To be honest I can’t even remember a time that I didn’t know about Knockadoon. My older sister went when she was around 8 and that triggered a chain reaction of my Mam getting rid of us for a week every July. I still remember how I used to pray I could go to camp every year as a kid. Even though my Mam just wanted rid of me for a week I can’t thank her enough for making me go.
Even now I can’t understand what it is about Knockadoon that keeps me coming back. I know I have fun there and it’s a good laugh with the boys but there’s something about Knockadoon and everyone who goes can tell you, if you can explain the Knockadoon feeling, you’ve never been. I’ve had so many special moments on camp that I can’t share them all, I can barely even think of any now. I’ve never felt more at home than when I’m on camp. I honestly belong in Ballymacoda more than I do in Tallaght, if I could pack my bags to live in St.Alberts bunkhouse I’d be gone in seconds.
I spent 7 years as a camper in Knockadoon. Those 7 years included about 34 trips down to April, Linda and nurse Billy, 5 sore throats, 63 strepsils and about 4 grand spent in Perks amusements (bring back perks). Since my first year in 2009 I spent a little period of every day thinking about Knockadoon, whether it was something that happened on camp, the camp itself, or just how long away Knockadoon was. It is always the highlight of my year.
Knockadoon has just changed my life completely. I’ve met new friends over the years, some that have moved on from Knockadoon and I probably won’t see again, and some that are still a part of the #KadFam (don’t slag me Ronan Shields pls). I’ve met people from all over the place and many people from Dundalk who I’d consider really good mates. The memories I have are something I’ll keep until I’m as old as uncle Niggs. There’s some things I just can’t look at without seeing a little piece of Knockadoon. Certain songs could bring me back to the exact moment I heard the song on the camp. The place is something made of magic.
From raves in the bathroom on the last night, bunkhouse wars, Kadfest, pier jumping, walks to the cliffs, chill time on the hill, running on the hill (@JoshBailey) and catechesis, you’re bound to have fun in Knockadoon no matter who you’re there with. It’s the one place on the planet where you’re never judged by anyone else and you can be yourself. There’s always a person for you in Knockadoon. I might have plenty of years behind me in Knockadoon, but I can’t wait to start my journey as a leader.
Here’s to plenty more r kid,
Christopher “Kinker” Duffin xxx