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Pre-Camp Challenge 2017

Hey! We’re Jenny McKeever and Claire Patterson from Tullow Guides, Foxrock, Co. Dublin and we participated in the Pre-Camp Challenge at IGGNITE2017 and we would love to tell you all about it.

We’re going to be honest with you, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We initially thought that we were camping at Rockwell for the week and trying out all the different activities… oh, how wrong we were!

Two weeks before pre-camp, we got ‘THE’ email that broke the news (not so gently) that we were actually hiking 55km in four days, which didn’t include the cycling or kayaking! We realised that we were completely unprepared for the week that was ahead as we had limited experience in camping (ask the others)!

Tuesday morning dawned bright and early. We decided to spend an extra minute mourning the loss of our beds, lord knows we wouldn’t see one of them for a while. When we arrived we were shocked to discover that there was only one small bus to carry what we expected to be hundreds of people. Instead, there was only 14 of us, which in hindsight was a positive as we became like family.

The hike was long but the views and banter made up for it. We thought it impossible, but one can actually get sick of bacon (every day, twice a day) #Ewwww. We were very impressed by the fact that we could survive for four days based on a  €4 per day budget. The tent was an interesting endeavour for us. Every night there was a different problem with our tent. Inside out, wrong way round, not pegged properly, gusts of wind blowing it down the road. Who needs TV when you can watch us putting up a tent for free? We were known as the married couple of the camp for our bickering over food and tents. (We get along, we swear…)

I (Jenny) was Miss Accident Prone. After just two days I managed to go over the handlebars of my bike. My lip was nice and swollen but I managed to pull it off! The next day I received a nice nettle sting on my cheek. Other injuries during pre-camp included blisters, strep throat and pulled muscles. We are troopers, to say the least! At the end of Friday eventually we made it to Rockwell, and we were greeted with a feast of a takeaway and luxuries called showers and beds which we forgot existed.

All in all we have memories that we will cherish forever and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Top tips for Pre-Camp Challenge;

  1. You really don’t need the kitchen sink – pack light (but be prepared to smell!)

  2. No matter how cute, DON’T touch the vole (we’re looking at you Ciara)

  3. Don’t let the distance faze you, If we can do it, so can you.

  4. Make sure you bring a good first aid kit because you never know what you might encounter.

  5. Finally, be prepared for the experience of a lifetime and smells you won’t forget!

Thank you so much to IGG for providing us with this opportunity and to Jenny, Ann, Roisin and Clare for putting up with for 4 whole days.We can’t thank you enough.