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Wayne travels to County Tyrone and the Isle of Man for a memorable weekend with Scouts and volunteers…


I had one of those weekends last week where it was difficult to know where to start – from was a visit to our most westerly County, Tyrone, where I joined 700 Northern Ireland Cubs at W5 in Belfast to a St George’s Day celebration on the beach of Port Erin, Isle of Man.

Interspersed with this, I was also involved in discussions with the Commissioner Team of Northern Ireland and leaders and supporters – also on the Isle of Man. The ‘insurance policy’ I was advised to carry, in the form of an overcoat and boots, remained in the bag as we enjoyed glorious spring sunshine throughout.

A natural base, and competition

County Tyrone enjoyed their first county camp for many years in the grounds of Baronscourt, the home of the Duke of Abercorn, as well as one of Northern Ireland’s newest Scout Groups, making the most of the wooded area and large lake. A slight downside was the competitive dawn chorus of geese and sheep – although the animals were no doubt complaining of the competition they had from the Cubs!

The Cubs had the opportunity to sleep on their two-hour coach ride to Belfast where they joined 650 other Cubs from across the Province at W5, a fantastic science discovery and activity centre. By the time I caught up with the Cubs they were certainly not short of energy!

Amazing ambassadors

A short plane ride to the Isle of Man and I was ready for another busy 24 hours. I was greeted at the airport by Isla, Mathew and Mark, who are representing the island at the Jamboree and who also escorted me to the island campsite and activity centre. We had a very interesting and wide-ranging discussion about Scouting, the Jamboree and island life in general and it was obvious that they are not only great ambassadors for Scouting but for the Isle of Man too. Thank you guys – see you in Japan!



A memorable weekend

The island had ensured that their St George’s Day was something young people wanted to be involved in and the number of young people involved was fantastic.  My day started by joining 1st Malew Group on a steam train ride from Ballysalla to Port Erin where we met up with the other Groups. All Groups had made dragon boats or interpretations thereof –
judging them, or course, is one of the more pressured responsibilities of the UKCC!

A brief reflection, presentation of awards and renewal of Promises set us up for a variety of activities on and around the beach from building sand towers to wide games to tin bath racing and treasure hunts. It was great fun for all the young people and adults and the many parents who joined in too.

Many thanks to everyone in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man for such a memorable weekend – it is easy to see why Scouting is flourishing in both.

24/04/2015

 

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