Summer Season 2017

14-05-2017 summer camp lough gowna 2016a
RE: Summer Season 2017

Dear Scouts, Ventures and Parents

We’ve had a very busy and fun winter period, and now it’s time to update you on the dates and activities that will bring us from now until the end of the Summer. Participation at meetings and on activities has been great, so we hope to continue this into the summer months. Please print off this letter and pin it up somewhere so you have easy access to all the dates. There is a lot of information contained here, so please Scouts and Parents, set a few minutes aside to thoroughly read through it all.

Following couple of weeks:

This Wednesday (17th) will be our last hall meeting, meeting at 7.30. Investiture and badge presentation at 8.30, parents encouraged and welcome at that time.

Wednesday (24th) is the Swim Ability Assessment at 8.00 at Sandycove. No hall meeting. Swim Ability Assessment is a requirement for all scouts to gauge ability, it is not a fail/pass situation. You need to wear runners, shorts and t-shirts. No Wetsuits allowed. Bring a spare change of warm clothes for afterwards. It will be a very short swim to a mark and return, followed by treading/floating in water for 30 seconds. We will have kayaks for support. Please discuss with a leader if you cannot swim, as it does not exclude you from summer boating.

Saturday the 27th: Boat launching day. For scouts, starting at 11.30, launching the boats, rigging, sailing and kayaking, finishing up with a BBQ at 2.00 for all scouts, parents and family. There will be a small charge for burgers to cover the cost, and we also hope to have a new batch of navy t-shirts with the Dalkey Sea Scout logo ready for sale also. These t-shirts are optional and not a part of the uniform, but great to have.

Boating over the Summer: We then head into our usual boating days starting from Tuesday the 30th. Meeting every Tuesday and Friday from 7.30 to 9.15, with the occasional Sunday sails (announced at Friday evening sessions only). Please remember, Weather can change very quickly.  We will judge the weather conditions in advance, and at the start of each session, and may have to cancel or change plans at short notice. We will post on facebook if this is the case. Boating will proceed throughout the summer, so the standing arrangement is that boating is on unless you hear from us.  There will be no boating on the Friday of both June camp and the UK trip and no boating during the summer camp period.

Equipment required for boating and kayaking: Come prepared for any / all of kayaking, sailing, rowing. The activity on the evening will be assigned to you.

For sailing, wear clothes that are warm, even on a sunny day, as the weather on the water is going to be colder. A Cag or rain jacket is always necessary as the wind and spray will either get you cold and/or wet. Footwear such as sailing shoes or runners that can get wet are necessary.
For kayaking, you do not need to wear a wetsuit. You should always wear a Cag or light rain jacket as you will get wet kayaking and it reduces wind chill. Foot wear such as booties or runner that can get wet are necessary.
Each scout should have their own PFD. This is probably the most important part of your kit.  It is regulated by the Law, and also by Scouting Ireland regulations.  For sailing / rowing you must wear a lifejacket with at least 100N of permanent buoyancy. You can wear a buoyancy aid for kayaking, or use the same lifejacket. If you are unsure what you have, Lifejackets have the ‘sunflower’ neck surround. Automatic gas inflated lifejackets are not allowed for those under 18

Duty patrol and boat moving:
As our boat moorings are tidal, the duty patrol of the week are responsible for moving them in preparation for the boating activities and returning them to the mooring afterwards. See timetable attached. It is the duty of the Patrol Leader to coordinate this and to inform a scout leader when, for any reason that it is not possible. We do not want a situation where boats are aground when they should be ready for boating.

When moving boats, there should be a minimum team of 3 scouts, with one of them being a PL or APL, who have been trained on the proper procedure. All Scouts must wear a lifejacket at all time on or around the water (for example, those on the pier helping). If in doubt, please contact a leader.

Nautical Badges and skills Work on the nautical badges will continue over the summer. A lot of the requirements are practical, so we are set to make good progress on them while on the water. We also have several competitions at the end of the summer: sail racing, kayak racing, rowing and seamanship competitions, so get involved now so that you are as well prepared as possible at that stage.

June Camp As ever we return to the magnificent surroundings of the Powerscout Estate, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow for our annual June Camp. The troop has camped in Powerscourt every June now for a number of decades and it is always a great fun weekend of adventure, camp fires, pioneering, wide games etc.  The site we are staying at lies alongside the river Dargle that weaves its way through the grounds of the Estate so is always a picturesque site to camp in. The leaders are looking forward to it and I hope we get a good turnout of scouts also.  We advise that Scouts going on Summer Camp who have not camped before with this Section, go on June Camp as it gives you a good taste of what to expect. As with all camps and activities, please return the fee and reply slip as soon as possible as it makes forward planning easier. The Camp is from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon.

UK National Sea Scout Regatta in London There is great excitement for this trip, flights are booked and many of the plans are well underway. As one of the main categories is rowing, so we’re hoping to get plenty of practice in before we head over. We would ask all scouts to purchase a scout t-shirt or two for use while in the UK. We’re hoping to have these ready for the boat launching day. Kathleen will follow with trip details closer to the date for those signed up and paid.

Summer Camp Plan are progressing well for Summer Camp. We have a site chosen on the shores of Lough Oughter in Co. Cavan. We camped on this site in 2003 and we are very happy and excited to return once again. The site is a lush green grassed peninsula called Eonish, projecting into the lake, providing us with large but sheltered boating areas. We have access to woods by and near the site, especially having Killykeen forest park on our door step.

For any Scouts that have not been camping with the Scout Section, we strongly advise that you attend June Camp.

Summer Camp is the highlight of the Scouting year. Deposits are in and now we are requesting the remaining amount to paid over the next couple of week. If there are scouts who missed getting the deposit into us, don’t worry, just get the full amount into us ASAP as we want to organise equipment and patrols as soon as possible.

Summer Camp is a mix of the traditional scouting land activities and water based activities and anything else in between. Setting up of camp usually takes a couple of days, then we settle down to a regular program of sailing both in the BP and Pico’s, kayaking, camp craft, expeditions, hiking, task solving, bivvying, raft building, pioneering, backwoods cooking and many other things. It’s also a time to work on any badge and skills you want to achieve. With Wide Games galore and the Scouts themselves pushing the program, it’s always a fun memorable experience!

As you can see, we have a lot planned for the Summer Season. Keep a copy of this letter to hand and keep an eye on facebook for posts and information. Patrol leaders will occasionally pass messages to their patrols via whatsapp, so we’d ask scouts with phones, to make sure their patrol leader has included them and watch out for messages.

As always, if you have any question or queries, please feel free to contact myself, your PL or any of the other scout leaders.

Yours in Scouting,


Simon Hall  087-7510763