Olave 2019! A week to remember!

Thank you to Ella Murtagh of Lucan Senior Branch and Aoife Murtagh of Lucan Guides for the following account of their trip to Camp Olave:

Twenty-four members of Lucan Senior Branch, Guides and Leaders started our adventure at 7.15am at Dublin Port as we met in the car ferry carpark and hauled our bags out of the boot and raced to our friends at the StenaLine check-in point. Soon after, we were on our way.

We had breakfast and a nap, then 3.5 hours later we were at Holyhead, Wales, refreshed and ready to continue our journey to Olave 2019 in East Sussex. Three trains, one more than planned, and a bus later we arrived at the campsite. As it was late when we arrived, all we could think about was whether we would be getting food or not (we did, so it was all good)!

Once we had food, we headed straight to the opening ceremony. Aoife brought up an Irish flag to represent our group. We saw that there were visitors from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Greece, Nigeria, St Vincent’s and the Grenadines, Australia and two other IGG groups. There was a fantastic fireworks display. We were then assigned our subcamps. I was in Ranger Rays and Aoife was in Green Octopus. Once the ceremony was over, we found our tents, set up our bedding and we headed straight to bed for a well-earned rest.

The next morning we were on early breakfast at 7.30am.  This was different to other camps as we went to the ‘Sussex Diner’ for all of our meals at pre-set times. Once we cleared our plates, we were free to swap badges, have a shower or meet new friends.

A day of activities lay ahead. A number of weeks before the camp Guides and Senior Branchers were given a list of activities from ‘Get on Board’, ranging from abseiling to blind-folded 4 x 4 driving.  We also had a camp badge to complete, which involved another set of compulsory activities to complete over the six days. Both groups’ activity that day was ‘Ocean Commotion’ where we made smoothies, tasted fish, crafted octopuses and much more. Later on, we had dinner and free time; then at 10.30pm it was lights out.

Day 2 the Rangers Rays had a lie in and had brunch at 10am – waffles and pancakes! Ranger Rays were split into two groups – our group went on a hike. Unfortunately, we were given the wrong map so our hike was shorter than we expected. We then made facemasks. The other group went to ‘Branching Out’.

Aoife, as part of the Green Octopus, went on a day trip to Hastings. They went to the Smugglers’ caves and learned all about smuggling in England way back.  They also had an opportunity to visit a seaside theme park and ended their day with ‘chipper’. That evening Lucan Senior Branch got to lead campfire. We sang campfire songs that we would use back home in our own Unit and had everyone up and joining in. We also learned new songs from other countries too!

The next day was the ‘Open Day’ and this is when Rainbows and Brownie Units were invited to attend for the day.  The Rangers had to dress up as it if it was a day at the races, the Guides had to dress as a seaside theme. Unfortunately, dresses and shorts were NOT suitable for the weather. It rained all day! We also lost a few tents to the wind on our subcamps too. We performed the Siege of Ennis with the other IGG groups for the visitors. We also had an impromptu disco in the middle of the campsite, which was great fun.

That evening the Talent Show auditions were held in each subcamp.

It was mid-week at this point and Rangers attended their activity choices. I was given Blindfolded 4×4 Driving and Dizzy Mobile. I really loved the Blindfolded Driving – I was blindfolded and my partner had to direct me around the course, trying not to have a collision!

That night the whole camp had a disco or, as we called it, ‘The Rave in the Wave’. We had mocktails and we danced till dark!

On the second last day my Ranger Ray group went to Branching Out, an adventure centre. We did ziplining, wall climbing, bounce about and a giant swing. We also got ‘chipper’ too.

Aoife’s subcamp went to an activity called ‘Coral Reef’ where they went swimming and got a pamper session too. Facials, nails and hair were done and it was really fun. They also had afternoon tea with visiting members of Trefoil Guild.

On the Friday evening we had the Talent Show and international performances where we got to fill the stage with IGG members dancing The Siege of Ennis again. Lucan Guides and Senior Branchers got through to perform after sub-camp auditions and both groups performed ‘If I were not a Girl Guide’ and added our own twists to the song. It was lots of fun getting to perform in front of everyone!

On the last day the Green Octopus sub-camp got to do their activities. Aoife got to do Segway and abseiling. It was amazing! My subcamp went to ‘Treasure Island’ where we got to make food in the Gruesome Galley, make crafts, get our faces painted and learned how to be a real pirate!

That evening was the closing ceremony and a mini disco to end the day.

On Saturday we took down the tents, said our goodbyes and started the same 12- hour journey back to Dublin that we had completed one week earlier.

We arrived back in Dublin Port at 11.45pm tired and weary from our journey.  It was definitely a week to remember where challenges were met, new friends were made and lots of fun and laughter was had along the way.

We couldn’t have taken part in this trip without our leaders Amanda, Jenna, Siobhan, Sue, Beth and Alex.