Friday, 23 November 2012

Camas Does Glasgow (and sometimes other things too)

Dear Diary

What do you mean 'we haven't posted anything since 18th of September'? Creatice writing takes time. You can't rush these things. It's a process. A painful, artistic process. These words are my children. It's like giving birth.

It's probably not like giving birth.

Anyway. We've been terribly busy. Camas doesn't run itself in the winter you know (Sometimes it's debatable if it runs at all). Preparations are underway for another fantastic season down the track, and the line of young people, groups and staff/voluntees we have got lined up looks very promising. This week the Camas staff ventured out into the wild (Glasgow) to get a much needed dosage of junk food, imaginative new rude words, and what do you call it? Oh yes, other people. We spend time getting to know new friends who might make the trip next summer and met up with old friends who are hoping to come back. Big thanks to everyone that we met on our travels! We hope to see you at Camas in the near future.

Next year will see a slightly different staff team at Camas as yours truly will move on to greener pastures (no, I'm not dying) and will hand over my responsibilities to other staff. These resposibilities include: eating lots of food (it's rude to leave food on the table, whoevers plate it is on), acting like a six year old (when it's needed, and nobody else will carry that heavy burden), know every line from a 7 season american political TV show (...the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight), and some other things that has to do with actual work.

My replacement has been appointed. And I will shortly post an in depth interview in which I will ask said person the most important questions about their personal life, dreams and ambitions and whether or not they like cats.

In other news: Yesterday was the International Giant Sandwich Day! Camas celebated IGSD as one should. With sandwiches. Big ones. Here is a photo of mine.

Giant Sandwich. For recipe, please contact camas
  If you celebrated International Giant Sandwich day (Haha, as if you had forgotten), feel free to upload your sandwich photo onto our facebook page. Share your art with the world!

In other news part 2: Thers is a saying in swedish, "When the cat is away, the rats dance on the table". I'm sure there is som equivalent saying in english, but it basically means: "When the Camas Coodinator is on holiday, I can't be hold responsible for my actions." Which is why Camas now has a door painted entirely in Bongo Jazz and blackboard paint. What can I say, art is my passion.

Yours sincerly


Tuesday, 18 September 2012


This had all the feeling of a great Victorian, heroic, failure.  Immersing oneself into the deep blue ocean in an attempt to swim beyond the rocks that mark the end of Camas bay seemed a slightly foolish thing to do and as the swim went on and on, and the end of the rocks never seemed to get any nearer, and the waves got choppier, the spray higher, and a mouth-full of salt water splutteringly more frequent, it might have seemed that discretion here really should have been the better part of valour.  But take heart mon brave, great adventures come through perseverance: stiffen the sinew and set one’s face to the task.  

Kathy Galloway is currently leading the week here at Camas.  I was invited to sit in on the reflection session at the end of the day where she asked us to reflect on our day and to consider something we had learnt.  I had learnt three things: how long I could survive in a wet suit (I was in the water for about an hour and a half), how far I’m able to swim – there is something wonderful about being out in the middle of deep water completely immersed in one’s surroundings (and no way out!) and the value and importance of support and friendship.  Accompanying me all the way were Rosie and John in kayaks.  Without them it would have been a very long lonely swim and I’m not sure I could have got that far.  While I glugged down salt water they spoke to me of the islands they could see, the rainbow overhead, the golden eagle and the seal who came to see what all the fuss was about.  My only regret was that it was hard for me to keep a conversation going!

Equally in support was the food that awaited me when, with claw-like hands, I managed to get out of my wet suit.  Thank you to Danielle for the chilli and to Rob for the porridge cake; I think this is probably the most welcome tea I’ve ever eaten.  It’s amazing how after a couple of cups of tea and sitting round the fire in the common room one can feel right as rain in no time!  I think that is something of the magic of Camas.  Thank you to you all.  It was great to be there and I’d like to come back again for more aquatic adventures in the future if that’d be alright?  Have that kettle on!
Dave-Sacristan, September 2012

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Olympic Games at Camas!

On the 14th of July we got a new exited bunch of teenagers from Glasgow coming to stay the week at Camas. This week we were going to go over to Iona for some fun Olympic Games with the rest of their families who were staying there. But before that happened on Wednesday we were doing all kinds of fun, and interesting stuff in the rain. A walk up to Trig Point, abseiling and kayaking were done with an impressive amount of enthusiasm considering blanket rain.
Then came Tuesday night when the older teenagers from the group sat down with their leaders and some Camas staff to prepare the great Iona Olympics! Have you ever done a Rowing competition indoors? Well, I can proudly tell you that we have! Though it didn’t include boats but instead plastic cups, jugs and of course WATER. So how do you play this game you might wonder? That, I’m going to tell you.

The Iona Olympic Rowing Challenge
Divide into teams of at least 5 people; sit down on the floor with a plastic cup in each hand. The person in front has a bucket, or similar, filled with water in front of them. The person in the back has 2 empty plastic jugs behind them. Give the teams about 2-3 minutes time limit. The game begins by the person in the front fill up the cups with water, and passes it over their shoulders to the person behind them trying to fill up the other persons cups without spilling any water on the floor (or all over themselves). The rest of the team keep on going in the same way until the last person who have to carefully fill up the plastic jugs in the same manner as the other team members have filled up each other’s cups. When this is done, the person first in the line can fill up the cups once more. The team who has most water in their jugs by the end of the game have won the Rowing competition!

Amongst the games we also came up with; Over-Under Relay, Net volley ball, Orienteering and the Nun-Run (like hundred metres but around the Nunnery on Iona) who finished off the Iona Olympics for this time.
Thank you all for a great week here at Camas! I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! 


Coasteering adventures

New week, new youths! A group from Glasgow came to take over Camas for an exciting and adventurous week filled with new experiences.

We spent time in the Art room doing loads of fun stuff. Felting, marbling paper, wrote our names on the beams in the ceiling and quite a few fell for the art of making friendship bracelets, especially the leaders (who made friendship bracelets not only for the youths but also for the youth’s friends and family!!). 

Coasteering  was a new concept on our rota for this week. It includes getting into wetsuits,  buoyancy aid and helmets and then head out, not completely fearless, to the islands in front of the Camas buildings to climb around them on the rocks and in the water. To finish the whole thing off, you simply jump off a big rock at the end and go for a swim. After you've done that, you come into the common room for a nice evening in front of the fire.

Monday night just after 9 o’clock we suddenly had dolphins in the bay, jumping and playing around, it was a nice view as the sun was about to set soon afterwards. A few were very interested but most of the people hanging around were playing ping-pong and pool instead. 

Tuesday afternoon we all headed out for a walk to Market Bay and Wild Camp. Exciting times! Football on the beach, swimming in the sea and marshmallows around the campfire could life be better? Well, the next morning we woke up to glorious sunshine and bacon rolls! Lucky group (and staff) who got something else than scones for breakfast! 

This group also had the pleasure to wear our new fancy wetsuits that we got earlier that week, for the first time! I must say that they all looked very stylish. Wearing brand new wetsuits comes with one obligation though: jumping off the pier into the water for a swim in the sea, which they did with laughter and style!

The week ended as usual with the Camas Challenge and loads of fun games, some of them which I think they learned during the week.

Thank you for a great week with loads of fun guys! Come back soon!