Reeling in the Leaders – Dara Goss

Knockadoon Youth WeekLeadersReeling in the Leaders – Dara Goss



Reeling in the Leaders – Dara Goss

I didn’t really know which way I would have liked to take this blog post so I decided no better way than to start from the beginning of my Knockadoon experience which maybe some people who are yet to come to camp can relate to and those who have been to camp will understand completely.

I started going to Knockadoon in 2011 and to be honest I thought it would be a disaster, I had never ventured away from home without family before and all I had this time was a bunch of 18-26 year olds looking after me which in my eyes was a scary concept. I heard so many people talk about how good Knockadoon was and how each year they look forward to it and I didn’t really understand the attraction I mean a camp in cork and they talked about it as if it was the Bahamas’ but I followed the crowd and went with my best friend for the week. I had about a billion and one what ifs and scenario’s running through my head on the lead up to camp, What if I hate it how do I get home? What if me and Dearbhail my one and only friend going at the time leaves me by myself? What if we argue?

I don’t really know what I envisioned because it was so different to anything I had done before. As I said I had one friend going to camp and we were both just excited for a holiday together away from our parents, and for my parents it was a chance for me to gain a bit of independence and I think a break for them for a week even though I know secretly, deep down they missed me terribly. By the end of the week it felt as though I became friends with everyone even some of the leaders, I felt like I had so many people to look up to and aspire to be like when I was their age and I knew immediately someday I would have loved to be in a red jumper. I feel like camp helped to make me into the person I am today, it helped me to grow in every aspect of my life and make friends that I’ll have forever, it sounds silly but each time I go down on the KYW I learn endless amounts about other people and their lives but I find out something new about myself each time too.

One thing I always can guarantee for anyone that goes is that there is never a minute you can be bored on camp whether you are playing games, pier jumping or just sat down talking to people you have the time of your life and the days go by as if they are minutes and in the blink of an eye you are on that bus home wishing the next 365 days were already passed. I think one of the most amazing things about Knockadoon is that when I’m down there I don’t spend more than 5 minutes on my phone each day because I don’t feel the need or want to ever, and believe me on a typical day I can never put it down. I realized not so long ago that not a day goes by where I don’t think or talk about camp, be it at lunch time with the girls or when I’m procrastinating doing something useful in the evenings it’s a constant thing in my life and I love that. I think one of the best things about Knockadoon is the fact that each and every person in a red jumper has your best interest at heart if you get down to camp and hate football, hate pier jumping hate canoeing all you have to do is suggest something to a leader and if it sounds possible they’re more than happy to help!

Over all it’s such a chilled week away from reality at home and yet there’s constant activities happening. Last year I got the opportunity to be a leader for a week on camp which was one of the best things I have ever done as I got the chance to give back to the kids who were like myself not long ago. Knockadoon is the highlight of every summer for me and if I were a betting woman I would put money on this year being no exception. Each year if I can say anything about the KYW is that it grows bigger and better and I can’t wait to see how incredible this year will be and look forward to all the new people I will meet and get to know as it’s the people who make Knockadoon seem as good as a holiday to the Bahamas not the place itself.

All the best,

DG x