by Lauren Quigley
This year, two representatives from Irish Red Cross Youth (IRCY) attended the 58th International Friendship Camp 2013 in Langenlois, Austria. One of the attendees, Lauren Quigley (21), has written about her fantastic experience:
“On my first day I was nervous about going to Austria as I did not know what to expect but when Jordan and I got to the camp in Langlalois I found it to be quite nice. There were 25 different countries and that was including Ireland and with each country there was either one or two people that came to represent their own country. I was a bit shy at the beginning as it was all new to me. We were all told about some rules that had to be followed and we were also told about going to the mayor’s office as an opening ceremony. Everyone was wearing their national costume or their Red Cross uniform.
View Lauren’s photo gallery of Flickr > Here
As the days went by we were told about National Night and this is where 5 countries would teach other people about their culture or even teach you how to cook a national dish from the country. I really enjoyed this as it was a great way to learn something new. When it came to the night for Ireland to represent, I was a bit nervous but when I got into getting a presentation ready for it I was grand. Both myself and Jordan did a slideshow, an Irish song from an Irish band and we also did some Irish dancing.
When it came to the end of the first week I could not believe how quick the first week went and how much fun I was having by getting along with the other participants and with all the outings we had been on as well. The outings that took place was a trip to a concentration camp, a trip to a summer camp for disabled kids, a trip to Vienna and then the last trip was to a wine museum. All of the trips that we did were very exciting.
In Vienna we all took part in doing a flash mob and it was to do with the theme of the camp which was ‘DARE TO SHARE’. Everyone was broken up into groups and we all made a sign each with one word and connected them together with each person in your group. In Vienna we then all had to go into the middle of the busiest tourist parts and just stand there holding up these pages for exactly two minutes. It was quite fun looking at all the tourists walking around us to read what we where holding up.
When it came to the last night in the camp it was very upsetting and everyone was crying and laughing. This is one trip I am never going to forget and will encourage the youth members in my unit to put their names forward as it is a once in a life time experience and you get to have loads if friends to stay in touch with all over the world.
So I want to say a big thank you to the Youth Department in the Irish Red Cross for this amazing experience one that will come with me forever.
Jordan Gannon (18), who also attended the camp, said:
“I had a great time meeting new people and getting on well as a team. I felt like I was part of a new family, where I could go out and enjoy myself with all my new friends. The teamers were great setting up games, activities and power presentations. We all had a great two weeks and I am looking forward to going back for three or four days next year!”