IT'S ALL ABOUT FREEDOM

As part of the Easy Camp work we do with the Camping and Caravanning Club’s Camping Club Youth we talk to member Jordan Birchall from the Lancashire and Cheshire DA. Jordan is a student at Winchester University and an enthusiastic CCY camper and takes up the story…

This June, I spent a weekend with other youth of Lancs and Ches DA at a meet being held at Clitheroe in Lancashire.

Being at university has meant I have missed out on some DA weekends but I always make an effort to try and attend the youth funding raising events, like this particular weekend. Not only are they a worthwhile cause but they prove great fun. This time around one of the parents was kind enough to hold a freshly baked cake sale to raise funds - a delicious way to help make it cheaper for us to attend National Youth Rallies and the like.

Saturday morning was spent walking into Clitheroe, tasters at the world famous sausage shop and then hosting that fund-raising ‘Tea and Cake’ afternoon. In the evening our youth leaders, Katy and Mark, hosted a Cheese and Wine for the campers. Later in the evening, the three of us arranged a football match for the younger members and those new campers that hadn’t met the other youth before. It was a great ice breaker… But, before this I spent this time with two other members, Mikey and Josh, chatting to some new members who had not heard that the Club had a youth section. This is an easy subject for me to talk about as the benefits have been fantastic. It has opened up the ability to travel not just in the UK but to other countries worldwide.

Jordan Birchall with Easy Camp at Camping Club Youth testing Jordan Birchall with Easy Camp at Camping Club Youth testing

I have been a youth member for eight years since I was 12. I passed my youth test in 2010. It took two seasons to train for this but has been worth the effort for it allows me to camp at International Youth Rallies with the rest of our members and have the benefit of reduced Club membership fees. It represents freedom…

Being in the youth has made it easier to adapt to University life. I am much more outgoing, making friends is easy and mixing in comes easy now. The youth test taught my life skills such as cooking and first aid. These have been an essential part of university life, especially the cooking!

Attending the International Youth Rallies is the highlight of my youth membership. Taking part in the sports and the brilliant fancy dress nights are a must — although my youth leader, Katy, did get the theme wrong for Portugal 2014. The theme was ‘Uniforms’ — not sure how the North West Region ended up dressed in pink cheerleader costumes. Ah, the memories, though — fantastic!

My next weekend away will be the National Youth Rally in Scotland in July and thanks to the fund raising that Lancs & Ches do, this will be a little cheaper than it should have been.