As the parents’ committee, we are asking you to help where you can by supporting our fundraising campaign to rebuild the roof and save The Den and allow us to continue the long tradition of scouting by 5th Port Dollymount on the Bull Island. As part of the Scouting for Gold fundraiser, we will be running a number of fun events throughout 2020 and 2021. We will be starting with 2 events, the first selling 2021 calendars of Bull Island and Clontarf with beautiful pictures of the area donated by many talented photographers who share our love for the area. We also plan on running a "Scouting for Gold" drive where we will be collecting old gold and silver jewellery to turn into cash. These events will all be detailed on our facebook page: 5th Port Dollymount .
We'd love to give you a little background to the 5th Port Scouts themselves and the beautiful location that is the bull wall. Read on below for more detail.
The Bull Island, a popular recreational and nature reserve, is a relatively recent addition to the Dublin Landscape, and was formed after a decision was taken to build the North Bull Wall in 1821 in order to redirect the tides and deepen the entrance to Dublin Bay. The area beyond the wall gradually silted up to form the island.
Sea Scouts have based themselves on The Bull Island for much of the Island’s history. They took up residence in their base, The Crow’s Nest in 1912, only 5 years after the completion of the current wooden bridge, even predating the designation of the area as a bird sanctuary in 1931.
In 1949 the Second Port split in two and the the 5th Port Dollymount was founded, changing their neckerchief from black to the red we know today. By 1950 the 2nd Port had ceased to be and 5th Port Dollymount took up residence at the former site. Their first base was the Nissen Hut built in 1952 and their first boat, the Mayqueen was acquired. From 1962, under the strict rule of Skipper Dick Vekins, the troop began to move from strength to strength and detailed logs were kept of activities. The parents committee was formed in 1963 and to this day, a group of parents work together with leaders to help fund the activities of the young scouts and assist with boat purchase and maintenance as well as maintaining the premises.
In 1963 an old prefab was brought from Belfast and refashioned at the site of today’s Crow’s Nest followed by The Canoe Drome of 1965. Work continued on the den through the decades but in 1992, the year the scouts celebrated their eightieth anniversary on the island, the Crow’s Nest was placed in peril by a breach of the sea wall at the lagoon during storms and the den was flooded. Extensive fundraising efforts for the current Den were completed in 2005 and construction was completed in 2006.
Many generations of scouts have worked hard on the site to maintain their facilities together with the help of the parents committee and families and friends of the scouts. Local businesses have generously supported us over the years in our fundraising efforts. All the running costs of the den are generated from events such as the much loved Annual Autumn Fair, the sale of raffle tickets at Christmas, entertainment events and the Annual Fun Run and BBQ.
Generations of scouts have learned a love of the sea and the land, through their activities in North Dublin Bay. They learn skills that stay with them through a lifetime, and experience the benefits of camaraderie and team effort with many friendships formed lasting many long years. In 2002 girls were admitted as full scouting members, incorporating a former girl guides group. Every year new entrants take the Scout Promise to “do my best, to serve my community, to help other people and to live by the Scout Law”
Scouts are no stranger to adversity and the scouts of Bull Island would have lived through 2 world wars and the flu pandemic of 1918-19. Little did anyone expect to see such an event repeated but Covid-19 and lockdown led to a suspension of activities for some months. As parents it was an emotional moment, after months of lockdown, to see them resume activities with their friends under the watchful eye of their leaders. It has done so much good for the young people to emerge from recent restrictions and partake in sea sports, sailing, kayaking and socially distanced outdoor activities.
However, the den is once again in danger and needs extensive roof repairs. The scouts and their parents, through the work of the parent’s committee are seeking help from all our friends, families, neighbours and businesses who have been so good in supporting our events over the years as well as local elected representatives and others. This will be a challenge like no other, particularly in challenging times, but we are up to it. To quote part of the Scout Law, a scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
As the parents’ committee, we are asking you to help if you can, with financial assistance in these difficult times, with a fundraising campaign to rebuild the roof and save The Den to continue the long tradition of scouting by 5th Port Dollymount on the Bull Island.
Our first event is Scouting for Gold and any old odd earrings or broken jewellery that may be lying unused can be dropped off to leaders or by contacting the number above. We will be keeping you posted on future events that are permitted within public health measures, the safety of all being the primary concern at this difficult time. As always, we would welcome new members from amongst parents, and all helpers for events big or small are very welcome.
Together we can work to repair the modern building that now houses our beautiful handcrafted Skiffs, sailing boats and kayaks, as well as being home to many evenings and days of activities for the X members who now make up the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Valkyrie troops.
In the eloquent words of John Marshfield, as beautifully inscribed in the original 1953 logbook
Though you have conquered earth and charted sea
And planned the courses of all stars that be
Adventure on, more wonders are in thee
Thanks for your help,
5th Port Leaders
DonationsSee top donations
- Micheal O'Connell
- James O'Callaghan
- Brendan Bleheen
- Patrick Williams
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