Reeling in the Years: Summer Camp Edition!
On this week’s blog segment, we hear from a past member of our camps and current leader, Adam. Adam is currently studying for his Leaving Certificate, which he hopes to sit next month, but this week, he took some time out of his busy schedule to share his memories of Citywise Summer Camps.
“I began my Citywise experience in the summer of 2013, taking part in my first of many Summer Camps. They haven't been able to get rid of me ever since! If I’m being truly honest, it got to the stage where I could have been part of the furniture as I did all 5 weeks of the camps that Citywise offered one year; a true testament to how much I loved them. But to be honest, looking back now on all my summers through primary school, my memories of these fantastic camps are what stand out to me the most.”
“As soon as June hit and we finished school for the summer, the questions that immediately ensued from all of my friends would be as follows:
- “So, what weeks of the summer camps are you doing this year?” or,
- “Did you sign up yet? There's only 3 spaces left!”
“These were the classic conversations we would have because we were all so excited. The mornings of the summer camps were always like clockwork: up at 8am, lunch ready by 8.30am and you were silly if you weren’t rearing to go for 8.45am, embarking then on your adventure down to Citywise with the lads. It was a routine we were proud of. The first day of camp was always like D Day. When you walked up for registration, you were always praying that you got put in the same group as your mates. On the chance that this event occurred, the feeling was identical to Shamrock Rovers beating Bohemians; oh, what a feeling! I soon realised that whatever group I was in was irrelevant, whether with old mates or not, I was guaranteed to have fun. I always made new friends in Citywise every summer, all of which are still friends of mine today, while some are still here studying for the Leaving Cert, alongside me today.”
“There are many memories that stand out to me from Citywise Summer Camps. Elaine’s famous €1 curry chips at lunch everyday stands out as a highlight of the summer, year in, year out! I’m really shooting myself in the foot here, however, as my Mam still hasn't a clue to this day that I ate them for lunch every day, without fail! Sorry Mam! As good as the curry chips were, they were just the added benefits the camps had to offer. If anyone asks me about my experience in the summer camps, I consistently recall our trip to the Google Headquarters in town all of them years ago. It is still one of the best trips I have been on to this day. It was an enlightening experience for me, seeing how the business world functions and what the 21st century workplace looks like, something I had never experienced before. This place had a gym with a swimming pool, an all you can eat kitchen, chillout spots and even music rooms. I couldn’t believe that this was somewhere where many people called ‘work.’ I don't think one young person in attendance at Google that day didn't say “I want to work there when I’m older.” It really inspired me to say the least.”
“The trips to Massey Woods and the Hellfire were always memorable. There really was no better feeling when your team won a game of manhunt! I will never forget the hiking trips either, but the one that stands out to me the most was the trip we went on to a little place off the bay of Howth one summer. On this day, we arrived in Howth and got a boat out to this little island. When we arrived, we went on a small hike through the hills and the stingers. On a side note, I’ll never forget the pain of those stingers. I still have battle wounds today to prove my bravery! However, my parents did not believe me or my battle wounds, but their faces were priceless when I told them that I got the opportunity to abseil up the side of a castle ruin that day. Every day is different in Citywise and there is no truer statement.
“When I thought things couldn’t get any better, I was wrong! The trips out to the beaches; I’m lost for words. The sneaky chipper on the way home with our €5’s was always pure bliss!”
“I guess if I was to give any advice to anyone thinking about doing the camps, it would be to do them! Throw yourself into everything and without any doubt, attempt every activity! You are guaranteed to have the best time and truly enjoy yourself. What makes Citywise Summer Camps different? The people. The leaders involved are great and will always be there for you. Two of my first leaders during the camps, Lauren and Daire, are now working in Citywise, a testament that the leaders can't be that bad!"
“What was the best thing that came out of my experience in the camps? I am now a leader. This is down to my involvement each summer, and now, I help out every summer too. I have made many friends throughout my years in the camps, even some of the European Volunteers who were my leaders when I was younger, still come back to Citywise in the summer for the camps, all the way from Spain, the camps are worth it, I swear! Like us all, they just can't get enough...”