St Laurence College

The Bear Grylls of Ballybrack

Is Cian the Bear Grylls of Ballybrack? He can cook some great bush tucker! You wouldn't get a burger like this in Box Burger!
21-February-20
The Bear Grylls of Ballybrack

The new First Year group working with the L.A.B Project have been out in the woods recently with Carl McDermott (L.A.B Project) Adam O' Shea (Outdoor Pursuits Office with Dun Laoghaire Youth Service).

Glen of the Downs Woods is only a stones throw away from the gate of the school. (Well a long throw from a strong arm- Shane's throw! - about a 15 minute drive).

The group huddled together in the wind on the first afternoon of this outdoor education programme to learn how to make responsible camp fires.

And it is much harder than it looks on TV when your plane has crashed in the Amazon and you need to cook the weakest passenger to survive.

Luckily we all had lunch before we left school and we gathered sticks and branches to criss-cross and light with our flint sticks. We used tin foil so we didn't damage the under growth or set fire to the whole forest. It was so windy we had to use a few tricks to get out fires going. Adam always has a whole bag of scout and commando tricks up his sleeve and we used cotton wool and a swipe of vaselin to make a spark and hey presto we eventually got all the small fires going. If you want a lesson in not giving up just ask Cian L who tried and tried and tried and battled the cold wind until he made flames. He was like an alpha male caveman wildly rejoicing after conquering the elements and in a 'surreal' life situation he would have been able to keep the zombies of the apocalypse at bay. We have 'Man of the Mountain' on our biking trips and we are introducing it here again for these trips. Cian L was the 'Man of the Glen.'

And it was the turn of another Cian, (Cian M) to take on the 'Man of the Glen' for our second afternoon in Wicklow. The group used their responsible campfire building skills again on this trip to build a fire fit for a Aztec human sacrifice. Happily, we all had lunch again before we left and Adam assured the group the that they were safe from the zombie apocalpse at least for the afternoon. Tyler and Shane gathered up enough wood to get the fire going for some outdoor cooking. There was a team for food preparation and after a few cuts and bleed outs from sharp knives, Cian M stoked up the fire for some bush tucker- burgers, roasted sweet potato and sweet apples with cinnamon. It was a feast for a hungry Viking and we went absolutely 'beserk' over Cian M's smoked Glen burgers. Unfortunately, we didn't have long enough to roast the sweet potatoes but we learned survival cooking skills our bellies were full. We enjoyed a cup of tea using the Kelly kettle before we washed up and cleaned up our camp site making sure to bring all our rubbish with us and putting fresh dry soil over our fire area.

We had an adventure and adventures are important parts of growing up. We worked as a team. We learned how to respect nature and appreciate the environment and we are looking foward to Week 3 when we will take to the Wicklow Mountains again for some hiking to explore some historical sites. What will we find? Check back to find out more about our adventures!

A Big Thank You (on behalf of the Men of the Glen) to Carl and Adam for the 'outdoor classroom.'

By Martin Doran

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