Lock and Load!

Many years, in fact, decades ago, when Transition Year Elder Gavin Maguire was a young lad, of about 17 or 18 years old, he was absolutely obsessed with the US military. Every Saturday, and all summer long, would be spent dressed up in American army fatigues and toting a toy M16, and young Corporal Maguire would scour his Blackrock cul-de-sac doing recon for his superior officers, who were safely ensconced back on the base in young Gav’s imagination. But people move on and grow up, and with Gav’s politics having slidden to the left: he now spends his off-time in his UN ‘blue cap’ replica uniform, complete with replica rice bag. But, boy, there is something in the old toy guns that brings us back to them, again and again! Case in point: the TY’s trip to Carlingford Adventure Centre. Yes, we expected a feverish if slightly clumsy eagerness from the Fortnite enthusiasts, but even the boys who talk to girls were gung-ho for the Laser Combat! And not just the boys either, as Ms. Speller, as super-powered as the Black Widow, ditched the Swiss Army knife, picked up a bazooka and led a gang of TY women warriors on the rampage!

It was not all combat, though. In fact, the theme of the trip was team-building and togetherness and besides the many social occasions (stretching well into the wee hours) there were organised exercises, such as orienteering, hill-walking, Skypark, rock climbing and Ziptopia, which emphasised co-operation and support for your friends and classmates. And though the youngsters somehow still had energy to chat and giggle and keep Mr. Morris busy, there was one high-ranking officer, in his blue night-cap, who hit the bunk early and snored the night away!

Like Princess Di and various Kardashians, Micheál Sweeney just commands the camera lens, so much so that we have put together his very own slider. Next time, in order to save on film costs, we just might find a camera-person who is not so enamoured with Micheál… if such a person exists!