Saturday, 26 July 2014

A baby wren in the hand is worth more than a baby rabbit in the garden.

 Elvis concert on the Island

Since Hartlepool we have been obviously too busy to write any blog posts!

Today it is raining after idealistic weather of sun and more sun, and asking young people to make sure they put sun screen on and yet still get sun burn. Oh well. The garden is singing for the sun and the rain. The chickens were a bit clucky when I cleaned them out for my first time since I’ve been here of nearly a year. I’ve been looking forward to it all this time! Seriously. It is my favourite Saturday job. Probably others to…. I’ve always wanted to keep chickens… but keeping chickens as a committee is a bit weird, but the hens seem cool with it.

I think if you like cleaning you will fit in very well at camas, and if you don’t, you will quietly fit in with those who also don’t…. which is probably everyone. But we endeavour every week to make the centre spick and span for our new guests. Some play music out loud, some on their head phones. Some think a lot, feel sad or angry, some I just don’t know but the jobs get done anyway.
This week we welcome back two volunteers from previous years as Madeline left for a teaching job in Norway last week and Rachel leaves for a holiday in California on Sunday. Replacing them is Kitty and Hannah, who some of you may remember and know.

Last week we had Simy from Townhead in Glasgow.  A regular group who return time and again, we really enjoy this relationship with young folk, leaders and dogs. We can’t seem to get rid of Declan, it was his 5th visit this year, I wonder if he is serious about volunteering next year… quite possibly. He is on Iona this week volunteering with Ionas young youth festival, along with Ryan who was also here last week. On the noise scale Simy were very quiet. Maybe it had something to do with the week before who were from GK experience who work with youth groups across Glasgow. They were very loud and somewhat overly cheeky shall we say, all loveable in their own special way. That goes without saying of all our guests, visitors and staff, even when we find challenges in these relationships. I was very impressed with the GK staff and young leaders. They were super amazing, so positive, caring and patient. They were put through the mill and I hope survived at the other side. We did, just in case you were worried and thanks for the treats!

                      Blackhill boys team work making their boat

                Ian voted most trusted to carry and launch the boat

The week before GK we had St Pauls from Blackhill in Glasgow, a very close group, you could see the strong bonds between the young people and their leaders. They sang lots of songs about their home, each other and camas staff which made everyone laugh and smile.

           Laike and Ryan and their creation the sea protector
The week before that we had a merge of two groups, one from a youth group in Muirhouse in Edinburgh and the other with a church group in Texas. The groups appeared to be very curious about each other and form bonds of friendship and cultural and language exchange, e.g. “yoll” a Texan way to address more than two folk. 

                       Grandma in the woods

                               Daae the lioness
The week before those guys was an American church group from Connecticut. Who had fundraised and volunteered in their local community to come on a pilgrimage to Camas and Iona. I was lucky to go to Staffa with them and see Fingals cave, puffins and basalt rock. Man I want to go back for a whole day!
                       Telling stories from the masks
So much happens each week, so many bonds are formed, conversations had and activities tried. Every week young people always seem to love getting involved with cooking and baking. Birthdays and anniversaries regularly crop up, with many different variations on chocolate cake.

There’s always a member of camas teams family, friend or partner around to add an extra je ne cest quoi to the place. My mum came up and impressed me by just getting right in, helping make lunch, go kayaking and chatting to the young folk and leaders. I was very proud. Is that daft? 

This evening Barry a bearded voli from last year is bringing his youth group ‘The Barn’ from Glasgow. Very excited and very glad they are arriving on time at 6, so we all had a well needed lie in till 12 when we started these dreaded Saturday jobs. The kitchen appears to be the most scary and avoided, except by a rare couple of brave folk.

There’s always more we want to share with you, but there’s so little time to do that. I hope these words feed your curiosity and hopefully see you again down the track some time not too far away in the future.

Sophie R (Hagrid/Soph)