When I arrived at Savio House, Bollington for SOS 08 I had loads of expectations. I’d heard so much about last year and was very excited about the camp, and yet all my expectations could never have predicted activities like putting bananas back together, having an arrow and sword fight and clearing a jungle, all in the space of ten days.
One thing I did expect was hard work, and that’s what we got. Getting up at half six some mornings for days of clearing gardens, cleaning paths and cobbles, scrubbing floors, cleaning ponds, painting and wallpaper stripping. You might be amazed to think that all of this could be fun, but when you’re working in such a fantastic team you can have so much fun even when you’ve been working at something for hours. Of course there were regular tea breaks, courtesy of SOS’s very own mobile café, the ‘Munch Box’.
Not only did we do work at Savio House, we also travelled around, so we were really out serving in the community. For many people, working at Bootle was a highlight, as we got to help out ordinary people from St James’ parish with tasks such as gardening. We also went to Brettargh Holt where we made a real difference to the Laura Vicuna Centre in just a couple of days. The team worked tirelessly, cleaning all the facilities and painting a number of rooms, with some of our group painting the Sports hall as well. With KRIV we were also able to work in the community, in the nature garden of a local primary school. Although the work here was hard and often dirty since we were clearing paths, cutting branches off trees and clearing out a pond, it was also really rewarding to know that primary school students will be able to use this area again, and that it will be safe for them to do so.
The experience was great because we all made the most of every minute, even when travelling to places. The journeys were eventful, with all sorts of songs and random games taking place.
It was amazing to meet people from all over the country and all over the world. In our group there were two Slovakian girls, one Czech girl, and people from all over the UK. It was fantastic that everyone got on and really gelled in spite of language difficulties!
Not only did we get to meet new people and do some great work, but also, through our work and in addition to it, experienced our faith more deeply. We prayed in many different ways, separately and together. I thought this was an important part of the camp, because it helped when the work was tough, giving it greater meaning.
This experience has been unique,
We’ve used our hands,
We’ve used our feet.
We’ve done hard work every day,
Laughing, painting, never fazed.
The Munch Box kept us all refreshed,
In Gill’s company we have been blessed,
Jonny stood knee deep in pond,
But our foreign friends gave us songs
Zofia, Anna and Marie,
Learning English, always friendly.
Who could forget Danny, who worked non-stop,
And Martin’s bad jokes made us laugh a lot,
Kevin’s enthusiasm in the banana game,
While Bala’s ping-pong talents put us all to shame.
We think Bob only stalled twice,
While Zelda’s cooking was so nice.
Kirsty leaping out of bed,
While Sam had a pillow over her head.
Tom keeping tools in check,
Alana happy with every step.
And then that leaves you and me,
Here in our garden proud as can be,
So we thank you God for everyone,
We know the memories will last so long.