Earlier this month, thirty Lakeland scouts travelled to Italy. The group comprised of scouts from Athlone, Mullingar, Ballymahon, Castlepollard and Delvin.
Following our flight to Rome via Gatwick airport we were transported by bus to the Baden Powell camp site, otherwise known as ‘B.P. Park’ in time to collect our tents and get our heads down for a well-earned sleep. It wasn’t until next morning that we were able to take stock of where we were. The campsite rests on thirty-four acres with access to a further sixteen acres and boasts deep valleys and large wooded areas. Amenities were sparse with continental toilets, which caused some problems for our scouts – and cold showers. This however did not deter our scouts and we readied ourselves for the time ahead.
It is amazing how much can be squeezed into nine days, in fact there was that much, it would probably require a special feature to report it.
In short we swam in the cool clear volcanic waters of Lake Braccaino, visited the local towns and villages of, Orlieo, Vejiano and Bassano Romano – all of which have a layered history, just waiting to be discovered.
One of our main aims for making the journey was to tackle the peak of Mount Terminillo resting some 2216m above sea level. This was not something to be tackled in the heat of a typical Italian day instead we set off at 2.00am in the morning and finished the climb about 11.30am. The views were like nothing any of us had seen before and indeed it will probably be sometime before we see the likes again. Nevertheless the mountain was just the warm up for a hike, which would take us along the Appian Way and involved some wild camping.
By Monday it was time for the troop to return to civilisation. To achieve this we hopped on a bus and made the one hour journey to Rome. Over the next three days we toured the sites, shops and the history of this wonderful city. Unfortunately the Trevi Fountain was under restoration and we were unable to toss a coin in, ensuring we would one day return to Rome. Nevertheless, following a nine day travel experience the group returned, promising they would one day return.
Well done to all who took part in this adventure and thanks to those that put so much into the organisation of the trip especially Sean, Emmett and Keith.
Submitted by Michael Murphy Third Westmeath Delvin Scout Group