MY AVENTURES PRESENTING IN SCOTLAND
TAKING SCOTTISH KIDS TO CAMP
When I was over in Scotland, I connected to an organization called the Young Carers. These were children who supported family members who had either mental or physical challenges. The Young Carers Organization supported these children, giving them respite and fun activities to balance the difficult tasks they perform every day. I offered 15 of my camp sleepaway spots to these children if the organization could finance and arrange the kids’ flights. They accepted my offer and flew 15 Scottish children to Canada to take part in Camp Kahuna. It was a great week.
A few years later, one of the Scottish campers asked if he could come back to Canada to work at camp. Kieran, the Scottish camper, has volunteered his time at my camp for two years now; I pay for his flight and he works as one of my camp staff.
I returned to Scotland, and have taken three groups of children to camp in Kinloch Rannoch and Dalguise. There I climbed a 100-foot tree, shimmied across a log that was sixty feet in the air, zip lined over the highlands, and canoed in a Scottish loch. I learned what a burn walk is: climbing up a mountain through a freezing cold stream in October. I also learned what abseiling is, and it has nothing to do with your abs or sailing: it’s climbing down a mountain on a cliff.
I also worked with an ADHD support group in Perth, Scotland. These children were a lively group, who struggled with paying attention, yet I had the entire group focused. I even had a boy named Rowan wanting to go wherever I lived. I don’t think he realized how far Canada was from Scotland.
An observation I made in Scotland was how some educators viewed children with ADHD. It seemed the pervasive attitude was that ADHD children would end up as drug users and in jail. This made me so angry that I had to try to deliver some accurate information. Someone got me on the Fay Adams Show on BBC radio in Dundee, Scotland. I delivered the message that ADHD has many positive sides and should be celebrated. I didn’t realize the show was a talk show. I received some pushback, but my message was delivered loud and clear.
I performed in a number of primary schools in Perth and Errol and a daycare in Crieff, Scotland as well as George Heriot School in Edinburgh. I enjoyed meeting the staff and students and hope to return to continue my work in Scotland.