Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hockey Boy in Ireland, part IV.

Hockey Boy is home! He hit the ground running seeing friends, attending school choir practice, seeing friends, going to the dentist, and have I mentioned seeing friends? He hasn't stayed home long enough for us to glean many details from him about the trip, but from what I can gather, he had a great time. Hockey Boy thought Ireland was beautiful but said it rains a lot there (as evidenced by his two duffels full of wet, *fragrant* clothes and *stuff*). He was very proud of the many neckerchiefs that he acquired via trading and of the European football jerseys he purchased for himself.

We received this final report from his Scout leader. Thank goodness this wonderful man has a knack for details that Hockey Boy woefully lacks.

What a glorious morning! The tents were dry and blue sky was peeking out of the clouds. The cold front apparently left during the night. As I write (noon-ish) it feels like the low 60's. Absolutely delightful.

Today's theme is "Air". We went to the "airport" (warehouse building where we pick up our food) to pick up our "flight tickets" (itineraries). From there we went to locations like "Area 51" and "Heuston" [sic], Activities include a flight simulator, bungee jumping, hot air balloon (which has yet to be inflated) rides, helicopter (2-seat Robinson) rides around the campsite, air hockey, wind tunnel. Several activities are straight from the amusement park. Pictures [coming later] will best describe them. The helicopter rides were age restricted and chosen by lottery; luck was not on our side for this itinerary. We spoke with the guy who ran the simulator and he came in from the UK to set up the area. The Irish air force has only a couple of planes, so were not expecting a jet fly over as we'd find at A.P. Hill (site of the US National Jamborees). There was a old (by my standards) plane that flew over the site a couple of times.

At the helicopter loading area we saw another Scout from our hometown. He was staffing the line to take Scouts, two at a time to board the copter. With that connection, he let us in on the air field, but not for a ride. We did get up close to the two acrobatic planes that flew later in the afternoon. The runway is a grass field and they were launching gliders, though I doubt that any Scouts were on board.

We found out that Ireland has the highest per capita ownership of helicopter than any other country. And with this weather, go figure. When we were on our driving tour last week (which seems like a long time ago) we saw one parked in the front yard of a farm house.

The Irish Coast Guard performed a rescue demonstration with a big helicopter in front of the racetrack grandstand. Following that was an acrobatic demo by one of the planes that we saw on the landing field earlier in the day.

The hot air balloon was supposed to take off in the morning, but their schedule changed to the evening (~8:00).

The Troop was invited by a Dublin troop for dinner. They ate a chicken and rice curry dish. Apparently the menu called for fish, but they decided to change it. The food system really works well. I've overheard other Scout leaders say that they are getting too much food. Any morning the Scouts can have cereal besides the standard issue. Today's issue was fruit, muffins, & OJ. Lunch is typically hoagie sandwiches - cold cuts on a roll.

One of our scouts volunteered to help out on the rappelling wall and was rewarded with an embroidered hoodie. Another of our scouts earned a special necker for winning first place in a sub camp scavenger hunt.

The bank is still well funded, which means that no one has run out of money ... yet.

At night, the village became an outdoor disco. The scouts wandered into camp around midnight, even though the music played until "half twelve" (12:30 am).

We can see stars again tonight, but rumor has it that we were due for some wet weather over night. We'll see.


The rain started during the night, and when we woke up it was raining quite hard. Just so that no one gets the wrong impression, everyone has remained dry. The tents are known as "Icelandics" and sleep 6. That's 6 small-ish Scouts. We've packed 4 to a tent, so everyone's got plenty of room.

Three additional adult leaders from the 94th joined us yesterday. They awoke early to prepare the group a traditional Irish breakfast - Rashers (thick bacon), sausages,
"pudding" (which is actually a sausage with various "ingredients", all of which we were told not to ask), scrambled eggs, and baked beans.

Today is an open day, meaning that we can go to any activity we want without requiring tickets. The weather cleared up for the moment and the our Scouts are busy trading neckers and patches. Our other leader has been eyeing a Scout hat from Northern Ireland, but the deal has yet to be finalized. We still get a steady stream of people wanting to trade for our "Texas" stuff.

This will be the last eMail from Punchestown, as we are packing up this afternoon and attending the closing ceremony. The bus is picking us up at 5:30 tomorrow morning for our 10:30 flight. We found that the North Carolina troop here is also on our flight, but their bus departs the Jamboree at 4:30. We are less than an hour from the Dublin airport, so don't fret that we'll miss our flight.

See you all at DFW tomorrow!

Failte! (Irish for "good-bye")


Hockey Boy (center) being hoisted up by some Scouts from his troop (in the red, white and blue neckers) and some Irish Scouts (in the multi-colored neckers)


The Jamboree "Supermarket"

My dad and mom in Ireland back in June (note from my dad: "This is our hike out of Glendalough. You can see the crosstie walkway.")

I am in North Carolina tonight to pick up Dots from camp. Oh, how I love this part of the country! The weather and scenery are just wonderful. I ate a good dinner at a little Italian place nearby - took my book (Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie) and my NY Times crossword and had a lovely, quiet meal.

Camp gates open at 8:00 in the morning. I can hardly wait to see Dots!

Dots camp2
Dots (center, back row) with her cabinmates
Dots camp
Dots camp3
Making a 'god's-eye' in Arts and Crafts


JoAnn said...

What a monumental undertaking that jamboree must have been. EEEK! And I worry about dinner for 6!

We used to call those "visits" home drive-byes". In and out. More out than in, really.


Tami said...

I think that boys feel that their Moms are on a need to know basis and we don't need to know. But I want to know. It is just so hard to pin them down and get any kind of info., let alone a detail or two. Nice the Scoutmaster took care of the details. Such a great trip for him.

Laura said...

Great post!! :D

Thank you for the warm welcome back at my blog :D I really appreciate it!

Melissa said...

I see those pictures and I think to myself, "Life is good".


Melissa said...

Hi Eloise,

Thank you so much for your sweet comments that you left on my blog.

You know, it would be really easy to make spaghetti eis at home. I was thinking that maybe a potato press or something like that might work to place the ice cream in.

Have a great evening.


Melissa said...


I just wanted to let you know that I added you to my favorires on my blog.

You are such a creative spirit and I so enjoy your blog.

Thank you.


Erin said...

A bunch of scruffy boys in Ireland... really, what could be more adorable? And dots camp looks very fun. She is a cute little girl. I am sure you are happy to have your children back!