As is tradition, every October the Senior Leader publishes a post addressing the upcoming KYW year which would kick off the planning for KYW18. I would love to say that today marks the beginning of what promises to be an unforgettable summer for the KYW, but I would be lying. The truth is, KYW18 planning started months ago and the wheels are firmly in motion to make it the best year yet. We have already achieved a lot in these last few months since we left camp in the summer, most notably;
- Our leader group grew by 32 new leaders, of which 31 are past campers.
- Our leaders created a video promoting suicide awareness & positive mental health which was widely shared on social media.
- Three of our leaders successfully completed a lifeguard course meaning more water time for our campers next summer.
- We launched our brand-new website that is more user friendly, mobile design responsive and aims to information from the KYW that matters to you the most.
- We have appointed a new Junior Assistant Senior Leader in Aaron Cunningham to assist myself and Orlaith in the day to day running of the KYW.
If these achievements came about during what is usually known as our down-time period for the KYW (between August-October) then I really cannot wait to see all that we achieve as a group when we go full throttle over these next few months and in the build up to camp.
Last year the KYW underwent some major changes, particularly in the way we register campers and collect money. It was a monumental change for us and a step in the right direction for the KYW as this new online process gives countless hours back to our volunteer leaders and allows them to focus on tasks that improve both themselves and the KYW experience for our campers. Having said that, we also recognise that the online system was in no means perfect and there is room for plenty of improvements with it. Thank you to everyone who shared feedback with us, especially those who were unhappy with the change but understood why we were doing it. For KYW18 registration, we have taken all your feedback on board and are aiming to make huge improvements to the registration experience along with providing flexible payment options including a new monthly payment model that means you do not have to pay the full cost upfront. Dates for camp next year will be released very soon and I am delighted to say that for the first time ever, registration will open this side of Christmas on the 2nd of December 2017. There will be more info provided in the coming weeks so make sure to keep checking the website and Facebook page for updates. We will also communicate this to the parents of last year’s campers via email.
Right now, our leaders are getting ready to head back down to camp for the Leader Reunion weekend, where they will attend a host of training sessions and take part in discussions about new activities and fundraisers for KYW18. The leaders will also have ample time to relax on camp, get to know their colleagues from other KYW regions and take part in classic Knockadoon activities including the bonfire and ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics – Leader Edition’. Stayed tuned to our social media channels and website as we hope to capture most of the weekend on live streams using the likes of Snapchat and Facebook. The weekend will be bittersweet though, as we will say goodbye to 4 of our veteran leaders in Seán, April, Kate & Whoosh. The reunion marks the end of their incredible leader journeys and we are hoping to give them a great send off.
That’s all for now! I am now entering my 11th year as a leader in the KYW and 18th year on camp overall and my excitement has never been as high for this coming year. If anyone has any questions about the KYW or would like to know more about our plans for 2018, feel free to reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org and remember to keep an eye on the website and social media channels to stay up to date with all the latest KYW news.
Here’s to another great KYW year, it’s already shaping up to be an exceptional one.