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Phoenix Log: 16th – 19th August 2012, Larch Hill
Patrol Scribe: Matthew Gaynor, 13 years old, 7th De La Salle
We all met up at the den for 7:30 and for once the bus was late not us, when the bus finally did arrive and after we had made sure that the den was clear, we left for Larch Hill and the De La Salle bus of banter was on the way to Phoenix Challenge of 2012. We unloaded the trailer and got the gear up to the site where Flog, Falconer and Big Rod were awaiting our arrival. We sorted the stuff out and headed down to the opening ceremony which as per usual dragged out about twice as long as originally predicted, when it was decided that the ceremony had gone on long enough to end, we ran to the site and began building. The site was done an hour and a half early and in general we were pleased with progress. The mood was boosted by a special announcement over the radio from the 3rd Waterford, “Can we just say that we think Adam Hayes is adorable and we just love his little dimples.” The weather had been good all day but towards the evening time it started to deteriorate and dinner took an hour to boil, we ate it, mostly because we were starving rather than for the actual taste of the stuff. For once, the clean up was completed quickly and without too much difficulty which certainly showed some promising signs for us. Myself and Cathal went up to do our first night of scribing, we were completely confused and we didn’t get the log finished in time. After that misfortune we had to perform our sketch of the Irish Olympics which went well even though we didn’t make it to the campfire final. After the sketches it was up to the sites and lights out for 12.
We got up for 7:30 and made any adjustments to the site that would be needed while we were off at bases for the day. The bases went well and we completed most of them with no difficulty apart from the pioneering one which we took too long on. The bases included estimation, ground to air signals, teamwork, communications, first aid, emergency, climbing, flying, and of course, pioneering. They challenged almost all of our scouting skills and were enjoyed by our whole team as a group. After the bases had been completed we headed back up to the site and were amazed to find that all our lashings were still rock solid and very few of them were in need of tightening, the weather had held up so far all day and we were hoping it would stay that way so that all the sisal would dry out and we could partake in our favourite activity of tightening our totes amazeballs lashings. Cathal and I went down to the log room once again and after completing the log for Friday we went back and finished off Thursdays one from the night before. When we came back it was test meal time and Orla’s German Chicken Noodle stew tasted amazing, our dessert of Black Forest Gateau was also fantabulous. Once again the clean up posed little problems and we dressed up in our costumes for the trade fair, lederhosens… We sold Hotdogs and Coke floats and made loads of Drachma or whatever it was. When the Trade fair was done we went up and got changed for the disco, or the rave in the cave. After that it was back to the site and in to bed.
We woke up at 5:30 for our Dublin base which stretched the whole way along from just South of Bray to the North of Dublin City and in 6 hours we had to find an Oak leaf, 5 churches, 5 emotions, climb a mountain, find the names of 5 stationmasters, collect 5 white stones, make a lego city, tell lies about ourselves, stalk someone down Henry Street, Play 4 games of chess, depict emotions, play charades and take part in the mini olympics… All without a PL as Adam had gone off to a Christening match so he could hand pass his godson straight into that baptismal font. We completed all the tasks except climbing the mountain as we figured that would lose us 140 marks rather than gain 100. After we’d finished a base at Bray and were on the DART to Dublin, about halfway Cathal realized he’d lost his shoelaces and decided to take one for the team and struggle on shoelaceless. When we got back to camp I went up and handed in our oak leaf, stones etc… After that we went to do the log and were satisfied with all 3 days in it. Later on in the evening we had the campfire, the 3rd, St. Pauls and Faithlegg’s sketches all got into the final and were really good, after that we headed up to bed.
We were woken up by Adam who had decided to return to us for the results after scoring 1-1… I mean, becoming a godfather. In the morning we took part in the Larch Hill olympic games 2012 and we did very well apart from me falling over in the relay race. As soon as half ten arrived we sprinted to our site and got it taken down, by half one we’d been inspected and were ready to see where our hard work had got us, the closing ceremony seemed to drag on forever and we were relieved to find we’d got gold standard for the 5th year in a row and had finished in 6th place overall. We were all satisfied with the result and got the DLS bus of banter back home to Waterford.