Lough Dan is a great location to have your county camp or County Shield Competition. There is lots of space for both group and patrol size pitches and we supply some metal altar fires, fire wood, pioneering and rafting equipment. There is also a range of self-lead on-site activities that are included in the camp fee (see section on “Activities”) and we have a few staff lead activities that we charge for and which need to be booked in advance.
County shield competitions often ask for more space and facilities than are available. It is Lough Dan policy to be inclusive and to accommodate all groups and events that want to camp and as such we do not give a county competition exclusivity. You may therefore have to arrange sites so that the fit into the area available and if it rains the wet weather shelter needs to be shared with everyone else on site.
We have noticed over the last while that the County Shield Completions and some group camps have got stuck in a bit of a rut by remaining on the site and not taking full advantage of the magnificent area surrouning the centre. Some also seem to slip into the dreadful trap of over complicating the completion and running yet another series of bases that you could run anywhere rather than getting into Wild Wicklow and the Wicklow Mountains National Park that surrounds the centre.
On the Lough Dan staff team we have lots of experience both of the area and of scout camping in general. Just ask and we might be able to help you design a fun yet challenging programme for your camp or competition with a mix of camp craft and fun activities.
Traditionally scout camping was all about using it as a base to discover and explore an area. A chance to do some activities you couldn’t do in the den. It was an opportunity to go on a hike which might provide learning opportunities for young people in a fun way. It was never intended that camping would be an end in itself where it was important to have all the tent pegs in a straight line and everything had to be perfect. Most scout camps nowadays are of a short duration where the emphasis should be on keeping it simple. We call this “pitch and get out ” camping. It really makes no sense to construct a full campsite suitable for a two week summer camp on a weekend. You will only have it built when you have to take it down. The challenge for county shield completion organisers is to get the balance right between a bit of judging and a lot of fun activities. We can help with ideas and suggestions. Just ask.