The IYC is the International Youth Camp 16 – 24 yr olds which takes place for 2 weeks every year in the Summer. Often this is followed by a long weekend Reunion in the Autumn. This year the Reunion took place in November in Tiphereth. In the last 2 years that I have been involved in the IYC we have had a close link to Camphill. The 2009 Camp took place at Camphill Rožkalni in Latvia followed by a magical Reunion in Camphill Glencraig in Northern Ireland. This year during the Camp in the mountains of Italy we discussed where we might have the Reunion this year. As one of our friends is from the Loch Arthur Camphill Community, Dumfries we did think about them. But as they were preparing for the Community’s Birthday in November they already had a lot going on.
Having grown up in Tiphereth and spent greatest part of my life in the Community I am always looking for an excuse to visit and I felt this was perfect. It is always a joy to share the community with friends especially those who have had no previous experience of Camphill. I also thought it would be lovely for the community to benefit from the positive energy dynamism which a group of young people from different parts of the world bring. After the camp in Italy, I headed off to Australia, but as the flight was delayed for four hours I had time to write a letter to the community asking if they would like to host us. I popped it into the postbox at Stansted and jetted off to the other side of the world.
I came back out of the Australian bush to hear we were welcome to stay, so together with a few others we began the planning.
This year I’m studying Business in Berlin which means I am not in Edinburgh as often as I would like to be. I hadn’t seen my extended family for far too long so one of the most enjoyable moments of my weekend was the evening before it all started when I got the opportunity to eat with Torphin and spend the evening with Colin and James. I miss them so much when I’m away and it’s always so good to catch up, play music together and sip tea. It was also lovely to get to know all the new household members.
The morning after people started arriving for the Reunion. About 30 people from six countries were able to make it and it was a really wonderful weekend. The weather behaved itself and we managed to climb Arthurs seat, play a night game in the Meadows, go to a Ceilidh and do a Haggis Hunt without getting too wet. The highlight of the weekend was putting on a wee concert for the community on Sunday, which involved songs from the IYC choir as well as songs that everyone joined in.
We stayed in Bluebell cottage which was perfect for the occasion. We had enough space to sleep everyone, after Gill kindly helped us to pick up gym mats from the school, and we had a sitting room and kitchen to cook in and relax. It also meant we were still part of the community, but could play games and play guitar late into the night without disturbing anyone.
I know the house quite well, as the neighbours were good friends of mine and I played with them a lot during my time in Kitezh and Torphin. I’m very happy the house is staying in the community. It completes it somehow.
On Monday morning, tired but happy, people returned home to school, uni and work. Everybody had an amazing time and would like to say a big thank you to the community for allowing us to use the space and for being so supportive before and during the reunion. We would like to say a special thank you to Philip and Gill for your support and to Angelo for letting us borrow all the kitchen equipment.
The website has now opened again for registrations for this year’s camp in Romania. If anyone is interested or would like to know more about IYC you can visit www.iycamp.com.