Thursday, 27 May 2010

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Out door training is Done!!!

Hello all you Camas fans,

This is Cally Again; you remember that crazy chick from Oregon, right? Anyway, this last week we had our technical advisor out to teach us all about kayaking, ab sailing, hill walking, map reading, compass following, raft building, and outdoor safety. It definitely helped that our theme of the week was famous rappers, and we soon discovered that even though we had awesome rapper names-like k-tech, J-flex, and M-press- we should probably leave the rapping bit to the pros. People were being trained to lead and assist on all the different outdoor activities that we offer, and at the end of it all we went down to the local pub in Finnaphort and got some well earned fish and chips! Yeeee-haaaa. Oh, and Josef fire juggled one night, and that was pretty dang awesome! Rob fact #3- Why do we call nettles, nettles? Because fishermen used to use this fibrous plant for making nets. Pretty cool, huh? That's all for now folks! Tune in next week to hear more about our sustainable living week! Cheers.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Hi everyone. This week the Camas team was visited by George Fell, our first-aid trainer and expert in wilderness medicine. George taught us all about, well, a lot of stuff; from cuts and bruises to broken bones and CPR, he gave us the low down on how to treat injured people. We practiced our CPR on little Annies (they're dummies) and bandaged each other in just about every way conceivable! We had a great time with George who shares with Josef a love for Toto and such timeless classics as 'Rosanna' and 'I kissed the rains down in Africa'!

On Friday we were treated to a wee trip on Freya with Mark Jardin. The day was beautiful and clear and Mark brought us over towards the Burg to see the fossil tree and the caves along the coastline. We then made for Iona and spotted lots of wildlife on the way, including a bird with a cigarette in its mouth (i.e. the puffin!). We also saw lots of seals and actually one particularly curious seal came really close to the boat to get a better look at us. Mark then brought us into Martyr's Bay where we jumped off and went to the Abbey for lunch.
On Friday evening the Camas team was challenged to a football match against the Iona crew. Thanks to a lot of skill, endurance and aggression (aggression mostly from Cally!) we triumphed in style.

Later in the weekend, a few of us kayaked around the Camas Bay on what was a lovely clear day and the water was very still. We stayed out until late in the evening and it was quite special when a pair of otters stuck their heads up. We got very close to them as they plunged into the water to catch their fish and then emerged and happily scoffed their bounty!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Camas just got bigger!

Hey all, This is Cally again that crazy American from Oregon coming to you with some exciting news. Today, we get our last set of vollies-they will be here with us for about four months, which will complete our happy Camas family making us a perfect number of 11 staff. One vollie just got here and she is from South Korea, one is coming from New Zealand, and one is coming from England. That means our gals to guys ratio will be going from 4 girls and 4 guys to 7 ladies and only 4 men-The ladies are super stoked about this. So yipee-Camas is Complete! Before our week started on Sunday we all went to Sean Bhaile which means Old village in gaelic, and it was old-Rob says maybe even four hundred years. It was abandoned during the highland clearances which was a time when rich landlords kicked the crofters off their land because sheep were more profitable. After that, we visited with the owner of an organic mill and farm near by-It was Awesome! So, this last week we had one guest from England-a super awesome ecologist, and we had loads of fun with her! We went ab sailing, worked in the garden, painted some sheds, and we even went wild camping near Eraid-a sort of island nearish Iona. Anyway, it was a misty day to say the least, we were covered in rain, but had loads of fun running about and listening to Darragh, our Irish baird, read the epic story of Sam Magee on top of a hill in the pouring rain! We even created a new Camas song, so if you come here ask us to sing it for you and we will! Then, this Friday we went to Iona to spend the night. We met some of the locals, explored the abbey with our esteemed tour guide, Wing commander Robulous, enjoyed the luxury of electricity again,climbed Duni, and for those of us who weren't too tired we hit the pub in the evening. Today, we are doing chores, and preparing for our last few vollies to arrive. This next week is full of vigorous training, and I even get to teach the new vollies some art. Ye-haa! Well, That's all for now folks! Oh, by the way, Tom, our resident superhero and story teller has taken the office of bed time stories, so now, in the evening we all squeeze in together and listen to the tales of the lighthouse keeper or better yet Katy Molrag-Aren't we adorable? Now, that's really all for now folks tune in next week to hear Rob say something really smart!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Hello there everyone, it is May 1st, and I coming to you once again with another live action report from Camas. Now, where do I begin? Last weekend we had an incredible group of young people from Glasgow. They were students from all over the world~Some were from Africa, some from Asia, some from the middle East. We took them out ab sailing from our quarry wall, hiked up to the trig point, had loads of rain, but still had fun anyway. We even hiked to Market Bay-one of our favorite nearby beaches, and all the young men and male staff immediately set into an epic game of football while the ladies did beach art and some dancing. Boy, can those guys play-even in the pouring rain-I must say those young men had game! We also went sailing in the Freya boat from Iona; our friend Mark is the captain of this ship, and he made sure we all had a turn at steering her. We encountered lots of singing and dancing, and on their last night with us they even made us dinner using recipes from their countries, we sung and danced some more, and then we had to bid them a very fond farewell. Then, we all had a much needed two days off-some went to Glasgow, some to Oban, and some stayed home here and chilled. Then, when we all came back we had the privilege of seeing two dolphins out in our bay-a real treat, and after that we spent some time getting ready for our Camas opening party, which included a traditional Scottish Cailee dance. We even made sure to buy some pretty colorful outfits for the event at the local charity shop. We invited all the locals and our friends from Iona-a good forty people showed up I think, and we all had a blast. I had never been to a Cailee before, but I loved it...absolutely loved it. And that brings us to today-today it is May day, and after a morning of chores we're all off until Monday. This week is an open week and we do have a guest coming, so it is some good easy training for those of us who are newer here; I even hear that we're going to do some wild camping. Anyway, you'll hear more next time, and until then I will leave you with a Rob fact: 'Did you know that on the other end of our Camas bay there is a salt marsh, and it is one of the most diverse ecological regions around-and we have it.' Rob taught me that, and believe me there is plenty more where that came from. Cheers.