Sunday, 12 July 2015

Muirhouse week!!! 4-11th July

                It was a very special week last week; we had a group from Muirhouse in Edinburgh!  The group consisted of young adults of varying ages with two leaders. The lads arrived late on Saturday, weary after a long trip and were for hungry for some food.  After some lovely food, there was a reflection on the history of camas where everyone sat spellbound at the stories of these old buildings. After this everyone was just pleased to get out and have a little swim around the islands!
                The next day the group took part in rock climbing and kayaking. The older lads all made it to the top of the quarry no bother, their speed and movement was breathtaking.  Not to be outdone, our adventurous volunteer Hattie performed a barrel roll along the wall from one end to the other with an outstanding feet of athleticism which she totally meant. The kayaking team also displayed awesome abilities out on the water while exploring some of the lovelier parts of camas bay with only a few capsizing but they always had the more than capable Jo on hand to help and guide them.  The group were always on hand to motivate and help each other through their activities with old and young alike being at hand for one another.
                The group then headed to Iona were the sun was splitting the trees!  The group explored the island as they made their way to the beach at the north end of the island, meeting some friendly sheep on the way.  At the beach the group had a lovely picnic where they teased each other with riddles.  Dave wore a permanent confused stare through this period of riddles.  The guys also kicked about their trusty football while chucking around a Frisbee (although not at the same time!).  Bethen tried her hand at the Frisbee but she was rubbish.  After this period of bonding the guys made their way to the abbey and explored its weird and wonderful areas.  The crew enjoyed their exploration through this historic building and they especially enjoyed Bethen’s lovely choir singing in the chapel (it was definitely better than her Frisbee throwing).  On the ferry back over the team saw dolphins leaping alongside the boat, it was truly magical.  At the end of this day the group felt closer together and prepared for the rest of the week to live as a community.
                The day after this bonding was put to the test as the group took part in some coasteering around the treacherous islands around camas.  The group had to work together to navigate this area, but they rose to the test and easily ploughed through the rocks and icy cold sea. James and Jan were at hand to show some wacky jumps and help the team to the pier on the other side of the bay.  They jumped off the pier showing some amazing skills, with the obligatory forward flip or two.  After this the team made their way back to the beach on the other side.  The crew had to help each other back over with the older guys especially helping their younger compatriots.
                After this the team went on a camping expedition to market bay.  They had to carry all their equipment on their backs through difficult terrain with old and young alike pulling their weight on this trip.  The team put up tents at the beach and were then able to relax after getting some tasty camping food.  The team showed how responsible they are in completing these camping tasks and also showing great team work in setting up this campsite.
                Throughout the week the team played many games of sniper throughout Camas.  They were all brilliant and were very stealthy in getting back to base.  The camas staff were less so and Davie was particularly awful at hiding (standing with your head behind a bush is not hiding).  The team were also masters at table tennis and they took delight at beating James and Jon regularly. The team loved these games and got a lot out of talking to each other about their experiences.  As is often the case the team discussed what happened with each other long into the night in the common room over candlelight.
                On the last day at Camas it was time for RAFT BUILDING.  There were two excellent designs with both teams going for the stable option knowing that they did not need to be fast to win!  The teams were.......”Titanic 5.0” and ......”Macky Starboy”.  These brave adventurers suited up to save two members captured by pirate from the other side of the bay.  Both rafts stuck together ably and each team rowed superbly in unison to reach their stolen compatriots at the same time.  On the way back as the team were neck and neck some underhand tactics came into play(or is that underwater?), as some members jumped rafts and tried to sabotage the other.  Composure was then regained as the teams demolished their rafts at the top of the beach at the exact same time.  The final result was a tie!  This was seen as a fair result and everyone had many great stories to tell about their experiences on their raft. 
                The camas challenge then took up the rest of the night. The team, assisted by Lynsey and Annie made some lovely pizza that everyone love and were left clambering for more.  The room was beuitifully decorated by Hannah’s team.  The entertainment involved a massive game of Sardines which Avril took up superbly by hiding under the nets in the chapel of the nets.  The next hiding spot was in a massive patch of nettles – superb hiding spot.  The reflection was chilled out and quite moving as the team picked up something from the beach that would remind them of their time at camas.  They also wrote down something that they would like to change in their life back at home which they then cast of into the ether of the fire.  Everyone felt closer than ever as a community at this point.  The night ended on a massive high as everyone huddled up to each other in the common room and belted out the words to “three little birds” by Bob Marley.  It was the perfect end to a perfect week, and the Camas staff were so proud of the lads achievements and that they tried everything, were always so helpful and permanently had “vintage” banter.  It will be a week that we will never forget.