5th Year Gaisce trip
A group of 24 fifth year students along with our religion teachers, Mr Ross and Ms Hetherton, set off to Lilliput Adventure Centre, which is located on the shores of Lough Ennell, approx. 10 minutes from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath on Monday the 20th of April. This trip was part of our Gaisce Bronze Awards. We set off at 9:10 Monday morning on a 1 hour and 30 minute journey, although we stopped off at a petrol station to get a bit of 'grub' that would do us until dinner that evening. Upon our arrival to Lilliput we were greeted by the owners and the Lilliput Legends who would be taking us to the various activities that we were going to undertake. We had around 40 minutes to get settled in, pick our beds and make a wee cuppa tea. Firstly, we set off on our 12km hike which wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. Apart from the blisters on our feet and sore legs, we all made a round trip and landed back to the centre. We then got changed into our old clothes and did some kayaking. We were in groups of 3 in each kayak and our aim was to reach the nearby island in the middle of Lough Ennel which was 5km. Our other aim was to stay dry, but that didn't go to plan. Of course the lads thought it would be hilarious to cope all the girls out of our boats and we all got drenched. After that episode we went down to the bog assault course, and it was honestly one of the best and funniest things I have ever done. The assault course ran approx. 5km and the aim here was basically to get as filthy as you could as there was awards for 'Dirtiest Boy & Girl'. Myself and Emmet Magee were the true winners of this award and I'd like to sincerely thank Gearoid McDonald for helping me win this award by throwing me face first into the bog and spraining my wrist in the process. After our 40 minute showers we got cleaned up and dressed to have lovely Spaghetti Bolognase and garlic bread for dinner. With our full bellies we had a few hours to chill out and we passed the time by playing cards, football, listening to tunes and having the craic. We also took the opportunity to take a few selfies and it was fair to say Mr Ross had great craic with my selfie stick, who knew he was so photogenic?! At around 9:30 when it got really dark we got split into 2 groups and set off into the forest for a group game of hide and seek. It was quite scary as all we had was the light of our phones but it was great fun and I would say the highlight was when Mark Duffy decided he'd jump down off the hill but instead he jumped straight into a mini bog pond and got the fright of his life. We got back around 10:30 and we got some snacks and made tea. It was great as the kitchen was left open the whole time we were there so we could make snacks, tea/coffee, sambos etc. We had the rest of the night to chill out and do as we pleased as there was no set curfew (thankfully) and as long as we didn't wreck the place. We then decided we would take out our guitars and have a jamming session with the gang, which was one of the highlights of the trip. This session lasted until the early hours of around 1:30 in the morning but the craic was had. The later it got there were ghost stories being told and the messing began, with some of the boys having to clean out their beds and pillows. (Lets just say there were slices of ham EVERYWHERE!) The next morning we were up bright and early before 8:00, and we all had tired looking heads considering we had no more than 4 hours sleep. We got breakfast, packed our bags and headed out orienteering around the area which was around 3km. We were split into groups of 3 and were given a map with 14 different spots we had to find. It was so much fun, even though most of us got lost along the way. After that adventure we all took part in rock climbing and it was a race to the top. We then had some lovely home-made soup and sausages for lunch just before we hit the road. We played a few team games before we loaded our bags onto the bus. We arrived home around 3:30 on the Tuesday, just in time for everyone to catch buses home. This trip was the highlight of 5th year for all of us that went, we never thought we could have as much fun as we had in the two days. I would like to thank Mr Ross and Ms Hetherton for taking us on the trip and we hope you enjoyed having the craic with us all!