The team at Camas, our unique outdoor centre on the Isle of Mull, share about the busy start to the season:</span>
We have built two new huts – thanks to folk from Cre8, Macclesfield, Rob our seasoned hut builder and Kate and a few hangers on from New Members week. Eilidh and Emma have now moved from the Mac Houses of Maryhill into the new huts by the sea. And Naomi has joined us a Programme and Bookings resident.
Ralph, the resident terrier, has attended all the resident training and is now equipped to help out with kayaking, coasteering, abseiling, administering first aid and leading great reflections. Thanks to Dave, Jo Love and Kenny for our training. The rest of the team feel we could manage all those things too.
We welcomed new Members down the track to experience Camas life. They talked, laughed, worked in the garden, made us some new cushions, cooked a delicious Camas Challenge meal, heard stories from Jan Sutch Pickard and delved deeper into what it is to be a part of the Iona Community.
Young leaders from regular groups from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Mull joined us for a week of leadership training, getting to know each other, some art and craft and a few outdoor activities. Lovely to see folk from across Scotland get to know each other and friendships develop. They also helped us release some of our trees in the new woodland.
Rachel has appreciated lots of help getting the garden going this year in her new role as the Camas gardener. Special mention to Liz and Kate from garden week – absolute troopers with the work they did and the knowledge they shared. Rhys our first volunteer of the year has done a stellar job of helping to sort out our drainage. What a champ.
We had groups from Taynuilt, Ulva Ferry and Lochdon Primary schools come down the track for some short residentials. We had lots of fun getting out on the water, playing wide games and exploring the art room.
We also welcomed our first volunteers of the year! Luke, Lumai, Joe and Katie. They have been brilliant, getting stuck into Camas life. We’re looking forward to the many more volunteers coming this season as we trial a different staffing structure.
We had our Open Day, where over 40 folk came down the track on a beautiful May day. They enjoyed some good old Camas tea, cakes and scones. We had some fab kayaking sessions, an abseil session and we enjoyed chatting and getting to know lots of different folk. Some intrepid locals even travelled by kayak from Bendoran Watersports!
Our wind turbine has had a refresh with new blades and is working so much better than it had been. We have also replaced our old batteries and are in the process of adding some new solar panels. Big thanks to our neighbour and renewables experts Nigel and Darren as well as Luke, one of our volunteers. His knowledge and experience perfectly timed to help us out with our renewables work. Don’t get your hopes up too high but we might have a few more hot showers this year!
We have had extensive drainage work carried out on our track. If you’re lucky enough to come and see us this season you will notice the track is noticeably drier under foot thanks to Craig and his digger and Tom and his team of willing helpers.
We’ve had wind, rain, sun, hail and everything inbetween but are looking forward to warmer days with just enough of an on shore wind to keep the midges away but not so much that kayak sessions have to be cancelled. We’re also looking forward to being joined by familiar faces and getting to know new folk as they make their pilgrimage down the track this season.
Images: 1. Hut building. 2. Beach art by local primary schools. 3,4,5. Camas garden. 6. Camas woodland. 7. Warmup for Kayak training. 8. Naomi, our new resident at Camas. 9. New huts! 10. Camas bay on Open Day. 11 & 12. More self portrait art by local children. Credit for all images: Iona Community/ R. Wardle