More than 40 Gaelic-speaking youngsters will be heading for Staffin on Skye, and Scaladale in Harris in the coming fortnight to join the ‘Sradagan’ camps run by Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG).
There will be 21 children at each camp, from 7 to 12 years old, participating in a wide-ranging programme of activities.
The first camp will be held at Dun Flodigarry in Staffin between the 6th and 10th of July, and the second at the Scaladale Centre in Harris between the 13th and 17th of July with kids coming from far and wide to take part. They will be attending from the Outer Hebrides as well as the larger mainland cities, and according to organisers CnaG this is one of the main benefits of the camps – that young Gaelic speakers from across Scotland get the chance to meet and get to know each other.
CnaG Chief Executive, Donald MacNeill said: “We’re well-used to running these camps know, but while the staff team changes, and the kids themselves grow up and move on, one thing remains constant – our strong focus on a full week of fun and enjoyment.”
“We’re always delighted with the demand for the camps among both kids and parents. Some kids come back to the camps for two or three years – proving to us that they are enjoying themselves.”
CnaG tries to vary the locations of the camps from time to time, so that the youngsters have the opportunity to get to know different places, and this is the first time a camp will be held in Staffin, based around the Dun Flodigarry hostel. A camp has been held at Scaladale in Harris for three years now, because of the success of the programme and feedback from the kids themselves.
Comunn na Gàidhlig itself has a very strong focus on youth work, seeking to support the work and learning going on in primary and secondary schools.
Donald MacNeill again: “It’s only a few weeks since we held a large event in Tomintoul, part of our John Muir Award programme. For that we brought together over 50 young people from six secondary schools for a three day event.
"It was clear that they enjoyed meeting and spending time with other young Gaelic speakers, and for some that these relationships had started at Sradagan camps or other events. We also think it’s important that young people get the chance to use their Gaelic language in social, fun settings beyond the classroom.”
CnaG gratefully acknowledges financial support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig towards the cost of running the Sradagan camps.