While attending Guiding Mosaic 2010 in Guelph, Ontario, I met two Irish Girl Guides with whom I became very good friends. Along with the seven other Kanata Rangers, I built a strong friendship by the end of camp with Niamh and Laura. Most of us were sure that we wanted to reunite with these girls again. What we didn’t know was that two years later, we would be on a plane heading to Ireland to see our friends and attend Camp 101, hosted by the Irish Girl Guides.
Arriving at Camp 101 a day early was a little nerve-racking, but we were warmly welcomed by all of the staff. After having difficulty pitching tents in the cold rainy weather, all of us were able to get a good night of sleep. Opening day was a big day – 1,400 girls from all over the world were arriving at camp and setting up their campsite. Opening ceremonies were awesome! Before the evening was kicked off with a performance by a boy band, the entire camp was introduced to the camp’s theme: “Together we can change the world.” Chief Commissioners, mayors, and the camp chiefs all made fabulous speeches.
Day activities for girls and staff were a blast! Most girls gave offsite team activities a shot, and I tried a Zip It! Some even tried their hand at Trangia Cooking and organizing a flash mob. Visitors’ day was a very unique day at camp; over 2,000 people came to visit the camp from all over Ireland. Guides were happy to see their parents. Parents were happy to see how much fun their child was having. Evening activities were very unique. A continental céilí, a performance from Rory Malone, and a talent show taught us a lot about different cultures around the world.
Closing ceremonies arrived and were amazing. Nadine El Achy, Chair of the WAGGGS World Board, made a speech reflecting on the week’s events along, explaining to all of us that no one is too small for the job of changing the world. The smallest things that we could imagine could help make a difference in somebody’s life. After her impactful speech, we stood together to sing the camp song “Together We Change the World.” After this, we gathered around a campfire to sing our favourite camp songs. Then came the most exciting part: fireworks!
I enjoyed every single minute of Camp 101 and learning how to change the world. My favourite memories are the friendships I made and the friends with whom I was able to reunite. There was nothing better than creating such strong friendships within only a week’s time. I was even able to reunite with my friend Niamh from Guiding Mosaic 2010. It certainly didn’t feel like it was two years since I last saw her, nor did it feel like there had been 4000 miles between us during this time.
When camp was finished, I was sad that I had to leave, but I knew that the friends I made would be more than just memories. I learned that if each of us picked one small thing to help someone, we would really be changing the world. On the last day at camp, a huge group of friends gathered in front of our bus to say goodbye with lots of hugs. As the bus rolled away, I had tears in my eyes. However, the knowledge that I would eventually see all of those friends again made leaving much easier. Goodbyes can be hard, but everyone should remember that it is not the end. This experience was the beginning of a new adventure that will last a lifetime!
By Guider Caitlin. This post originally appeared on Caitlin’s own blog: Traveling Adventures with Caitie. Thank you Caitlin for sharing this and we encourage our audience to check out your blog!
Have you checked out international travel opportunities with Girl Guides?