg and mountains bowled us over. We had some overpriced sandwiches and drinks at the “Restaurant” before meandering along the track and start the slow decent back to Kandersteg.

We quickly realised that we could get an electric shock while walking through the gates so this added to our excitement.

Sophie F decided that it would be better to walk in her socks on the uneven ground rather than her wonderful Dunnes Stores boots. So as some of us were floating at the back another group decided to run on ahead. Susan ran after them and kicked their asses. They had to hold back the tears after witnessing the wrath of Susan.

We then went back to the campsite and people wanted to go down to the Coop in the Village to see the beautiful Swiss supermodel that is Dora. I mean I cannot describe her beauty with normal words. Heaven is missing an angel that is all I can say.

More Swiss food was eaten that night no doubt. This is a good time to point out that we were not just a group of 28 misfits we also had 2 extra stragglers joining us, Conor and Liam, they ate our food and told all the scouts some wonderfully appropriate jokes. Never will I be putting jam or marmalade on my toast again.

It was night of the Dish-co... So we sauntered down to the village to attend this Wesley-esque treat for scouts. After some up keeping of international relations with our closest neighbours, the engerlish we retreat back to our campsite where we promptly went to bed as we were basically all danced out.

Thursday 29th July: Crate stacking, eh no indoor climbing!!!

Woke up to that wonderful sound of pitter patter on my tent, after some moments of thinking it was Dora I realised it was RAIN, and of course that just messes up everything. We got up and put on our rain gear, well those of us that have rain gear that is, i.e. the proper stuff that you actually have to pay more than 100 quid for and not some cheap ass Penney's rain jacket that gets you wet in the sun!

Crate staking was unfortunately canceled which was very disappointing for us all especially for me and Helen that planned to beat our record from last years Gilwell crate stacking extravaganza. Anyway it got replaced with indoor rock climbing which everyone seems to enjoy somehow.

Finally got around to selecting PL's. The jobs for the PL's was going to be shopping for food and cooking for the rest of the camp. Our wonderful PL's were Orla, Emily, Ailbhe, Ruth and Katri.

Group was split in two and the morning group all went down to where the dish-co was on the previous night. The smell of sweat still soaked the air. Climbing was just super exciting as each individual scout put on the harness and scaled the wall only to come back down again. The timid English scouts were with us and they provided as much entertainment as a fish in an empty fishbowl.

When we got back the rain had foraged its way towards our tents and we spent hours digging trenches and bailing water away from the tents. Conor and Liamo joined us in this wonderful adventure.

So after this mammoth task the morning group went down to see the sexy Dora and dinner was prepped. As we are Irish we had mashed potatoes and what the Swiss call sausages, but they were more like salami with a hard skin that no one liked except the ironically fussy eater Keith!

The weather picked up a bit as it can so easily do in Kandersteg, the weather can change in a matter of seconds, weather forecastors there must have a nightmare of a job. Anyway the sun came out for the evening part of the day, yeah-eeee...

After the sun disappeared behind our surrounding mountains we chilled out.

Friday 30th July

Scouts were woken up to the wonderful feeling a boot to the face, thrown in to their tents by the most gracious leader, me! They loved it, especially Ailbhe who says she's not a morning person ….......funny how the morning can last all day!

Finally we had fresh milk and bread from Kandersteg... beautiful. Our cornflakes were now treated to the beautiful alpine milk from heavily clad alpine cows. After breakfast the group was split again, one group was to go on an overnight climbing excursion, while the other group was going to do the zip wire.

Group 1: Overnight climbing workshop

We all meet at the main lodge at 14:15 in anticipation, who will be our KISC guides. “Hi my name’s Kim from the U.S.” & “Hi I’m Doug form Texas”. So after the introductions it’s time for that all important gear check and once again “I need boots” and you know who you were (Sophie and Nathan). Everything sorted it was time to leave for the Ueschinenhütte at a height of 1,890 meters it’s about a 3 hour walk from the Centre (@1100m) in the heart of the Ueschinen valley.

After about 1.5hrs we stopped at “The Bench” the usual rest stop on the way up where Kim (Who is know from Knoxville Tennessee not just the US) explains a game which is played in the valley called “The Cow Lick Challenge”. The task is simple; take a photo of a cow licking you to gain points, different points for different points of the body, most points win. Not a good challenge to give the scouts they’ll all ways take it to the max.

So challenge set, it was time to set off and finish our days walking. About half way up through the valley Doug got us all to stop at a signpost where he explains that everyone is to stick together on the stretch of road as it’s very prone to rock falls and to keep our eyes on the mountain. Hum not what you want to here, but the fun was only getting started.

About 30mins from the hut the fun really, the cow lick challenge was on. Leo lead the way, straight to a herd of cows quickly followed by Mark and Sophie and the challenge started. After a quick tot up of the point and announcing Leo the winner we headed off.

As we arrived at the hut we all gathered on the veranda dropped our bags and kicked off the boots, how good did that feel. We were split into two groups where Kim explained the rules of the hut and gave us a quick tour, that done it was time to find a bed, “Oh my god a real bed” that sorted it was time to make dinner.

As the scouts relaxed in the dining room, the leaders (Cormac, Keith & Joe) prepared dinner, slaving over a hot 1 ring burner and a wood burning stove. And 45mins later dinner is served, Pasta Carbonara and Cheese Pasta, a good feed after a long day.

23:30 time for a good nights sleep in a real bed, and an early start.

Group 2: Zip wire, pizza and International Campfire

We chill out in the morning and then in the afternoon we head to the zip wire. Well we were treated to the most excitable young pinkie in Switzerland. God knows what part of the planet (if this one) she came from but all she could do was smile and talk about how everything was the most amazing thing she has ever done. Well, if I had shown her my freckle on the palm of my hand it just would have blown her socks off, I just couldn't take the risk.

The zip wire was just immense fun, the best part, was the climb up to the platform. This would then be followed by a 5 second decent. Kinda pointless really if you think about it.

Anyway after the zip wire we head down to the village to get pizza. They were ready for us and we got 14 wonderfully presented little pizzas from a Swiss guy who looked like he was hiding children in his basement!

After pizza we skip back to the campsite and wait in uncontrollable excitement for the international campfire. Well this was a spectacle indeed. Over 1000 scouts were seated around the very symbolic fire where it was lit in the name of love, peace, friendship and some other crap. Anyway we did our peace for them with the help of the Conor and Liam by singing a response song!

It all got too much for Frank and Paul and they went back to the site to light a fire, being the great scouts that they are we all expected to come back to a roaring fire, hmmmm, memory fails me at the moment to whether this actually happened or not!

Quiet time in Kandersteg is half 10 and they are very strict on it. The fun police are traipsing about destroying any sound leaking out from a campsite!

Saturday 31st July

Group 1: Climbing

06:30 wakey wakey rise and shine time for breakfast and get ready for a days climbing.

Our first post of call was a little bit of bouldering to 2 huge boulders only a few minutes walk from the hut. This is where we were to get in some practice and to test our still for what was to come, “Milk Rock”

After an hour or so bouldering it was time to move on to something a little more challenging. When we arrived at the next climb Doug went off to set up the equipment as Kim started to explain what was going to happen on how thing were going to work, but half way through “The Cow lick Challenge” came back to play as one very curious young cow joined the briefing, so after a little cow licking it was back to business and back to climbing. On with the harnesses and tie into the rope and up we go. After about an hour here it was time for lunch, so pack the bags and back to the hut we went.

Once again something funny would have to happen, all day we were told “Be careful with the helmets, don’t drop them” but of course it would have to happen and in style. Heading back along the track to the hut, sorry Jenny, but not only does she drop the helmet, but she drops it 30 feet into a river. So after we retrieve the helmet we head on.

After a very nice lunch back on our sun drenched veranda it’s time to clean the hut, pack the rest of our gear and leave for Milk Rock.

Milk Rock is a 35 foot high bolder perched on the side of road with 2 routes, our last port of call for the day. Time to put all that practice in to play. After about an hours climb and falling time to pack up the gear and head for home and leaving Doug to run back up to the hut to drop off the equipment and catch back up with us.

Arriving back at the Centre at about 17:30, returned the borrowed boots and thanked Kim and Doug and got presented with badges for our successful completion of the workshop, Happy Out.

Now time for dinner……….

Group 2: Pool and Coop

We had a lie in, thank the lord, no moaning and everyone was happy as Dora was when she won Miss Switzerland back in 2007. We lazily had breakfast and then contemplated what to do for the day.

We headed down to the outdoor swimming pool. Amazing pool, with views of the mountains, a diving board and a slide! Some English scouts decided in their wisdom to follow me down the slide all at the same time, blocking the water making me trapped in the slide, morons...

Sophie L decided to start a splashing competition with some random swimmer who was at least 112. She didn't take it well, she was no fun at all, she looked liked a woman who feels the whole world is against her, we all know the type, all they really need is a good....... holiday or book or something!

After the pool we head up to buy food from the elegant Dora and then back to the campsite. We meet up with the other group and celebrations all round, we missed them so much, there were hugs and tears galore!

After dinner there was more free time and then our little campfire on our site which was brilliant. Jenny and Cameron seemed to be getting on just swimmingly. After that we went to bed in great anticipation for the next day...

Sunday 1st August: Swiss National Day

Up bright and early on this beautiful sunny day! We brought our breakfast down to the sports field and ate there with all the scouters. This was followed by aerobics which was just fantastic indeed.

We went back to our campsite after this and got ready for mini golf down in the village. The excitement never ends... After getting our photo taken with the jolly Santa who was clearly on holidays in Kandersteg (Liam told us he was jolly because he knows where all the naughty girls live) we saunter down to the village.

Unsurprisingly mini golf was very popular and we had to wait, so we had enough time for a coffee or a quick peak at the ever more beautiful Dora in the Coop. We flew around the mini golf course, losing a few balls in the process but really who cares.

After this marvelous activity we head back to the campsite. We get into our non-existent Swiss costumes and head back down to the sports field for the carnival where myself and Keith got soaked somehow as it was not raining, I'm blaming Emily and Paul! After some tight-tape walking, Katri, Ruth, Orla, Ailbhe and Emily as well as moi danced to the Y.M.C.A. with some Engerlish scouters. And we won some coconuts which was bizarre to tell you the truth.

Dinner time was a BBQ down by reception. Twas a nice oul BBQ to be fair. Lee's undercooked steak was delish! But drops of rain started to fall as we were finishing our dinner so we rushed back to the campsite. It eased off and we got into our uniforms as we were to march down to the village in a parade form.

We meet all the 1500 scouts in the sports field, Claudia lit the candle for Ireland before we joined the back of the queue and then we paraded down the village dancing, singing, yelling and bashing people. It was an epic march down, easy to lose yourself in the moment. Some moron decided to try and drive down through the scouts only to be met by kicks, luckily he broke down half way to the village, Conor gave the driver a nice 2 fingered salute.

When we reached the field for the exciting alp horns and political speeches from the Mayor, who no doubt wants to stay neutral, it started to rain down quite hard. As we were close to the back we were able to bail off as we had no rain gear on. So we pick the scenic route back by the river, sure why not.

On our walk back in the rain we were treated to our own fireworks display as there was thunder and lightning. This was to most people's enjoyment but not everyone likes the power of mother nature.

We arrived back at the campsite wetter than an unwanted kitten. Shoved our wet clothes in the drying room which is about as good as blowing on them for half and hour but what can you do?

We then went to our tents and curled up in our sleeping bags and looked forward to another wonderful day in the Swiss country village.

Monday 2nd August: The Lake

Up and atom at 7ish so as to make flag break. So after a quick breakfast we head down to the sports field lacking in uniform and general neckerchief, I mean we looked like “normal” people, that's how bad it was.

Ailbhe was our spokes person and she introduced us (in-between moments of laughing) to all of Kandersteg and we sang Hick-a-maliah...

Hick-a-maliah Ha!, Hick-a-maliah Hee!
I-R-E-L-A-N-D, A-Boomalaka, Boomalaka,
Have you any doubts? We are, we are Irish Scouts!
Céad Míle Fáilte, Eire go Brách,
Fág an bhealach, Fág an bhealach,
Sea, Sea Seaaaa!

After this we all sat on each other's lap in a giant circle which worked for all of 10 seconds. The we headed back to the campsite (surprise surprise) and we packed lunch. Lunch was, and indeed for most days ham and cheese sandwiches.

We headed down to the village stopping by the Coop to sneak a peak at the breathtaking Dora before heading to the Oeschinensee cable car. We were nervous of the bad weather but we went up anyway because that's the type of rebels we are!

At the top of the cable car we went to the summer sledge run, unfortunately this was not running due to the dampness. The operator kept teasing us by drying and testing the track but we felt this was a dream. Anyway we sauntered down to the lake which was about an hours walk away. After lunch some of the scouties went off in a row boat where they proceeded to get lost in the fog, due to their complete lack of rowing ability! While the real brave few got into the lake. I cannot describe how cold it was... but if you were naked in the middle of Siberia in the middle of winter you would be getting close to how cold it was, it was basically colder than Pluto! Epic though.

We walked back to the village down the steep track route. Would have been easier to take the cable car of course but that's not the type of people we are. On arrival back at the campsite we made dinner of course. Then more free time of course so that international relations could be maintained. We are fortunate to have the chivalrous Leo that swore an oath to protect young vulnerable ladies against the perils of unscrupulous males...

Tuesday 3rd August: Aare River rafting and Bern

Early morning again and an impromptu breakfast fight, less said about this the better! In my defense cornflakes are pretty rank anyway and don't deserve to be eaten! Then we rushed down to the train station. We were just in time to validate the tickets and get everyone on the train. The train elegantly got us from Kandersteg to Thun where we walked swiftly through the town/city (debatable) to get to our river rafts.

After all the paper work we were ready to go and Simon, our wonderful guide told us how to paddle and how Helen should hold the paddle. We then got changed in the street like we had NO SHAME, Joe even mooned us all as his little towel was incapable of covering all! We got into 4 separate boats, not just saying this but the boat I was on had the coolest people, just saying like. Jokes were told and singing was a plenty on the “white” water. Otherwise it was a peaceful relaxing ride to Bern. A certain lady flirted with Simon, most of us jumped in and floated down the river from time to time and this resulted in boat swopping.

On reaching Bern we bid our farewell to the guides and got back into our normal clothes. We then went to the park and made lunch, what was lunch you ask, well it was ham and cheese (and salami for the lucky people). Joe dived into the outdoor swimming pool as he saw a diving board and had never done it before so why not? This park is worth mentioning as the grassy part had a bin after every 5 meters, I mean in total there were about 40 bins, to be fair there was little to no rubbish, unlike Stephen's green which has a few bins and loads of rubbish as people treat Dublin parks like a public dump.

Free time in Bern where people bought chocolate, knives and whatever. We then proceed to the train station and found our train to Kandersteg. Kate, Leo and Christina decided they didn't want to get our train and had to be persuaded.

The train brought us back to Kandersteg in style, we went back to the campsite and had dinner of course. This was followed by free time, some people including Cameron decided not to avail of this free time but to colour his hair instead. This is probably a good time to bring up another personal gripe... Seemingly each night a selection of young ladies felt they needed to change their god given hair to a straighter version!

Hair straighteners: I mean what is wrong with curly hair, why do our girls decide that they will only “pick-up” a guy if they have straight hair. Also we are on camp....! CAMP not Wesley.... even 10 years ago when I was in Kandersteg the girls did not use hair straighteners. For future reference, the following attractive ladies have NOT got naturally straight hair:

Alica Keys, Minnie Driver, Nicole Kidman, Florence Welch, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Holly Willoughby, Vanessa Hudgens, Drew Barrymore, Taylor Swift, Pamela Anderson, Jenny Agutter, Farrah Fawcett, Frizz from Corrie and Dora from the Coop.... look 'em up people!!!

Wednesday 4th August: Tidy-up and pack away.

We had a bit of a lie in to be fair but it was all hands on deck to drop our site and clean up the tents. We packed away our gear and cleaned better than any other camp we've been on. Ciara was a little more strict on the cleanliness of the pots and pans, changed since the days of Lough dan and their casual attitude.

After cleaning the pots it was time for pizza. Pizza for all, well nearly all, 2 scouties decided to skip work and therefore were to miss out on pizza. These 2 people were replaced by, you guessed it, Conor and Liam. We bought bread, ham and cheese for the 2 “rebels” who staged their own little protest by not even touching it (after going into the Coop to buy it for them and all, still it was worth it to see the effervescent Dora).

Pizza was gooooood... Keith of course, Mr. “I'm a fussy eater” Lamon, messed up the system and ordered spaghetti bolognaise. We splashed out and got ourselves desert. After that the call of the playground beckoned, of course as all the scouts are under 5!

Emotions ran high as the scouts gave all the leaders presents. Simply wonderful... We head back to the campsite and what do have...? More free time, yeah-eeee.

We set up shop that night in the large Marquee. Some ideas of an all nighter were thrown around and 4 or 5 actually managed to do it. Indeed 5 people spent about 4 hours in the shower, if the shower was on they would have been shriveled up like a walnut!

Thursday 5th August: Home

The day had finally come. A note of sadness filled the air, but this was overshadowed by the burden of rushing quietly with all our gear to the meeting point.

This is also the right time to bring up the point that our coach had arrived 24 hours too early, well done Kandersteg, ah well, not to worry, it arrived again on that morning and we all wearily got on it and slept for most of the journey to Zurich.

We checked in as a group and all our bags were 150 kg under the max weight so happy days. Again getting through security was fun... I had to take off my mucky boots and scouts got checked with their lighters and drinks. Claudia had to physically fight the security man to get her can back.

We boarded the plane and had another pleasant flight back to Dublin. We then hiked through the 4 mile trek that is Dublin airport and collected our baggage. That is after bringing our foreign scout through immigration!

And so we had made it, everyone in one piece and still talking to each other, a successful camp then if you ask me. So where to next year, now that is the question?