St Mary’s 19th Boy Scouts Athenry -May 1997

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Well then, we’ve been busy since I last put pen to paper for the Unit. We’ve grown quite a bit and have thirty-five Beaver Scouts and thirty-six Cub Scouts invested in the unit. Unfortunately, this means that we’ve had to close the books for the moment. But, there’s no harm contacting the unit, if you want your name placed on a waiting list, as we may be in a position to take on more in October/November.

Beavers were very successful on their first outing to the Regional Beaver Quiz at the beginning of March. They came second overall. Their team was Sarah Murphy, Liam Walsh, David Hynes, Shane Cahill and Tara O’Regan. The Cubs were also very successful on their outing on the same day and came third in their Regional Cub Quiz. Their team was Shane Waldron, Lorna O’Regan, Thomas Barrett and Neasa Ni Brosnacháin. Congratulations to all on this smashing result.

A major investiture was held on Mother’s Day, following the ten o’clock Mass here in Athenry. Many thanks to our guests Frank Gaffney Regional Commissioner; Martee McCaffrey A.R.C.; Kevin McCaffrey A.R.C., and to Christy Caulfield Unit Leader; and Fr. Tony King P.P. The investiture went smoothly enough. We were a bit pressed for time because the next Mass rapidly followed the investiture ceremony. But we managed not to lose anybody in spite of the number of young scouters, sixty plus, who gathered around the altar. A special thanks to all the Mums and Dads, who had to get their Cub or Beaver ready for the day. Martin O’Grady took beautiful photographs and (ho-hummm!) fame, at last, as we got a mention in the Connacht Tribune with pictures!

On St. Patrick’s Day, the unit took ‘The Banishing of the Snakes from Ireland’ as a theme. The Beavers walked with their glove-puppets or more correctly their sock-snakes made with their leader’s help. The Cubs followed a large model of St. Patrick and carried the banished snakes out of town. My thanks to cubs Neasa and Louise, for helping to paint St. Patrick and to Beaver Leader Rose Barrett, for the marvellous, colourful, large snake that sat on top of the truck, that day. It was a good day and everyone looked great.

What else has been happening? Oh yes, the Beavers had a visit from a group called Siúl Crainn. They walk around Ireland to promote conservation and recycling, through talking and song.

What happens next? Well Beaver Leader Linda Meyler tells me the Beavers will be busy working on their Footprint Badges and looking forward to Beaver Day in June. Cub Leader, Stephanie O’Regan, has started the pack into their Merit badge programme. They are working towards Regional Cub Camp again in June.

‘Bob-a-Job’ has started once more and the cubs are making themselves available for small jobs, to raise funds for the C.B.S.I. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

We are lucky to have such committed and enthusiastic leaders as Christy Caulfield, Mary Quinn, Stephanie O’Regan, Linda Meyler, Rose Barrett and Carmel Barrett.

Following a recent talk, given in some local schools by Linda, we’ve had a surprising, if not overwhelming revival of interest in scouting in Athenry. As I mentioned in the last issue of the Athenry Journal, we are looking for more leaders. Our scouting programme is expanding and leaders are thin on the ground and we would like to introduce some new faces to the thrills and spills of scouting. Training is provided by C.B.S.I. for over 18s, who have the time and enthusiasm.

I was talking recently to Donald Barrett in Caheroyan Crescent. He told me of a Scout Unit here in Athenry over forty years ago. He described their uniform with the broad rimmed “mokie’ type hat and a khaki-brown type shorts and shirt. Donald remembers being their principal flag bearer, basically because he was over six feet tall and stood head and shoulders above everyone else. He was wondering whether there is anyone else who remembers this troop and who might have some photographs and/or memories of scouting times past.

Till next issue, yours in scouting,

Editor’s Note: I hear congratulations are order to Seán as he was recently presented with his Woodbridge Beads, giving him leadership qualifiation.  I have been told that, when to his surprise,  Martee McCaffney, A.R.C. during a recent games/songs training night, presented the Beads and Cert to Sean in  front of the Beavers from Ballybane’s 20th Galway Unit he thanked everyone, who gave him the time and energy to complete the training course”and especially the cubs of the 19th, without whom, he says, he would never have achieved the award. 

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About this record

Written by Sean Meyler

Published here 13 Feb 2023 and originally published May 1997

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