The annual sports camp held in July was a great success. Fun was had by the young and the not-so-young. The success of the camp is due mainly to the voluntary help from the adults and teenagers of the community. Everyone brings his or her own special quality that creates an atmosphere that is unique to the camp.
The children had a full timetable of activities, arts and crafts, video-making, badminton, basketball, tennis, mini olympic handball, soccer, gaelic football and hurling, track events, novelty games, amphicating and a day away. Every child participated in all events.
We had a total of 120 children and they all enjoyed themselves. The highlight of the camp was different for every child. Seeing those happy faces and hearing the laughter throughout the week made all the hard work worthwhile.
I would like to thank the committee members, volunteers and all those who in any way helped with the camp. We even had cakes appearing in the kitchen from grateful parents for our tea-break, which I must say, was greatly appreciated.
The children are our V.I.P.s for the week and they enjoy the tradition of the camp. We’ve had a very positive feedback about the camp and this we appreciate.
M. G. Reidy
Claregalway Summer Camp—The Day Out
The success of the Summer Camp was due, in no small way, to the Day Out. This camp-closing evening has become an integral part of our Programme each year.
We all remember the day out from School, the Office Teambuilding trip etc. This day out is different. Where are we going for the day? was all that could be heard from the start of the week. Previous years had brought us to Dangan, Cong and Portumna. Where would it be this year?
Friday (Day 5 of a very active week) our group of 120 children and over 20 Adult Volunteers (who had been in training for the event) gathered at the Centre to head off on The Day Out. Not knowing where they would end up, children arrived equipped for a real survival trip. Counted and checked, we made our way to the Mystery location in Mayo/Galway and arrived in the picturesque village of Cong. We had been here three years ago on our first camp, but decided to return to what has to be one of the greatest natural playgrounds this country has to offer. Nestled between the lakes of Lough Corrib and Lough Mask, it offers a haven for fishing, walking, exploring, hillclimbing and a peace and tranquility that made the village the home of the Quiet Man.
The weather was beautiful, sun shining, blue skies and a great day ahead. One young child remarked on getting off the bus “We’re in China” (as her first impression was a group of Chinese Tourists walking by, who paused to take Photographs)—Some day out! China.
The groups were escorted to the ruins of Cong Abbey, which was to be base camp for the Day. On arrival at base, the carefully planned programme of events swung into action. The day’s activities centred around the village, its historical grounds and the many walks it has to offer.
The Programme began with a group heading off to explore Kelly’s Cave—another group started a Treasure Hunt around the town, another group explored the Abbey ground, yet another took part in a Wood Walk (Blindfolded), while the final group embarked on the Dreaded Forest Walk, over Ashford castle into Ballykine wood and on to the Pigeon Hole.
All the events on the Programme had been carefully arranged and as groups returned to Basecamp for a rest they were immediately dispatched for the next activity. There as no time for rest on this day. The children were great—tired and sometimes sore, but never going to give up.
The day ended with the bus journey home which is an important part of the event, when stories are told and a few songs sung.
We arrived back in Claregalway at 3.30pm. A great Day Out and a wonderful finish to the Summer Camp 2000.
“The Best Yet”—I heard them say—just can’t wait for next year.