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Ballyfin '93

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,588 ✭✭✭ Bluetonic

    So come on who was there?

    I'm a long time left the scouting movement now and hardly remember Ballyfin so anyone care to regale us with a few stories?

    Things I can remember:
    Quad Bikes
    Assualt Course
    All the camp site named after Irish lakes
    Queen tribute band one of the nights
    Trying to swap tickets for each days events
    The 2fm Roadcaster

    ....memory is getting worse these days.


  • i remember going down with the cubs, (our leader was the scout leader).
    only stayed one night, ( us being iccle cubs)

    Paragliding, Now that sounded cool.
    2fm roadcaster? cool

    was at the Dutch Natinol Jamboree in 2000, had some Dutch radio station there talking about it ( in dutch i guess)

  • I remember conoes and quadbikes but I was only a beaver

  • I was in Ballyfin as one of the leaders from 120th Portmarnock Scouts. I remember a few interesting stories.

    We were on sub camp Oular. There was a chant from another sub camp that went 'Eske is best' and this could be heard throughout the campsite and they hi-jacked almost every event with it. The night of our sub camp campfire everyone was pretty sick and tired of hearing it. After one of the chants I roared out 'Oular is cooler' and this took with everyone there chanting it in reply to the Eske chant. It made the front page headlines of the next camp newsletter and was heard all around the site as well from then on.

    We invested 8 scouts in canoes on the lake. The priest was absolutely terrified of water but he agreed to do it, fair play to him.

    The quad bikes were not open to leaders but if we went up at lunchtime a blind eye was turned. I remember one day the other leader with us was getting great air from the jump and lost it. Landed on his back and did not move for what seemed an age but was about 3-4 minutes in reality. He walked away uninjured.

    I found this page and it gives some more details Oliver Hunter's Website - Ballyfin All-Ireland Jamboree.


  • Dead mans Inn :D
    Gordons Goffers :D

  • Girls!
    Thats what I remember anyway!!

    Loads & loads of girls!

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  • How about:

    1. Foxy's take-away in the military mess tent, pitched right beside the handball courts where there were two shops with the staff canteen sandwiched in between.

    2. Venturers with Walkie Talkies, AKA Security

    3. That poor girl in the portaloo that broke her arm when the Air Corp Dauphin helicopter carrying Mary Robinson blew it over!

    4. D-ream - Things can only get better - Played all the time on the Roadcoaster, along with that 4-non-blondes song too...

    5. The army rangers abseling out of a helicopter over the lake, into a speed boat, then racing to shore, to deliver the national flag for the opening ceremony - Super cool stuff.

    6. The supermarket onsite where all the leaders went food shopping. It was like Lidl or Aldi are now, completely alien at the time

    7. The never-ending hunt for neckerchiefs - I was on the staff and was hounded for a staff necker by so many people who wanted a set of all 3, same for the badges etc.

    Well, that's it for now....I'm sure other things will come back to me in time.... :D

    ex-HQ Unit, Dartry, CBSI

  • i was down on the visitor day to see my brother.they where from derry and they made the local paper for the thing they build so they could pitch more tents.they builded a big wooden thing they could put 2 tents on it took them they how camp to build it.anyone remender that.

  • I was there. I was the only Canadian on staff. there were many a night of good good times. i have started a Facebook group as well.


  • God it's great to hear someone calling for memories of Ballyfin. I was only looking on my chest of drawers at a Ballyfin paperweight and the golden woggle. The woggle was a metal piece about 2cm x 1.5cm with the emblem and a ring eyelet that your woggle went into and you had to fight hard for. I still have the little Ballyfin booklet with the names and addresses of the people I made friends with.

    I was a Scout with the 87th Cork but we were a young troop, barely open and so we joined the 46th Cork who were also heading to Portlaoise for the camp. I was 13 years old and about to embark on a great adventure. We caught the train to Portlaoise and caught a connecting bus to the grounds of Ballyfin college. The first thing we saw were the staff with their purple and green fleeces. "I want one of those!", I thought. Didn't get one though.

    We were in Sub Camp Conn and the badge had the symbol of a swan and there was a hand gesture they had where we used to lift our left hand in the air and we'd make our palms drop like a bird swooping. I think that's why they called it "The Swan ... being shot!" We were next to the Swedish Girls and the Germans with their black freaky tents that had holes for fire. Those Germans knew how to have a sing song. The 6th Fermanagh weren't too far away and we met them at the Opening Ceremony where one of them had broken her leg. They loved to sing aswell.

    The stage was on a slope down to the lake and I saw the flag coming out of the helicopter. Speaking of which, stories abound of incidents with helicopters that year and toppling portaloos but I wasn't there when it landed so it could be made up.

    I can remember the song for Ballyfin....
    "Today we're bigger and tomorrow we're gona be more...
    The third Jamboree ballyfin, the Spirit lives on."

    The activities were Challenge Valley, Quads, Canoeing, Swimming, Pioneering and the others I can't remember but I can look in the booklet, with the stamps I had to run around Conn to get off other troops. Get ten stamps and ten names and addresses and you get the Golden Woggle. There was a wide game base with a large castle and someone throwing water, slippery fighting on a pole and the likes. An Odysee base I never went into, T-Shirt Printing...I printed the unit numbers on the back in pink on an oange t-shirt.

    I went to a photography session where the times was wasted in the dark coz the guy doing it had to change something with no lights on and that was an expreience.

    I also went to an amateur radio class and I loved it so much I kept popping back to hear the contacts being made all over the world. The contact call sign for us was EI5SJB (EI5 for Ireland and SJB for Scout Jamboree Ballyfin ) and I now keep abreast of world radio with my Sony that can pick up Ham users all over.

    The Civil Defence were there too and their base was just before Sub Camp Conn where they set up an yellow fire Appliance and a land rover jeep. Funny but I ended up joining Civil Defence's AFS section afterwards aswell. I remember the only time I saw them in action was when someone threw fuel on a fire and got flam in the face and we saw the ambulance fly up the track with a guy in the back, face in a cloth heading for the hospital.

    There was an astronomy tower I never got to see and there was a hillwalking option but we got as far as the meeting point and we were not allowed to go as we didn't have the right shoes.

    I remember the talent shows and we did a scholl around the corner sketch that I thought was crap when I think back. the Saw Doctors turned up aswell. The tune I remember from Ballyfin 93 was the "lala lala long, lala lala long long le long long long, oh ya. Girl I'm gona make you sweat...."

    The food was bought at the providoire, I never got to see the drop in centre but I did see the inside of the Main House during the closing ceremony.

    There were tents on stilts. Can't remember the troop..different Sub Camp.

    Some cried, some got sick, some ate entire tubs of ice cream coz there was no fridge. Nobosdy in Ouler loved me and to this day I have just two photos of the entire adventure, from the photography class and those two pictures are of the buses coming along the drive on the first day.
    I came home with a paper weight, fridge magnets, two postcards, a kneckerchief, the booklet, the golden woggle, a plate with a golden rim ( that faded ). The t-shirt, the cap ( red with the emblem on the front ) and some sweets. No money left. Those were the days.

    I really wanted to go to Chelmsford but I've grown up. Best leave it to someone else to enjoy, eh?


  • Bluetonic,

    I am guessing that you were with the 34th or 161st.

    Were you in Waddecar, Lancashire in 1984?

    Question for EVERYONE...

    Who can remember Portumne 1985?

    God, the mud there would leave Glastonbury in the shade.

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  • i don't remember the camp in 85, but i was at Gosford in 89.

  • Hi All,

    I was one of the yellow Civil Defence people!! I had forgotten about the guy getting burned. I had a ball at the jamboree. I did'nt get involved in the activities, howeve I still have my woggle and a good selection of tshirt and neckerchiefs!!
    I also filled my address book with people that I manage to keep in touch with up until I moved away.
    Would love to hear from anyone who remembers any of the civil defence stewards.


  • irish_kat wrote: »
    i was down on the visitor day to see my brother.they where from derry and they made the local paper for the thing they build so they could pitch more tents.they builded a big wooden thing they could put 2 tents on it took them they how camp to build it.anyone remender that.

    I remember this. I was with a Dublin Troop Portmarnock on the Jamboree. But my former troop 1st/2nd/3rd Derry build a double decker icelantic platform allowing them to pitch 2 tents on the platform doubleing their sleeping tents.

    Stevie M was the leader as far as far as I can remember. I was a great pioneering project, well done all.

  • Eske is best... But Corrib is better!

  • Shoie wrote: »
    I remember this. I was with a Dublin Troop Portmarnock on the Jamboree. But my former troop 1st/2nd/3rd Derry build a double decker icelantic platform allowing them to pitch 2 tents on the platform doubleing their sleeping tents.

    Stevie M was the leader as far as far as I can remember. I was a great pioneering project, well done all.

    I was part of the 1st Derry troup that built the tent platform, I had blisters from doing all the lashings. Stevie Mallet was our leader.

    We pitched two icelantic tents on top and underneath we had our cookhouse and dining area. We managed to "acquire" plywood from the main stage to make the platform.

    I'd love to get my hands on some photos of it. I'm a scout leader in England now and when I tell our scouts about it they tend to be a bit incredulous.


  • Fifteen years ago... Reading the above posts brings back great members and makes me think it was all worthwhile... Thanks for the great memories...

    Kiernan Gildea
    Camp Chief
    Ballyfin '93

    p.s. Makes me think I might organise a reunion at Jamboree 2008 in Punchestown...

  • This is fantastic!

    34th/161st (i was 161st) balbriggan Venture Scouts! Conn all the way!!!

  • Ballyfin '93 opened today, 20 Years ago... It was an honour and a privilege for me to be part of your lives for those days...

    "The Spirit Lives On" - Ballyfin's Jamboree Song.

    The Spirit lives on and we're stronger than ever before,
    We're bigger today and tomorrow we're going to be more,
    We can't keep it in, got to shout, sing it out in a song,
    We're growing all over the World.....
    The Spirit Lives On

    The Spirit lives on like a big yellow sun watch it shine,
    Touching the World and touching the thoughts in our minds,
    Shining forever where ever the Spirit is strong,
    The third Jamboree, Ballyfin....
    The Spirit Lives On

    We're proud of the past and it feels like we've only begun,
    It only gets better the longer and stronger we run,
    With faith at the start and God in our hearts and our song,
    Everyone knows when it shows.....
    The Spirit Lives On

    The first, the second and we're at the third Jamboree,
    Bursting with pride as we sing to the mountains and trees,
    Together we stand, sharing this land and our song,
    The third Jamboree, Ballyfin.....
    The Spirit Lives On

    Best wishes to you and yours,

    Kiernan Gildea
    Camp Chief

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  • Came across this after some reminiscing about Ballyfin ‘93 when I was 12-have some fond (but blurry memories!). I remember Mary Robinson visiting, and I still have a newspaper cutting where the photographer took a pic of Mary and I’m in the background taking a pic of her too. I remember the awful portaloos and some much older boys shaking it from side to side when I was in there 🀔. I remember being desperate for toast along with my pal and one of our leaders made a long pole with a wire hook at the end of it so I could slot a Slice if bread in and make toast off the campfire! I remember the leaders had some sort of pub, the ballyfin radio station and Eske is the best (I was Eske!). I don’t think I washed the whole time I was there. Have 3 sons now, 2 of whom are heading to jambo ri on Wednesday and hope they have the time of their lives like I did. Just went online though to purchase visitor tickets and there are none left-so my threats of turning up on visitors day with my Ballyfin ‘93 necker and t-shirt may not come true!

  • Ooler were cooler.

    Some craic.

  • Ouler is cooler. I was one of those too...

    Think I still have my woggle somewhere, as well as a slice of a log with something burned into it

  • Class. I have all my scout gear in a bag in the attic too. I think I swapped 6 neckerchiefs, my parents were fairly understanding! Remember going round and getting all the stamps for your book, how cool was that back then.

    Fell in love with an older girl in the site next to us. Her surname was Sexton, I couldn't look at her without blushing.

    4th Kildare Naas. Which patrol were you in?