Leave No Trace, Bagenalstown Scouts

Leave No Trace, Bagenalstown Scouts

Leave No Trace Ireland, with Tourism Pure Walking Holidays

Leave No Trace Ireland

Last week, I ran a very enjoyable Leave No Trace (LNT) awareness session for Bagenalstown Scouts down in Co. Carlow.

First up were around 28 beavers, aged from 4 to 8. They were great craic altogether, full of funny questions and highly competitive to get the chance to speak. Great fun.

As the highlight, I brought them outside to demonstrate the principle that we should “Leave What You Find”. To do this, I fill a hard plastic container with nice things, from chocolate bars to Actimel pots. But the trick is to have fewer items in the box than there are kids at the session. I send the kids around the corner to the container (which cannot be seen from where the group is standing) to each take one item only. Of course, by the time the last 6 children reach the box, there is nothing left for them.

Lesson ? If we all pull up one flower, or remove one rock from a megalithic tomb, etc., then there will be nothing left for future visitors.

This exercise doubles up as the “Dispose of Waste Properly” principle, by observing if any children drop their chocolate bar wrapper or empty Actimel pot on the ground.

For the 40 odd cubs and scouts present, aged between 8 and 15, the highlight is demonstrating how to make a camp fire without scorching the ground. This is done by using a fire blanket and building a 10 – 15 cm thick dome of small stones and gravel, with a volcano type 3 – 5 cm deep crater in the middle. Small sticks are laid across this depression, where the fire can start, thanks to the air beneath. Of course, sticks and other materials should be taken from where they lie around in nature, rather than butchered off living trees.

An interactive and educational evening for these scouts, despite the cold Carlow night air.

[ And, yes, of course I had something nice in reserve for the 6 ‘guinea pig’ beavers who got nothing out of the container ! ]

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