Blessington Scouts take home the Silverware.
The 8th Wicklow Blessington Scout group were celebrating a long awaited victory last week as they took home the lion’s share of the trophies up for grabs at the annual County Shield Challenge which was held in Athy Rugby Club over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The event is a test of the young scouts ability to work together to build and maintain a campsite over four days. In a patrol of eight, teams had to budget, buy and cook all their own food and complete a number of challenges as a team and un-aided by any adults. Blessington Novice Team came first in their section as well as picking up awards for Camp Craft and Test Meal. Naas Pacolipo Patrol picked up first place in the senior event, with the Blessington team claiming the runners-up prize, along with an award for Camp Craft. Both senior teams will go forward to take part in the Phoenix National Challenge which will take place at Castle Saunderson later in the year.
Speaking afterwards Blessington Scout Leader Declan Hendrick said, “This is a wonderful achievement for everyone involved in 8th Wicklow Scout Group, we have been trying for six years and all the hard work finally paid off. We have recently moved our Den to the Blessington Sailing Club which gave us much more flexibility in the amount of time we could prepare for this challenge, the dedication of all our scouts and leaders shone through this weekend”. We have over one hundred members in our group between beavers up to rover scouts, but unfortunately due to a shortage of Adult volunteers we also have a huge waiting list of kids wanting to join.”
The weekend proved to be a huge logistical challenge for the organizers too, as due to circumstances out of their control they were forced to find a new venue at the last minute. Thankfully the Athy Rugby Club came to the rescue and made their wonderful facility available. 130 Scouts, 40 Ventures and almost 100 adult Scouters were accommodated on the grounds. In her final address, Chief Scout Jo Coy said “Without the help of Ger Brennan and the Leaders from 5th Athy our weekend was seriously in doubt. I am simply amazed at the generosity of people and very proud of the incredible hard work done by all our volunteer Scouters who put in a huge effort to make it all happen. The spirit of Scouting shone brightly this weekend and was matched by the Sunny weather.”
Senior Shield 4th Kildare, Naas 1st place
8th Wicklow, Blessington 2nd place along with (Camp Craft Trophy)
Novice Shield 8th Wicklow, Blessington 1st place along with (test-meal & camp craft Trophy)
9th Kildare, Kilcullen 2nd place
above photos are courtesy of Barry Hamilton except the final 4.
of Scouting is to encourage the physical, intellectual, emotional, social,
and spiritual development of young people so that they may achieve their
full potential and, as responsible citizens, to improve society.
The 8th Wicklow Blessington Scout Group has just over 100 members, ranging
in age from 6-14 years. We currently have 15 adult volunteer leaders.
The 8th Wicklow Blessington Scout Group consists of three sections -
Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts and Scouts.
Beaver Scouts is the junior section of our Group and is for boys and
girls aged six to eight years of age. Beavers meet weekly in the local
national school and the programme centres on games, arts and crafts,
music and games designed to stimulate the imagination and encourage members
to have lots of fun whilst making lots of new friends. The children are
rewarded with their 'Pawprint' badges.
Cub Scouts is for
boys and girls aged from eight to about eleven and the Cubs also meet
once a week in St. Joseph’s Hall.
At their meetings Cub Scouts play games and participate in scouting
tying knots, learning first aid and helping out at home and in the community.
Scouts are aged 11
to 16 years. The Scout Group meets weekly in St. Joseph’s Hall.
At their meetings Scoutsengage in a wide range of constructive and
challenging activities in line
with the ethos of
the scouting movement. The Scouts are consistently working towards attaining
various scout badges that provide recognition of their individual and
In the Blessington Scout Group there are 32 Beavers, 36 cub scouts and
Beavers meet on Wednesday evenings in St Mary’s Junior National
School between 6.30pm and 7.30pm
Cub Scouts meet on Tuesday evenings in St. Joseph’s Hall between
6.45pm and 8.00 pm.
Scouts meet on Tuesday evenings in St. Joseph’s Hall between 8.00pm
Parents wishing to enrol their children in the Scout Group need to complete
an application form for each child and return
the completed form to the appropriate section leader – beavers,
cub scouts or scouts - at their weekly meeting (see above for day, time & location
of meetings). Please note that there are currently long waiting lists
for each of the three groups.
Mr Malcolm Beresford
to email Blessington Scouts
The Beaver Colony comprises 32 Beavers and 5 leaders
• In December we went to Scouting Ireland headquarters at Larch Hill to
• On April 18th, we took part in Founders Day at Donadea Forest Park.
We had our first ever slumber party in tents in St. Joseph’s Hall
on Saturday April 25th. We had great fun – we played games, watched
a movie and even managed a trip to the playground!
• We took part in our first ever Group Scout Camp in Russborough at the
end of June. Our parents came along for a couple of hours to join in the fun!
meetings are finished now for the summer. We can’t wait for
September to come around and we will get back to our Beaver activities.
There are currently 36 cubs and 6 leaders.
• Our first camp of the year was in late January when we had
a sleep over in our scout den in St. Joseph’s Hall.
• In mid-March we had a two night stay in Mount Mellary scout centre
in County Waterford.
• On April 18th, we joined the Beavers and Scouts at Founders Day in
Donadea Forest Park.
Our big outing for this year was the national Cub Camp - JAMÓIGE.
This was held on the June Bank Holiday weekend in Navan, Co. Meath.
There were 5,000 cubs camping for three nights and we had an amazing
We finished the year with a great Group Camp at Russborough at the
end of June. The Camp was part of a national Scouting fundraiser for
Children’s Miracle Network. On the same weekend we took part
in the Hillbilly Tractor Run parade through Blessington.
There are no Cub meetings or activities during June and
July. We look forward to starting up again in September.
There are currently
34 scouts and 5 leaders
• During March and April we developed our rock-climbing skills on a rock-climbing
wall in Naas.
This year we entered three teams into the County Challenge – a
camping skills weekend – and all three teams did the scout group
• We took part in Founders Day in Donadea Forest Park on April 18th.
• Our big event of this year was our first international camping trip to
the International Scout Camp Site at Kandersteg in Switzerland from April
6th-13th. 15 scouts and 6 leaders travelled to Kandersteg and it was
a wonderful experience.
• At the end of June we joined the Group Camp at Russborough. It was a
great camp in beautiful surroundings. On the Sunday afternoon we took
part in the Hillbilly Tractor Run parade through Blessington.
• We plan to have representation at the National Youth Forum in Mount Mellary
in December 2009.
• Now that we have new scout members who have graduated from cubs the older
scout members (our patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders) have
started to take more control of our evening meetings and are getting
involved in organising troop events.
meetings are finished now for the summer months and will resume again in
September. However we hope to fit in a summer camp before the end of the
Friends of Blessington Scout Group
The Scout Group is actively supported by the Friends of Blessington Scout
Group - a group of parents who assist with the organisation of scouting
activities and events and co-ordinate all of our fund-raising ventures.
The Friends group has been very active in generating goodwill towards
the group and has already engaged in significant fundraising to meet
the start-up costs associated with getting the Blessington Scout Group
off the ground. If you think you could help the Scout Group in any
of their activities please contact
email the Friends of Blessington Scout Group please click here