A lot of people ask me “what is it that you do on the camp?” or “why do give up so much of your time for the cause?” or “how much do you get paid?”. The only one I seem to be able to answer on the spot is the third question and the answer is donut (i.e. nothing). But what the KYW lacks in financial reward, it more than makes up in enabling self-confidence, self-belief, an appreciation of the more important aspects in life and the making of life-long friendships. This list is not exhaustive and I have barely touched on the wider benefits that being involved with this group offers.
I’ll not go into detail on the first question, because it is clear from this website and our social media outlets just what we do on the camp and the excellent entertaining schedule we provide for our campers. It takes quite some time to explain to a “non-Knockadooner” the activities we provide on camp so I generally just touch on the likes of football, swimming, canoeing, dodgeball, theme nights, guest speakers for Catechesis etc. and leave it at that. I could talk for days on end about how much we actually offer but I don’t want to come across as a crazy person!
The second question above is quite difficult to answer on the spot and so I decided I would try to put it in writing so that the next time I’m asked “why do give up so much of your time for the cause?”, I’ll send them the link to this post. The KYW is first and foremost a holiday for our campers. We strive to provide the best possible holiday at a very affordable price in a picturesque rural setting along the Cork coast that is both safe and fun for all participants. But the KYW is much more than just a holiday.
I believe with all my heart in the KYW. I’ve seen the benefits of been involved with this group, not only for myself but for the countless campers and leaders that are here now and have gone before. The process of becoming a leader is a metamorphosis. Our practice is to recruit leaders from our camper base. In other words, the majority of the leaders currently on the camp have previously attended as campers and have impressed the leader group enough to get an opportunity to give back what was previously given to them. We have grown from 52 campers and 30 leaders in 2011 to over 270 campers and 76 leaders in 2015. The system works.
The KYW unlocks and encourages a range of talents in the leader group. The added responsibility of carrying out this role naturally increases the confidence, teamwork, communication, interpersonal and social skills of each individual. If we take a step back for a minute, these are the skills that every employer wants from their employees and our leaders are acquiring and developing these skills at a very early age.
Simply put, spending time with the KYW whether as a leader or a camper makes us better people. We all leave camp with a renewed and healthy view of life with a desire to make a difference and be the change that is needed in society today. After all, only by helping others can we truly help ourselves.
If I had my way, I would ensure everyone got the opportunity to experience Knockadoon and I encourage anyone reading this to sign up your kids / friends / cousins / family etc. for what is truly a life changing experience.
All the best,