Eilish O’Malley from Galway and Sarah O’Rourke from Clane were selected earlier this year to represent Ireland at an International Youth Camp in Einbeck, Germany.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I received an email from the Irish Red Cross saying that I was selected to represent the Irish Red Cross Youth at the International Youth Camp in Germany!
I met Eilish from Galway, who was also representing the Irish Red Cross Youth at Dublin airport on Friday 23rd of June. We flew to Hanover airport where we met Jan who drove us to the Haus des Judgenkrotkreuzes where the Red Cross members stayed for the week. Eilish and I met the German Red Cross youth members and leaders as well as youth members from the Portuguese Red Cross, the Icelandic Red Cross and the Croatian Red Cross. In total, there were 30 youth members at the camp from 5 different countries.
It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the different countries, different cultures and to be informed of what other Red Cross society’s do around the world. For example, Ireland is the only country out of Portugal, Germany, Croatia and Iceland that has their country’s President as the President of the Red Cross. It was interesting to learn about the different programmes the Red Cross society’s teach in each country. For example, in Ireland the Irish Red Cross likes to promote positive mental health, whereas in Portugal, I learnt that the topic of mental health isn’t spoken about too often. It was great to see people from different countries and society’s working together and forming lifelong friendships.
Throughout the week, the 30 youth members did a variety of activities. We played games such as capture the flag that involved team work skills, we painted and decorated cups and bowls, we did a speed dating activity where we got to interact with new people and we participated in a competition that involved a first aid station where a motorcyclist got knocked down by a car and we had to treat the casualties. We visited the city of Einbeck and its Red Cross office. The group went to a museum of vintage cars and motorbikes. We went to Berlin for a day and I saw the Berlin Wall, the Reichstag, the memorial site of the Jews during the Holocaust and Checkpoint Charlie. We also went canoeing on a river. There was a campfire on one of the evenings and we sang songs and roasted marshmallows. Each night was a culture night where every group at the camp presented their Red Cross and country. Overall, it was an amazing trip to Germany and I have made so many memories. I achieved so much at this camp and it was a fantastic experience to represent the Irish Red Cross youth abroad!
Recently the District President from Germany visited the girls and awarded both girls with honorary membership of Red Cross Youth Einbeck City. We are extremely proud of Eilish and Sarah and indeed of all our Irish Red Cross Youth volunteers who forge strong friendships and leave such a great impression with all of the National Societies they visit.