The Scouts are back... after two years of restrictions

After two years of pandemic restrictions, Lissarda Scouts are back doing activities and are sending out an invitation for new recruits, says DAVID FORYSTHE
The Scouts are back... after two years of restrictions

Lissarda scouts investiture ceremony.

FOR the dedicated members of the 31st Lissarda Scouts, the onset of Covid-19 had a major impact on its many activities.

Like many troops around the country, the Lissarda one was effectively shut for months, and many of the older scouts have moved on, but now things are finally returning to normal, secretary and scout leader Derry Casey can look ahead.

Lissarda Scouts trip to Torc Mountain.
Lissarda Scouts trip to Torc Mountain.

“After the pandemic, a lot of scouts didn’t come back,” he said, “people had formed new habits, had moved on to other things, and some of the older ones missed out, so it was a really shame.

“The scouts was really the last thing to come back after all the lockdowns, in the meantime a lot of kids had been playing sports or taking up new interests and things like that so it left us in a difficult position.”

Lissarda Scouts climbing Mangerton Mountain in Killarney.
Lissarda Scouts climbing Mangerton Mountain in Killarney.

After the trials of Covid, Derry says the children and scout leaders in Lissarda are looking forward to a busy summer of adventure.

“The scouts is very inclusive,” said Derry, “all are welcome and everybody is valued. The great thing about it is as the kids progress through the ranks, they pass on their knowledge and experience to the younger ones.

Lissarda Scouts trip to Torc Mountain.
Lissarda Scouts trip to Torc Mountain.

“It’s a great way to build up their confidence and you can see them becoming more and more responsible. It’s not the scout leaders that do that - it’s the kids themselves, which is great.”

Lissarda scout Avril helps a lost duckling.
Lissarda scout Avril helps a lost duckling.

Derry says that the wide range of activities the scouts take part in means everybody can play their part.

“Some kids don’t like sports or don’t want to be involved for whatever reason, and we have quite a few like that here in the scouts, but here they can be part of a team and enjoy the fun and camaraderie without the pressure that sometimes comes with it. We have lots of sporty kids too of course, but the point is everyone is welcome.”

Derry said the variety of activities means there is always a new challenge for the youngsters.

“We do all sorts of things, from hiking and hill climbing to camping out and learning to build shelters, cooking in the open, organised visits, there is always something going on.”

The scouts are organised into three age groups: the beavers aged six to eight, the cubs aged nine to 11 and the scouts aged 12 to 15, as well as a dedicated group of scout leaders. Each group takes part in various activities suited to their age, as well as wider group activities suitable for all.

Since getting back together, the Lissarda scouts have taken part in several mountain hikes in the Kerry mountains and they plan to tackle Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntoohil, later this summer.

“We’ve done pioneering, shelter building, we’ve been camping at Brinny, and we’ve been to Torc Mountain and Mangerton Mountain,” said Derry.

Another highlight was a visit to the Naval Service headquarters at Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour.

“That was a great trip,” said Derry. “The whole troop went and we had a wonderful day down there. We were treated like VIPs and got a tour of the the LÉ Samuel Beckett.

Lissarda Scouts trip to Torc Mountain.
Lissarda Scouts trip to Torc Mountain.

“We were also guests of honour to watch the navel personnel practice their parade drill, the kids loved it.”

The aim of Scouting Ireland is to enable young people to “build the skills they need to maximise life’s opportunities” and to encourage the social, physical, intellectual, character, emotional, and spiritual development aspects (SPICES) of young people “so that they may achieve their full potential and as responsible citizens, to improve society.”

Lissarda Scouts visit Haulbowline Naval Base.
Lissarda Scouts visit Haulbowline Naval Base.

Up to 6% of young people in Ireland between the ages of six and 18 are thought to be involved in scouting.

After the forced restrictions of the pandemic, Lissarda Scouts are now actively looking to recruit members and new adult scout leaders.

Lissarda Scouts visit Haulbowline Naval Base.
Lissarda Scouts visit Haulbowline Naval Base.

“It’s often the case that one or two of the parents will want to help out as leaders,” said Derry, “that’s always very welcome. 

"We are keen also to welcome new beavers, cubs and scouts from the general Lee Valley area.”

The 31st Lissarda beavers and cubs meet up on Tuesday nights in Crookstown Hall and scouts meet up on Friday nights. There are also activities and outings on many weekends during the year. Their catchment area includes Kilmurry, Clougduv, Aherla, Newcestown, Crookstown, Canovee and surrounding areas.

For more, call scout leaders Pat on 087 689 7278, or Derry on 086 266 1955.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more