A wonderful time at Campa Crann!

Around 180 Guides and Leaders took part in this year’s South West Regional Camp, which was held at West Cork Secret Activity Centre. The theme for the four-day camp was Biodiversity with everyone recycling as much as they could and disposing of waste food in a wormery.

Here Katie of Ardilaun Guides, Macroom, writes about her experience of Campa Crann:

We arrived at camp early Friday afternoon. Our first task was to unload the trailer. Then we set up our camp. Our sub-camp was called Rough Poppy.  We got to know the other Guides around us.

Our leader, Lorna O’Connor, split the 10 of us into Patrols. Our Patrols were named after three Irish trees. Soon after, when we were all hungry after our hard day’s work, we prepared dinner.

Our evening activity was to catch the Poachers – a challenge in the dark where you and your team-mates had to work together to find ribbons or pipe–cleaners tied to the trees whilst staying on the right track.

At around 10pm we had a mini-campfire where we sang songs and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Towards the end of the night we had a mug of hot chocolate around the table whilst chatting. We got ready for the night ahead of us by quietly whispering to each other.

We were awoken in the morning by the sun shining through the tent. We got dressed in old clothes since today we were going through mud and dirt and down a huge water slide. We had breakfast, then we were greeted by our leaders for the day in the reception area of the centre.

We were split into groups by Finbarr, the owner. Each group started off by participating in team-building activities to get to know each other. We took part in games such as orienteering, photo star and assault courses, which included mud and water. We had West Cork Secret’s delicious pizza for lunch and finished activities at 4pm.

When we got back to camp we made dinner and soon after we collected wood for our own Ardilaun mini campfire. We toasted marshmallows and made s’mores. Then we split bananas and inserted chocolate squares and closed the skins around the outsides, wrapped them in tinfoil and threw them in the fire.  We then got hot chocolate and Lorna braided our hair and we soon settled down for the night.

On Sunday morning we had breakfast and then everyone met down in the lower field for a  Guides Own where each sub camp had made a reflection about biodiversity. We also had posters about the endangered plant or animal that was our sub-camp name we were representing.

We packed our rucksacks for the day in Kilbrittain. We applied plenty of sunscreen, made our lunches and headed down to the car park to get the bus to Kilbrittain. We had a hike there and, halfway through, we stopped to have lunch by a river. We then went to the shop where we got ice-cream. When we finished our ice-cream we headed back to the bus, which took us back to camp.

We had dinner, then headed down to the campfire, which we had inside the building since the weather wasn’t the best. We sang songs gleefully through the night. When we came back to our camp we had our hot chocolate and then went to bed. Monday morning we arose early to eat our breakfast before heading off for activities.  We made bags out of old t-shirts, surveyed bugs in the pools and completed the Campa Crann challenge.  Then we got started on the strike and packing the trailer.

When we had finished packing the trailer, we all went back home with happy memories. Thanks to all the Leaders who organised this great event. I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a wonderful time!