Scottish Huntington's Association kid's camp 2011
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In beautiful July, 2011, it was time to spend a week in the lovely Lagganlia Outdoor Activity Centre, Inverness-shire, in Scotland. It was there where the SHA’s kids' camp for 2011 was to be held. 49 Young people from Scotland (and also Ireland) attended the camp!
After all the kids were settled into their accommodation, it was time for some food and football to kick things off (get it? ‘Kick’ things off? No… never mind). Usually football consists of 11 v 11, but apparently not in Scotland, as everyone got involved in the game - which made me a great, fun game of footy.
‘Playing football is a normal thing to do and it makes us all get on, even if we support different teams. I like that we can have a joke and a laugh during the game. You make good friends on the pitch and you learn who you will trust with your feelings about HD.’
The week consisted of fun-filled days skiing, cycling, gorge walking and tree climbing! This saw young people conquering fears, having fun and getting plenty of exercise. Some of the kids managed to learn some new skills during the week too.
‘My dad will be happy I can swim now! I liked A helping me, he made it really easy to understand and didn’t get my head all wet. I’ll not be embarrassed about going swimming with my school now.’
On one of the nights the kids also learnt first aid, after spending the evening being taught by professionals who had kindly came to teach us all how to save the dummy’s life time and time again. The kids learnt some valuable skills that night, as we know first aid may come in useful at any time in someone’s life, especially with HD in the family.
‘I need to know what to do if my mum chokes or hurts herself. Now I do know and I’ll keep the book with me so I can learn even more. I’m not scared about what to do anymore. It was great to learn something useful.’
During the week, some of the young people helped put together a DVD to help parents in talking to kids about HD. It turned into a fantastic resource, which you can watch here!
On the final day, there was a festival - which is like an education day really - where the kids were able to learn about various aspects of HD in interesting and creative ways. This allowed the kids to speak about HD openly, in a manner which wasn’t too sad. It was excellently put together by the youth workers of the SHA.
The kids also had the chance to spray-paint several wooden panels, with the help of an expert, and leave their mark on the camp. This proved a huge hit as all the kids took to spray-painting a character onto the panels. The artist insisted everyone spray only inside the borderlines he had sprayed on earlier, and for good reason. As when we all stood back to admire our work, the letters ‘HD’ stood out in an array of colours.
Overall camp was a huge success and once again the kids in Scotland were treated to a fabulous week. If you’re interested in learning more about the Scottish kids' camp then contact the SHA. HDYO would very much like to thank the SHA for their support in putting this report together.