On Saturday last, 21 of our fearless Cubs along with seven leaders braved the winds of storm Ciara for our annual indoor winter camp. This was our first-time choosing Killarney as our venue but it won’t be our last. We stayed in the lovely Muckross Venture Centre right across the road from the National Park.

The train is always a favourite of the Cubs and our journey from Mallow to Killarney was definitely a hit. Within seconds of taking our seats, Pokémon cards and Uno were produced along with some delicious flapjacks (thank you girls!). Even though it was only 11.30am, lunches also appeared – the hunger of 10-year olds will never cease to amaze me.

The 4.5km walk to the accommodation from the train station did come up in the discussion on “high and low points” of the weekend. It was lashing rain, I’ll let you decide whether it was a high or a low! At least no one had to carry their overnight gear, thanks to our County Commissioner; Peter Roche, who brough the trailer to and from Killarney with all of the bags. Along with all the groceries that Aileen, Grainne and Keith had purchased at 8am that morning.

Within minutes of arrival, both the kettle and the heating were turned on and wet gear was lined up for drying. Beds were allocated with the girls getting the entire first floor to themselves. The venture centre is an old Protestant church that has been renovated and extended to provide accommodation for youth groups.

Because of the terrible weather, we spend the entire day inside the building, enjoying more card games and the “Poncho Team Challenges” – a set of challenges that took place over the weekend where the winners earned some prizes, including some not-so fancy ponchos. The challenges included lots of games along with helping out with the cooking and clean-up. After a hearty dinner, the Cubs made desert pizza (yes, that’s a thing) which is always a hit on camp.

The storm grew stronger as the night progressed but I think the leaders were the only ones to hear the thunder and lightning that passed by. After a breakfast feast of cereal, fruit and what feels like a few hundred pancakes we walked back to the station. More card games on the train ensured our Cubs went home happy, safe and exhausted – job done!

Thanks to Aileen, Carol, Grainne, Alister, Ger, Keith, Will and of course Peter for hauling our gear. If this sounds like an adventure you or your children would like to be involved in, please get in touch.