Not winding down but hurtling!
February marks the last month of the MacHouses pilot we have been trialling since November. Soon we will all be returning to Camas to resume or begin our resident roles for the coming season and the MacHouses will move on to an exciting new phase.
As is usually the way with these things, the last month of our winter in Maryhill has been one of the busiest. A lot of the bustle has been due to feeling the need to visit as many projects (and people) as possible while still on the mainland. Luckily for us, Emma has made an excellent PowerPoint presentation that includes many strategically sunny photos of Camas which we have taken all over Glasgow and beyond.
Myself and Davie had a lot of fun meeting with Faith in Throughcare in Inverclyde who we’re looking forward to welcoming to Camas in June, most of them for the first time! And we’ve been to some of our returning youth groups. Encouraging first time and return visits to Camas. If this has happened to include multiple games of ‘Ultimate Ball’ (an exciting cross between Netball and Ultimate Frisbee) well then, that’s just a bonus.
The PowerPoint has also made appearances at Edinburgh University Chaplaincy Centre and Abercorn Secondary School. Seeing some of the Abercorn pupils we met last summer still so enthusiastic about their trip and eager to encourage the next cohort to give it a shot, definitely felt like a highlight of recent weeks.
As the end of our time in Glasgow comes into sight, the social events that we have thought would be nice since November have started happening with equal parts joy and urgency. We finally ate those long-scheduled dinners and had that Open House. As I write this, I’m looking forward to a week including a pot-luck and a family group visit, both long-overdue. We are again and again reminded how blessed we are to be surrounded by such hospitable, wise and supportive people.
Another feature of this month has been our pre-season staff training, which was an opportunity to learn together and spend time getting to know staff from all island centres as well as the mainland. At Camas I’ve experienced a tendency to feel slightly separate from the rest of the Community whilst in the throes of the summer season, and I really appreciated having those couple of days to build relationships with the wider staff team.
As briefly already mentioned, this month we had our MacHouses Open Day which was impressively attended for a rescheduled event on a Sunday! We are very grateful to everyone who stopped by. Not only for saving us from eating a perilous amount of home baking but also for all the lovely conversations. The open houses were attended by a mix of people from our local communities, nearby Family Groups, a house church from the southside, and family members. Copious cups of tea were made and drank, cake was eaten and stories exchanged. This lovely day was rounded off by attending a meal at Maryhill-Ruchill Parish Church where the young people had cooked us a tasty dinner to mark our time with them coming to an end (for now).
Four months is no time at all, especially when we have been welcomed so whole-heartedly into a community. We will be sad to leave. We have worked amongst some wonderful people and projects over the winter and we are so grateful to them for allowing us to share in the work they do.
Now for the packing and see you on the islands!