What is a Rover Chill?

Rover Chill is a Rover Event that happens during October every year for ages 18-26. The focus of the event is around the idea of service. This involves benefiting a community, group of people or a person in a sustainable way whilst enjoying and learning new skills along the way.
Participants are asked to select a trail. Their options are Physical, Environment, Culture and Innovative. By choosing their own path to follow for the weekend, they’ll be grouped with people who share a common interest. In essence they are their own special interest crew for the weekend.


For Rovers… By Rovers (and every other bit of help you can get from Scouting Ireland).
I suppose Is should mention that I’m still quite new to the formalities of running a National event. So there is always quite a lot of stumbling around in the dark until you find the right light switch. Luckily scouting has taught us that learning by doing is typically the best way to figure something out and asking well over a hundred questions is definitely helps.
The important part of planning for me is your team, having the right balance of different skills and personalities in a team is crucial. You can’t have too many people that will just follow your every decision, because who’s going to tell you when you’re veering off course? Finding the balance of friction and harmony is crucial to a successful event in my eyes.

My initial task list:

  • Have Budget and Rationale of event approved by Chief Commissioner of Youth Programme and Rover Programme Commisioner
  • Contact National Office to have booking form created
  • Get badges updated
  • Order Badges
  • Find Venue
  • Get graphics done up with this year’s info
  • Recruit Trail Leaders
  • Recruit Programme Team Lead
  • Find my marbles

This is the first task list I made, there were at least 12 more like this (I changed the colour of my pen to keep it fresh though).

The Event:

Friday evening had everyone’s belly filled with pizza using Sixmilebridge’s handcrafted pizza oven. A full belly and a good night sleep were important for the hectic day ahead of everyone on Saturday.

Saturday we had a somewhat alternative alarm clock in the form of a flying tent at 6am. I will forever be grateful for those who jumped out of their tents, still in their pyjamas for a morning wrestling match with some canvas.
After Breakfast everyone split off into their trails.

This is how you use a spade right?

The Physical Trail spent the day orienteering there way around the local city of Sixmilebridge, going through various passport controls along the way to simulate what it might be like to be illegal in a country that isn’t your own, then spent the evening building, sanding, painting and organising the garden boxes that the Beaver Scouts use in the den

We’re not lost, just exploring







Environmental Trail got extremely lost whilst out hunting wild bogs in Co. Clare. Eventually though they found the one they were looking for and were able to carry out their survey of the life forms in the area.


Rovers love food

Culture learnt all about the differences and struggles of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Ireland and in other places. They pondered about what we as Rover could be doing and what our role should be in the current crisis. They later hosted an cultural food evening with people from the community bringing dishes from their own culture, this included foods from Germany, Syria, Canada and of course Ireland.




Presented to the den after

Innovative explored different ways of documenting your surroundings through drawing and photographing. They then collaborated all their efforts into a large framed map to leave with the Scout Den as a present.






During the evening we had a spirit tribal drumming workshop. I don’t think anyone knew what to expect but the energy in the room afterwards was electric.






Sunday began with some Tai-Chi from myself and Emma (a very zen participant).
There was then four workshops for everyone to attend in rotation:

  1. Review of the Event
  2. Brainstorm for 100 years of Rovering 2018
  3. World Environment Badge
  4. Erasmus Grant schemes for trips

After all this we had our big family clean up of the den, said our goodbyes and sent everyone on their way.

Rover Chill 2017 Participants & Staff

And that’s where it ends!

Except not really at all…
After the event ends there’s still the last bits to wrap up:

  • Documenting and storing all of the feedback and information from the weekends activities and workshops
  • Retrieving invoices from remaining people to be paid
  • Finalising the ultimate expenditure and sending in extra expenses and receipts of the weekend
  • Updating programme teams on the progress of the weekend
  • Creating relevant Social Media posts and sharing photographs
  • Sending thank you emails to all the wonderful people who helped to make the weekend possible
  • Checking in with myself to see how I’m doing after the weekend


Overall running an event always has way more work to it than you could ever plan for. But that’s all part of it at the end of the day. Trying to gather people together, in the one place for a weekend is an exciting task to be given. To then see the enjoyment, conversations and experiences you’ve helped to facilitate for your fellow Rovers makes it all worth the time and effort.
Believing we may have helped a thought along in someones head, encouraged  people to create small acts of kindness wherever a Rover may roam,  or that ultimately we as Rovers can impact the world for the better, has made running Rover Chill this year a unique and rewarding experience.

Thank you to everyone who took part, for all the help I received and to my enthusiastic team who made it all happen, see you all next year for Rover Chill 2018!

Did we leave something out? Why not comment below with your favorite experience!   


Ps. Here’s a fun illustration from our Innovative Trail Leader Amy McMahon about her societies antics at Rover Chill 2017

Created by Amy McMahon (NUI Galway Rover Crew)

About this post

This post is part of our event log series. A tradition in Scouting is to keep logs of crew events. We aim to keep logs of all upcoming national events.



About the author

Ciara Keegan

Rover Scout with Blanchardstown 104/144 and member of the Rover Scout Programme Team.
Graduate in Fine Art Media and Visual Culture.
Running away to Greece for a while.

Leave a Reply