I am no stranger to camping with the CCY, having enjoyed their hospitality on numerous occasions in the past when working as News Editor for the Club magazine. However, this did not prepare me for this particular National held in North Berwick, Scotland.
Not only was the pirate-themed event organised with considerable style by Scottish Region, but I was overwhelmed by the number of members attending the rally and its unbelievable location, separated from the marvellous rocky coast by small sand dunes.
These rallies are always good natured affairs where members meet friends old and new while enjoying various events that include the usual sports where a serious competitive spirit rears its head in pursuit of the prestigious Austin Trophy. This is balanced by a wide variety of entertainment on the sidelines that this year included various Easy Camp events that included seeing how many people could be squeezed into a three-man tent and the opportunity to express character through the medium of tent painting.
If laser tag and Bubble Zone football did not appeal then a myriad of watersports were available just a short trek over the dunes. And although all these physical activities would sap the strength of most adults, the youth must have tapped into Duracell for the extra staying power required for the beach campfires and various discos – mercifully ‘silent’ thanks to wireless headphones that provided a choice of soundtracks depending on how people like to party.
The final day always sees each region’s members parade their flags and pennons in an Olympic spirit and this year the UK was joined by youth members from the Netherlands. Awards were presented and members honoured for their achievements throughout the year. It is a pleasure to see our young praised for actions rather than criticised as seems to be the norm these days.
And it is great to see the next camping generations get so much from camping – long may it continue. For just a few hours, their spirit helps those of us with a few gray hairs to recapture that vitality that makes life so much fun. But don’t take my word for the fun and freedom that CCY members enjoy. Seek out your local DA group via the Club website campingandcaravannongclub.co.uk and see if it is for you – I think you’ll be surprised!
Meanwhile, let’s hear from the members themselves…
KRIS WILKINSON, YORKSHIRE YOUTH
The rally at North Berwick was the first national rally I have been to, and I didn't know what to expect or what was in store before I went up there. The weekend was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, and by far exceeded my expectations. Highlights of the weekend were the beach bonfires, the silent disco and the bubble football. It was also good to get to know some youth from Scotland, and some of the Dutch youth. North Berwick was thoroughly enjoyable and I’m definitely looking forward to the next National Youth Rally if it is anything like this one.
MIKEY NAYLOR – LANCASHIRE & CHESHIRE DA
I have been a member of Lancs & Ches from birth (21 years now) and a youth member from the age of 12. This has to be the best upbringing a child can have. I cannot think of the down side.
I took my Junior Youth Test at 12 and my Senior Youth Test when I was 15. My parents are my youth leaders and also my Region RYLOS. I couldn’t be without my youth membership.
DA weekends are really good. Some are quiet and just a few youth get together and some weekends we are in charge of the social side and fund raising for the DA. The best part of being a member is the weekends away from parents! Unfortunately there is no getting away from mine (tongue in cheek of course). Highlights are the National Youth Rally, this is based around sports and competing against other Regions. Autumn Youth Rally is when we are taken to theme parks, which is great fun. My Region also holds a Winter Meet where we compete for the Snow Flake Trophy. This is all the DA’s youth in my region are split into teams and we play silly games for points - all the DAs are divided which makes us mix with people we wouldn’t ordinarily do.
I have just finished my Degree in Sports Coaching. For this reason I am very sports orientated so my favourite weekends are National Youth Rally and the Volleyball Meet. Unfortunately at this year’s National Youth Rally I dislocated my left knee playing football – 12 months to the day after surgery on my right knee following a dislocation. My team did manage to win the football competition so it was all worth it. This didn’t stop me arriving back on site after my hospital visit to a round of applause from other you members and a chair in the “Silent I was unable to play at the Volleyball Meet the weekend after but there is always next year.
Being one of the older youth, I was asked to take part in the Club Stand at GMEX, now Event City. I did this for 3 years. My role was to talk to people with families to explain the Youth part of the membership. I was honoured to do this job as it made me realise what my membership is worth to me. Outdoors, survival skills, sports, friends, travel – what more would a youth member want.
S.L.D.A YOUTH AT NORTH BERWICK
By Hannah Clarke, Sam Groves, Laura Bycroft, Holly Snaith, Kym Hobson, Jodie Nicholson, Emma Storer and Mark Bycroft – The S.L.D.A Youth who went to Scotland on the 2015 National Youth Rally.
On 3 July 2015 S.L.D.A Youth travelled the eight-hour journey to North Berwick, Scotland for the 2015 National Youth Rally. When we arrived there at 9pm we all decided to put up our tents and Laura, Jodie and Holly used the easy camp tent.
In Scotland we played sports such as netball against other regions in the country and enjoyed the silent disco which was on Saturday evening. There were other sports such as volleyball and football and there were races such as sack and three-legged races.
The beach was a two-minute walk from the tents and we spent Saturday afternoon on the beach swimming in the sea and sunbathing on the sand. The sea was freezing at first but after a while you got used to it.
After the beach we enjoyed a barbeque cooked by the Scottish Region Youth Leaders. This was followed by the silent disco which was good with all the great songs which we all enjoyed dancing to and then we went down to the beach to enjoy the bonfire and talking with all our friends.
On Sunday we carried on the sports by doing the races and supporting all of our teams. When it came to award giving Central Counties won the Rod Daniels Trophy.
At 1pm we left Scoughall Farm in Scotland and made our way back down south towards Lincoln and on the way back we stopped off for some lunch at Newcastle and then got back to Lincoln just after 7pm. We all enjoyed our weekend at Scoughall Farm in Scotland.
We found our Easy Camp tent large enough three youth and all their belongings as the porch is really big. Since using it for the first time in Scotland we have used it again at S.L.D.A’s 1940s war-themed weekend which was held at Bain Valley Fisheries.