The third Intercultural Summer Camp of Show Racism the Red Card took place in the picturesque location of Ghleann Cholmcille in Co Donegal from Monday 2nd July to Sunday 8th July. That this was the third year of the camp means we have succeeded in making this an annual fixture in our calender.
‘We have lost something when we cease to interact; when we cease to come together in groups to enrich each others lives; to stimulate; to rely upon our wit and our spirit; to inspire and support eact other’ -Father James McDyer, Glencolmcille
Pictured: Camp participants at the viewing stand at Sliabh Liagh
We had a team of 10 volunteers with 42 young people living in Ireland and Russia participating this year. The group of young people were from diverse backgrounds and living in both Republic and Northern Ireland. Young people from British, German, Irish, Kenyan, Philippino, Russian nationalities participated. They were aged 11-15 years and had travelled from as near as Dungloe and from as far as Cheboksary, which is 600km east of Moscow.
Pictured: Robbie- the multi talented baton twirler and dancer
Other young people came from the Ballyduff and Rathcoole areas of Newtownabbey Co Antrim. Daryl, Ryan and Curtis gave a presentation of Protestant culture of Northern Ireland and spoke about their area and how the paramilitaries of the UFF and UVF are still a strong influence. Daryl said that the 12th July is a highlight in the year for young people in the area. They spend weeks in advance building their bonfires and said that sometimes people put a tricolour or a Martin Mc Guinness on the top of the bonfire.
This was shocking to hear but even more shocking was a question from one girl from Dublin who asked ‘what- you’re not a Catholic? What’s a Protestant?’
Pictured: volunteer Eoin Mc Cafferty at the Ghleann Cholmcille Folk Museum
The week was packed with activities from early morning exercises to discos late at night. In between there was a vast range of activities on offer. We started with local dance teacher Edi Bradley facilitation of a ceili session. A strict taskmaster she was but definitely what we needed on the first night as we learned the Siege of Ennis.
Pictured: Young participants from Dublin give their presentation
From Tuesday to Friday each day involved a full schedule of activities. Participants had the opportunity to learn Swahili, Swahili, Sign language, Portuguese and French. In the afternoons, there were activities usually outdoors and in the evenings we had country and culture presentations. Activities included the game of bureaucracy on Tuesday, coasteering on Wednesday, beach trip to Silver Strand on Thursday, visit to the folk museum and beach at Ghleann Cholmcille on Friday and then on Saturday afternoon and a trip to the beautiful Sliabh Liagh cliffs which are noted to be the highest in Europe.
While children from Northern Ireland learned Irish dancing and gaelic games, we all enjoyed the skills and talents of 11 year old Robbie twirling his baton, which he will do on July 12th. On Thursday, the boys from Newtownabbey gave their cultural presentation which concluded with the playing of the British national anthem that followed the Northern Ireland fans anthem ‘We are not Brazil- we are Norn Iron’.
Pictured: Some of our camp participants
On Friday, the girls from Ballyfermot started the Irish presentation which also involved Sam and Dan from Dublin and Sofia, Laura and volunteers Ciara and Eoin from Mayo. We learned about all the famous people from Mayo such as Cora Staunton, Ryan Tubridy’s girlfriend and some girl from Fair City. This presentation concluded with rousing rendition of ‘Green and Red of Mayo’ by the Sawdoctors.
This only tells you some things about our camp. There was great fun each evening from Miss and Mr Camp on Wednesday, multicultural theatre evening on Thursday, talent show on Friday and late night disco on Saturday. Congratulations to Dan and Shauna as Mr and Miss Camp. Also to Sofia, Laura, Robbie, Marlon, Lauren, Lorraine and others who participated in the talent evening.
All this activity was punctuated by other activities which sought to articulate the values of the camp. There were activities such as ‘Words’ to emphasise the power of positive words and equally how hurtful negative words can be and activities such as ‘Clocks’ which served to promote communications and others to promote teamwork.
Pictured: Some of our volunteers at the camp
The young people who attended had a great time and many still remain in contact. Thank you to all who volunteered and all who participated actively at the camp. Without each of you, there would be no us. Many of the young people have said they want to come back and they want the camp to be longer and so do we but to do that we need support. We now want you to get involved with Show Racism the Red Card.