Scouts camp in trees to raise funds

The 7th Kildare Rathangan Scout Group have adopted what can only described as an equally innovative and crazy fundraising method.

The 7th Kildare Rathangan Scout Group have adopted what can only described as an equally innovative and crazy fundraising method.

Last Friday evening, they tried out the 1st annual tree sitting event in Ireland.

Its been done before in other parts of the world, and goes something like this - 20 trees are selected and were occupied from 8pm last Friday August 24 until 3pm on Sunday.

Participants had to enter the tree at 8pm and can bring up a total of 40kgs of gear into the tree.

Everything except their clothes were weighed beforehand and nothing could be dropped from the tree or passed up to a participant during the contest.

The person who could last longest in the tree was the winner.

If, by the end time of the competition there was more than one, the one with the lightest amount of gear was deemed the winner.

Bathroom breaks were permitted, but they were counted against the final time at the end.

Scout leaders explained that the object of this event was to sell 20 selected trees for €100 each.

To publicise themselves, the event went live via radio and via Skype to Cohocton in upstate New York during the event.

Cohocton is the only other village to undertake such an event.

Rathangan scouts are re-opening and are currently raising money to buy equipment.

They have approximately 170 new members starting in October which is being seen as a great boost to numbers of scouts in north Kildare.

Speaking to the Leinster Leader on Monday, John Mack said that the event had gone very well.

“We sold 16 trees and had 16 people up the trees.

“Five people managed to stay the whole time.

@It was an enjoyable event and everybody seemed to get on well.

“The winners was James Kelly who won on points.”

So, how did they get on, sleeping the trees, the Leinster Leader asked?

“Eh, interesting,” John replied.

“The first night most didn’t get any sleep, but on the second night they got a better night’s sleep.”

The event has raised €2,000 euros for local scouts, which is a great way to start off for them.

“Every small donation goes a long way in the scouts,” John said.

- Conor McHugh