Posts Tagged ‘MIC’

GLC 2013 report hits BSA website

There is an article about the InsideOut coverage of GLC 2013, see here

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MIC 2012 Photos on Facebook

Just came across some photos of the Ventures in Michigan this summer, Click here to view on Facebook.

They are looking forward to visiting Ireland this summer for the Great Leprechaun Chase.

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MIC 2012, Day 23

Our last day and  it was hot and busy, along with a very early start of needing to leave the cabin by 8am. Everyone already had there bag packed so that helped things along. We piled the bags in the trailer and ourselves in the minivan. Our first stop of the day was White Plains to drop off Gail and Crew 73’s tents, today was their tent maintenance day before their big summer trip.

That done we all headed to Jones beach on Long Island. This was a gorgeous beach and the guys all seemed to enjoy the huge waves. It was also another beautiful day. We didn’t leave the beach until almost 3pm, when we all realised that we may have underestimated the sun and not used quite enough sun cream. After some quick and in some cases cold showers we were back in the minivan and looking for food before heading to the airport. We stopped in a restaurant called Friendly’s and all had some very nice Ice Cream, after dinner of course.

Next stop was the airport, we were a little late because of traffic and so made a very fast exit from the van once we got there. But I will say here thank you Mike and crew 73 for all of your help and hospitality.

Anyway into the Delta building at JFK and yet another self check in system to tackle. Kevin and I set about getting everyone checked in and then I found a Delta representative to make sure that we would make our flight despite the very long queues for bag drop. She said that we had nothing to worry about, but none the less a different representative had opened a new desk in order to help us organise our bags. This was great and we were all in the queue for security in no time at all. Security here seemed to be much more efficient than in Detroit and we were all out the other side very quickly. We got to the gate just in time to board or so we thought, this was when we discovered that our flight was delayed. This allowed me time to go and find some much needed after sun cream and water for those of us who were by now suffering quite alot from sun burn of varying degrees.

Eventually (almost 4 hours later)  we were finally ready to board our plane home. Once on the plane I (and most others) went straight to sleep. For those who stayed awake there was food and two or three films to watch on screens throughout the plane. But as I said I was asleep for the whole flight. We landed in Dublin at about 10.30am local time and were all happy to be back. We found the baggage carousel (via the toilets for our mandatory group excursion) and waited for our bags to appear. Once we had all of our bags we went to meet all of the people who were waiting for us in Arrivals. Without much delay except for a photo we all headed home.

That is the end of our trip, I will hopefully have more photos up in the next couple of days, I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog, I have certainly enjoyed writing it.

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MIC 2012, Day 22

Our second last day here and another early start as we needed to be ready to leave the cabin at 8am. I have to admit everyone is getting much better at getting ready in the morning and it doesn’t take as long to get everyone out of bed. We all piled into the minivan and headed into White Plains to meet the Hungarians and other Americans before heading into New York City again.

Today we parked near the South Street Sea Port and walked down Wall Street, this was nice to see especially because it was a Saturday and not too busy. We visited the Bull of Wall Street and took a few photos. The next stop on our tour was Battery Park, where we were able to see out to Ellis and Statin Islands. It was a lovely day and the view was incredible.

On our way to Ground Zero and a view of the Freedom Tower we stopped to eat our lunch of bagels and crisps in the sunshine. Ground Zero was very very busy, but we did get a very good view of the Freedom Tower with the two cranes on the top. It was now time to head back to the cars (for a well deserved nap for some).

Next on our list of things to do was the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this was simply amazing in every way. We only spend a little under two hours here which only gave us time to get a taste of what they had to offer. Myself and Kevin looked at the Egyptian art, the American art, the Arms and Armoury area and a little of the European art. A lot of it was fascinating and beautiful, and when we met up with the group again all of the scouts seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

We left the Hungarians in the museum, and we all headed towards a Baseball game that we had tickets for. We stopped in Pizza Hut for dinner, which was deliciously but I certainly ate too much, I don’t know about anyone else. Anyway takeaway boxes in hand we headed to the stadium. We got there just in time for the start of the game and found our seats. The scouts particularly enjoyed getting Soda and Candy Floss, I am not sure that they saw much of the baseball but they definitely enjoyed the atmosphere. The home team won in the last inning and it was definitely exciting for the last few minutes.

Back to the cabin for our last night in New York.

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MIC 2012, Day 21

Finally a nice relaxed start, we all got up in our own time as Mike wasn’t coming to collect us until 1pm. Then we all headed to a local swimming pool and sports centre.  This was a lot of fun, and it was really nice to be able to cool off in the pool. All of the scouts had fun showing off their diving talents and then investigated the two water slides. Some even decided to have a few races which was fun to watch.

Just before dinner (pizza) arrived the Americans offered to show us and the Hungarians how to play baseball. We had a few Americans playing as well which was good, as it helped keep the game moving. But I have to say that the star of the show as Conor as he hit the only home run and then dived to catch a ball and get the final out of the game, very impressive all together.

When we were told that the pizza had arrived we moved with speed back to the picnic tables as everyone was hungry at this point. After a good feed alot of the scouts and venturers decided to get back in the pool and the others played table tennis for a while and then just sat down to have a chat with the American venturers. 

In the evening Mike and his wife Gail offered to take us to a Drive-In Movie. There was a double feature of Batman and Ted on, however we only stayed to see Batman. It was really really cool, although a little awkward because we couldn’t sit in the van and watch. Most of us just found a nice spot on the grass somewhere and sat down with some popcorn to watch the film. It was a lovely warm evening and a very good film, even the second time round.

We didn’t get back to the cabin until about midnight and so it was straight to bed for everyone, after another very enjoyable day.

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MIC 2012, Day 20

An even earlier start today meant that everyone was more or less asleep in the minibus, and quite possibly in the shower too. After showers had been had a few of us headed back down to White Plains for a bit more shopping and exploring.


We returned to the house at about 11am, where all of us were collected and brought t one of the Scouts houses for a Bar-b-que. This was delicious and the weather was gorgeous, we sat and chatted and ate until 3pm until it was time to go and meet the Mayor of White Plains. Although before we left we did surprise Oisín with Birthday cake and presents. His cake was very cool, it had Batman on top of it.


Meeting the Mayor was pretty cool, we had a tour of City Hall, got some photos with the Mayor. He gave us all a pin from the City of White Plains. He then brought us all the fountains in the middle of the city and produced he magic city key which meant that he could put on a pretty cool fountain show with music. Some of the socuts really got into the spirt and stared dancing to Michael Jacksons Thriller right then and there.


We then headed back to the same house as earlier, where all of the scouts (American and Irish) got in the hot tub for a long while. They certainly seemed to have alot of fun.


At 7pm we headed back to the cabin and just played cards and chilled out for the evening.

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MIC 2012, Day 19

Today we had a very early start as Mike came to collect us at 7.30am. We were all ready to go though and were all in the minibus very quickly. Mike dropped us into White Plains to the house where the Hungarians were staying. This meant that we could all have a shower and then have a wander around the shops and sites of White Plains. This was a nice way to spend the morning and we even found some internet access to check emails and facebook accounts.. At 1pm we met up with the Americans and Hungarians and we all headed to a military museum that is just outside White Plains.


This was really very interesting. There were two buildings, the first was all about West Point Academy and the second was about the history of the American Military and two rooms devoted to weapons and vehicles. Kevin and Oisín and I found both buildings very interesting, but not everyone shared our interest and we all met up outside the museum after an hour. Obviously as soon as we were all standing outside the heavens opened and we all got absolutely soaked. And as soon as we were all back in the minibus the rain stopped.


We were all dropped back to the Hungarians house with a short visit to the Llamas on the way, which everyone was very happy about, although wet Llamas are not as good as dry Llamas.


We spent the evnening with the Hungarians and most of the Americans which was alot of fun and I think we all learnt a bit about the other countries. Mrs. Buzzard made dinner of Sloppy Joes and Mac and Cheese for everyne which was very tasty, and the fruit salad that we had afterwards was delicious.


Mike returned to collect us at abou 10 pm and we returned to the cabin for a well deserved rest.

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MIC 2012, Day 18

Not too early a start today, we all got up at about 9.30am, had some breakfast and got ready to meet Mike. He arrived at about 10.30am and we were all ready to go. He brought us into the White Plains train station where we would catch a train into Grand Central in New York City. We also met the rest of the New Yorkers and the Hungarian contingent at the train station. The journey did not take very long, only about 45 minutes and then we got to see the main sites of Grand Central station, with many references to Madagascar of course!


During the day we visited many sites of the city including Mc Donalds, the Empire State Building, Times Square, the Nintendo Store, and the Rockerfeller Centre. The Empire State Building was truly amazing, as we waited in line there were presentation boards outlining how recent changes across the whole building have made it significantly more energy efficient, and in fact a beacon of energy efficiency. I found this very interesting and most of the guys read the boards as well. The wait wasn’t that long, only about an hour and we were in the elevator to the 80th floor. This floor had presentations on the history of the building and how it is important for many reasons, not just its height. Then another short elevator ride to the 86th floor, this floor had an outdoor observation area where spent quite a while, at half an hour or 45 minutes. We took lots of photos and looked down on all of the sites New York City.


After that was Times Square which was interesting but also very busy. WE split into smaller group here, but most groups visited the same places, the MandM store, the Hershey’s store and Toys ‘R Us. These were all good to see and certainly an experience for those who have never visited Times Square before. Next we wet on a bit of a walking tour and saw some other sites on our way back to Grand Central station.


By the time we got back to the cabin it was quite late and everyone was very tired, so we all went to bed very quickly after a thoroughy interesting and enjoyable day.

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MIC 2012, Day 17

Our first day after camp, me and the girls had a lazi-ish morning, we took it easy and just got up whenever we felt like it. Although Anthony (our host) said he was so used to getting up at 7am on camp that he had woken up at that time and couldn’t go back to sleep. When I got up I spent some time on the computer and we all watched some more classic american television (Log Tuckers and Alligator Wrestlers).


At about noon we decided we should really start re-packing our bags. I went first as my stuff seemed to be the most scattered around the room. Somehow )and I was the most amazed) I managed to get everything back into my bag. The two girls had no difficulty at all and soon we were all ready to go.


We said our goodbyes to Anthony and Reese and Rob gave us a lift to the Church where we met the rest of the group. At the car park we said Thank you and goodbye to Rob and moved all of our bags into Scott’s Van. Once everyone had arrived we all jumped into cars and vans and were on our way to the airport. It onlt took 15 minutes or so to get to the airport and then it was time to say our last goodbyes and thank you’s.


Once into the airport I went to investigate the check in process which unfortunately was all electronic. This meant that each person had to be checked in individually on a computer screen which was a little time consuming. Then we had to go through a bag drop and passport check. After all of this we were running a little late and hurried on to the security check. Surprisingly this was not as efficient as in Dublin Airport but eventually we were all through, belts and shoes in tact. We more or less ran on to the departure and found that we were just in time for check in. Within about ten minutes we were all finding our seats on the plane and I was settling down for a nap.


Once of the plane which arrived about 10 minutes early we proceeded through JFK very fast and found to our delight that all of our bags had made it too. I rang our New York contact Mike and soon he met us with his minibus and trailer for the bags. It took us about an hour and a half to get to Mikes house where we met all of the Llamas (Belle, Juiliet, Gideon, Sheeba and ). We gave them some food and also met Mikes wife Gail. After a while though it was time to hop back in the Mini bus and head to the cabin where we would all be staying.


By the time we arrived at the cabin it was about 11.30pm. We had a quick look around, it is a very nice cabin with two small rooms, one bug room, a large common room and a kitchen (the toilet block is also very close by). Once we were settled everyone headed to bed.

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MIC 2012, Day 16

The last day of camp has come and I think that most people have found that they really don’t want to leave, we have all made such good friends and it feels strange that we won’t wake up to see them all tomorrow morning.

The morning was spent packing the trailer, taking photos and saying our goodbyes. With alot of team work we were on the road by 11am and n our way back to Garden City, where we started getting things out of the trailers and we all had a troop dinner which was delicious and a great way to end an amazing week. We also presented our host group with their gift and one of our embroidered kneckerchiefs. After dinner we really didn’t want to say goodbye to some of the friends that we had made, but eventually we all had to go our separate ways.

The girls and I went back to the Hodson household for one last night in Michigan. We emptied our back and got lots of washing done. I went for a swim as it is supposed to help mosquito bites, I don’t think it did much for them but the long hot shower afterwards was very nice.

We spent the evening just chilling out playing cards and reliving the evens of the last week. We also made a preliminary start on our packing, because we head out to New York tomorrow.

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MIC 2012, Day 15

The International Festival day/Visitors day has arrived and all too quickly for my liking. But the sunshine and heat has also returned. With some help from the rangers we got all of our materials to the parade field and then set everything up for our display. I have to say that it looked pretty well. After some editing of the mixture we got the potatoe cakes under way. Everyone loved the smoked salmon and brown bread and the potatoe cakes. We taught them how to tie a turk’s head woggle, let them sample some sweets and introduced them to Irish sports and music.

We were right next to the Canadian stall and had a lot of fun during the day, some of the scouts parents also came up for the day and it was really nice to get to meet them all.

Once the visitors had left we had a flag lowering ceremony and a presentation of gifts to Bruce, the camp organisor. He really liked our gift and thought it was beautiful. After a campwide dinner of Chicken and baked potatoe we headed back to the site to get some tidying up done and get a start on the packing. We Irish also went to the fox subcamp to meet the Ventures from New York that we will be staying with next week. Soon it was time to head over to the campfire bowl for the Interfaith service and Closing ceremony. Both were very enjoyable and again would have only been improved if the seats were a little more comfortable and their had been less mosquitos.

When we got back to the site there was just enough time for a quick snack before all of the Scouts and Ventures were sent to bed for the last time. The leaders stayed up a little longer just to get some of the organising and packing done .

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MIC 2012, Day 14

Breakfast today was basically Sausage Mc Muffins, it was tasty although Conor B may have taken it a step too far when he attempted to eat one with 15 sausage patties in it.

This morning we had Service to Northwoods, this involved trying to remove invasive species from the woods around the camping grounds. What actually happened instead was that it rained and rained and rained despite the weather forecast of a clear and dry day. We even had a few injuries, one of the Americans Anthony got a pretty nasty thorn in his thumb, but Scouter Chris did manage to get it out eventually. After a quick lunch the guys were ready for shooting sports 2, which involved Archery, Paintball guns, and Air Rifles. Unfortunately the paintball was cancelled because it was too wet.

During the afternoon open programme session most of the guys went back to shooting sports and some even won prizes like MIC 2012 pen knives and carabiners. After dnner the programme areas were open again and fortunately the rain had finally stopped. Some went to patch trading in the dining hall, but most simply went to mingle with the other scouts from other campsites.

We then visited the Huron campsite for a campfire. This was a lot of fun and they even served us some “puppy chow” which is kind of like Chex cereal covered in Peanut butter and Icing sugar. It doesn’t sound great but it was actually really good. 

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MIC 2012, Day 13

Half way through our camp week and half way through our entire trip, wow the time has flown.

Pancakes for breakfast, my favourite. Our first activity was Geocaching in the pouring rain, which was well wet and of course half of the Irish scouts did not have a rain coat with them even though it rains ninety percent of the time at home. So everyone came back to site a little early and very very wet.

Next on our programme was plastic barrel rafting, so at least for this it didn’t matter that it was raining as they were all going to get wet anyway. Each patrol made their own raft, designed in their own way. Some of them worked really well and some did not work quite some well but all made it around the rafting course no matter how long it took them. The winning patrol was the Curlews, Conor B’s patrol. Some people even managed to stay clean and dry which was very impressive.

There was no second afternoon activity today in order to allow us time to prepare for the international meal. When we got back to the campsite all of the scouts were sent to their tents for a 30 minute rest, as some people had been getting very cranky.

Once they were up again we started to make dinner, this involved a lot of peeling and chopping and stirring. Canadian Andrew was very helpful we stirring as we needed to keep improvising tools that could make it all the way to bottom of the pot. We ate dinner at about 6pm and everyone loved the stew, especially Conor G. On our site we also tasted some rice and soup from Uganda, Pumpkin Pancakes from Bonaire and Poutin from Canada. The pancakes were delicious, I may even try to get the recipe from them at some point. The Poutin was also yummy although I have to say I was a touch sceptical at first. It is composed of French Fries covered in gravy with cheese on the top.

After dinner it was time to go and see the Kwahadi Dancers. This was a really great performance which could only have been improved if the seats had been a little more comfortable. 

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MIC 2012, Day 12

Today breakfast was comprised of a Breakfast burrito, which was yummy. Our first activity was at the water front again, and even though it was a little cloudy and not as warm as it has been most of the scouts got in the water or went out on one of the boats. First though I had to make a trip to the Medical centre with a few of the kids who were not feeling too well. I also got some cream for all of my mosquito bites while I was there. WE then got a lift in the golf buggy back to the water front and a few went back to the campsite for a well needed nap.

After the water front we headed up to Native American Lore,  While we were on our way up it started raining pretty heavily so luckily all the rest of the days activities were inside. At Native American Lore we had lunch and the learnt about a few native american crafts. These included making dream catchers, jewelery and weaving with small strips of wood..

Next we headed to handi craft, which I really enjoyed. They had lots of things that you can make most of which I am sure that you will see when all of the Scouts and Ventures get home. Among the things that they made were paracord bracelets, key rings, walking pole covers, sit mats, glass painting and wood brandings. 

Time for dinner and we were finally allowed to cook on our own site as clean drinking water had returned. We had Walking Tacos which we found out are pretty much just Nachos. And the most delicious brownies for dessert.

The evening activities comprised of Card Games in the dining hall and patch trading beside the trading post. The patch trading room was packed, you could barely move and the heat was unbelievable. Everyone had a good time and even got some pretty cool patchs. they were also serving ice cream and pizza in the dining hall and we managed to get one of the rangers to deliver some ice cream all the way to our site for the leaders, it was yum if a little malted. At about 9.45 everything was shut down because there were warnings that a thunder storm was on the way.

After a quick patrol check we worked out that two scouts had not returned to the site. We worked out that they were on one of two sites and had them both back on site in no time. At this point the rain was thundering down and there was some really impressive Thunder and Lightening. 

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MIC 2012, Day 11

Tuesday morning and everyone was woken bright and early when Mr. Hickling played Revelie on the Bugle, although some of our heavier sleepers did sleep through the whole thing. After a delicious breakfast of Pancakes and Sausage we got ready to head out for activities. 

The first on the list as back to the parade field for more team and initiative games. This time the groups swapped so I visited initiative games, and it was alot of fun. The group I followed started with the spider web, then moved on to an “A-Frame” challenge, the also had a other challenges which they needed to solve as a group. Then the whole group got together to play Rock, Paper, Scissors and two of the Irish Scouts managed to convince the person organising the game that they had never heard of Rock, Paper, Scissors and had no idea how to play. It was hilarious watching everyone try to teach them how to play, but eventually we did tell them that the guys were just messing and had of course played Rock, Paper, Scissors before.

Next we headed to Global Scouting to find our lunch. After a good feed we were introduced to some traditional dress, songs and dances from the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). After a reluctant start the guys all got into the spirit and had a lot of fun with this. We took lots of photos and I will hopefully get them uploaded soon. Next we went to play a game which come from Costa Rico. This is played with a small ring of rope which you pass among your team kind of like a frisbee, then you have to throw it onto a broom handle which is being held by someone on your team. Everyone really enjoyed this game and want to play it when we get home. The last thing in global scouting was a game from Egypt which involved lots of water and so was much appreciated.

After Global Scouting we headed for Shooting Sports 2, this involved Shotgun, Rifles and Black Powder guns. Most of the group enjoyed this although there was quite alot waiting around in between stations. Most of the guys concluded that their favourite was the clay pidgeon shooting, which some found they were very good at.

After that it was time to head back on site to get ready for dinner. Again we were having a campwide dinner in the dining hall. It was bar-b-q chicken with rice and was very tasty. After dinner it was time for the international night, which is where all of the international groups do the performance that they have prepared.  Conor wasn’t feeling the best this evening so we decided that Stephen would introduce the group in Irish and Conor B would be his translator. The performance actually went really well and everyone enjoyed it, but I was definitely glad when it was over. All of the other performances were excellent, a good evening was had by all. Except maybe for the Canadians who for some reason or other had been forgotten all together and didn’t get to do their performance, this was on top of the fact that yesterday at the waterfront all of their paper work had been lost, they were not happy campers.

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