2014 FOSS Reunion Weekend at Pitlochry (Report by John Miller)

On Friday 16th May a number of members of Friends of Strathaven Scouting met for the second year running at John Addy’s house in Pitlochry for the start of the FOSS weekend.

Members of FOSS come from” awe ‘airts” including the USA, who again this year were represented by a very good friend of Strathaven Scouts and FOSS, Robert Podboy (Doc as he is known to everyone). Doc is always keen to meet members of the troop both past and present since he has hosted a number of visits to the USA and has taken part in visits to Scotland, Wales and England with his own troop from Waynesburgh , Pennsylvania. The group consisted of Iain Park, John Addy with Retrievers Morna and Blue, Graham Stewart, Donald and Jess Macleod and their two grandchildren, Bibby & John Miller and Murphy their black Labrador, Ian Gow, Miles Hutchison, Doc Podboy and first timers Alistair and Ann Ogilvie.

After everyone had exchanged the usual greetings with one another and had enjoyed something to relax with, Bibby Miller provided dinner for all, which got the evening and weekend off to a very good start.

With the usual excitement and anticipation, plans were made for the following day led by Iain Park with contributions from all those who were there.

One group decided to use the local area to walk whilst another group were keen to bag as many “Munros” as they could, although two at the very most were expected. The second group of “Baggers” would head for Newton More (Iain Park, Miles Hutchison, John Addy, Ian Gow, Alistair and Ann Ogilvie, John Miller and Donald Macleod) along with the three dogs.
After much discussion and laughter FOSS retired to bed for a good night’s sleep, ready for the next day.

John Miller thought Graham Naismith had been left outside since things were just a tad quieter than usual, but later he found out Graham could not make it, unfortunately.

Saturday

The “Day is Dawning and the bacon is frying” the cooks were singing from the Addie kitchen and, oh, what a breakfast was served up to the group, plenty and good was the verdict with everyone enjoying it before they entered into the activity of the day.
Remember, one group staying locally and the other off to Newton More.

The second group arrived at the destination, set up to move off with the dogs with the intent of securing one Munro and two possibly. The climb was made in poor conditions getting worse as the first summit was reached, and the first Munro was “in the bag”, A’ Chailleach. Lunch was taken with the usual photograph but still with everyone in tack. A quick decision was made by “Parky and Addy,” with Morna and Blue, to set off and bag another Munro, Carn Sgulain with the others opting to return to base camp after a cold lunch taken behind a rock cairn for shelter. Some “Chittery” conversation and then off back to base heading back down in miserable weather.

Murphy, the black Labrador decided to have a bit of a chase, no one was sure where, but he travelled quite a long distance away from the group before deciding to come back after a wide search by the party returning downhill.

Everyone arrived safely and Miles and John M decided to wait on Iain and John who returned feeling the effects of the longer walk. The group complete then made their way to back to base to join up with others in anticipation of another good meal, this time at the Moulin Hotel.

No disappointments, in the day or the meal, with plenty to talk about during and after dinner back at the ranch. Longer nights have been experienced but since this was an experienced group, the night was as long as a good night should be. Early morning, with some little stiffness about, brought another fine breakfast and more subtle chat about the previous day’s experience, which set everyone up for the day. There was plenty “Chat” about the previous day and how it had been greatly appreciated by all including the veteran Munro Bagger, Miles Hutchison, who is still in great shape and who said afterwards he was looking forward to next year.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and so the group broke up to find their way home having enjoyed “The FOSS Weekend” once again. See you all next year. Oh, by the way, if you haven’t tried it yet, think about it for next year (2015).

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