2 Rangers waving facing the camera in a field

The National Campcraft Competition was held in Larch Hill Dublin on the weekend 24th to 26th June 2022. It was organised by Arlene Griffin, from our National Outdoor Team, with great help from her Outdoor Support Team. The idea was to have a camping weekend that would give teams of Guides a chance to learn basic camping skills in advance of the camp, and then put them in to practice on the weekend. It was very important that the competition was open to all levels of experience, whether the unit had camped many times before or were totally new. The competition was set up to reward the spirit of the team, just as much as their final skills! Despite terrible weather this vision was definitely delivered and there was a great sense of everyone working together. The different aspects of the competition meant there was plenty of fun too. Because everyone stayed on-site for the whole weekend there was a great feeling of togetherness, and the different groups got to know each other very well.

2 Guides settign up a sign for their camp using a hammer       A Guide Showing off her design surrounded by friends

The Campcraft Competition itself had many different aspects including campcraft skills, tent-pitching, site layout, environmental awareness, a ‘showcase meal’ as well as campfire skits.  Each group also brought along a logbook showing how they had practiced and planned in advance of the camp. There were 15 Guide teams and 2 ranger patrols taking part, mainly from the Eastern Region but also with some representation from South-Eastern region. Each site looked really well and the newer Guides definitely learnt a lot from seeing how the more experienced teams decorated their gateways and kept their sites spick and span! Safety, and especially food safety, was an important aspect of the judging and it was interesting to hear how aware the girls were of this aspect of camping.

4 Rangers toasting marshmallows over a fire outdoors

Despite the terrible weather, which even resulted in some tents being blown away, everyone enjoyed the weekend. Luckily it was fine on Sunday morning so that the tents were taken down dry and it was nice and fine for the Closing Ceremony. We were joined by the Chief Commissioner, Julie Donnelly, who was full of praise for the girls, their leaders and most especially for Arlene and the organising team. We all love the atmosphere that camping brings, even when there’s storm, but we need to maintain the skills for future generations, the Campcraft Competition is a fantastic way to do this. There were lots of prizes handed out and everyone really deserved their awards. The spirit of teamwork that makes a camp a success was well and truly recognised and celebrated.

See you all next year!

If you want to see all the photos from the weekend have a look at our Flickr page HERE