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Honing social entrepreneur skills in Denmark!

Twenty-eight members of IGG took part in a Friendship Camp in Denmark from 29 July to 4 August. Here Guide Katelyn talks about her experience:

To be chosen for this amazing opportunity I had to fill out an application form and go for an interview. Luckily, I passed both.

Around 9 o’clock on Sunday morning, we discovered that our flight had been cancelled. No one knew what was going to happen and we were told the next flight could be between three to five days. It was only a couple of hours later we found out that our flight had been rescheduled to 6 o’clock instead of half 2. When we got to the airport we discovered that our flight had been delayed until just before 9 o’clock that evening. This meant that after we had gone through security we still had more than two hours of freedom.

Since our flight had been cancelled and delayed we were all given a €10 voucher to spend on food, which meant we didn’t have to pay for our dinner. After a bit of confusion on where to go we finally made to our gate at 8 o’clock which meant we had to wait another 20 minutes until boarding. The plane finally departed about half 9 for the flight to Copenhagen. The flight was short enough, landing at a quarter past 11 Irish time.

From the airport we got the metro to Christiana and then we had a 15 minute walk to the hostel that we would be staying the night at. There was a bit of confusion because a group of Scouts had taken our rooms so we had to sleep on mattresses on the floor.

On the Monday morning we all got up at 8 o’clock Danish time so we could go do some sightseeing. On our tour around Copenhagen we fist stopped off at Newhaven. It is a popular tourist attraction because the houses are very colourful. Then we stopped off at the Little Mermaid statue. Afterward, we went back to the hostel, got our bags and caught the bus to Copenhagen train station. There was a bit of time to buy some food for lunch before we went to our station and waited for our train.

We got on the train at 1 o’clock for the two-hour bus journey to Vejle, where we were staying. When we got to Vejle we had to get a coach to bring us to the campsite. When we arrived at the campsite, we had some snacks before helping the Danish girls put up the remaining tents.

The Danish girls do things slightly differently: they eat off tables that they make themselves using their pioneering skills. All of the Irish girls didn’t know a lot about pioneering so the Danish girls had to help us a lot.

That evening we had a campfire, but, because of the dry weather Denmark was experiencing, the campfire consisted of some electric candles surrounded by logs.

On the Tuesday morning we all woke up at 7 to be ready for a quarter to 8 for the flag ceremony. We then all met up at 9 o’clock and got on the coach that brought us to Legoland. Once there, we split up into our patrols and were told to meet back at a quarter to 6. All the patrols were back in time except for one patrol, who thought at the time it was a quarter to 5! They eventually made it back – then we all got back on the coach that brought us back to the campsite, where we continued working on our tables.

On Wednesday we started working on the social entrepreneur badge. We had to decide on a problem in our local community and then think of a way to solve that problem. My patrol decided to do our project on the environment and what you can do to make it better. That evening we had an Irish-themed campfire with the Irish girls singing some songs in Irish and teaching the Danish girls some Irish dancing.

On Thursday we did the ‘action’ part of the social entrepreneur course. We all got the bus out to the nearest town, Vejle. Me and my patrol got random people in the street to fill out a survey on what type of bags they use when they go shopping and whether or not they recycle. From our survey we discovered that most people said they do recycle but we concluded that some people might have just said ‘yes’ to make themselves look better.

When we all arrived back at the campsite we had to tell everyone about our project and what we did in Vejle. That was the last activity that we had to do for the social entrepreneur badge so afterwards we were all awarded our badges.

That evening we had a Danish-themed campfire. One of the activities we did was seeing who could eat their string of liquorice the fastest without using their hands. We were then taught some Danish songs and dances by the Danish girls.

On the Friday, the Leaders set up activities for us around the camp. The activities included professional tree-climbing and a very muddy slip-and-slide. That evening we had our last campfire because it was our last full day. We also had a celebration because it just so happened to be my birthday the next day! We had made some traditional Danish birthday cake as one of the activities so we used that as a birthday cake.

After the campfire, we had some more activities. I found it a lot more fun because it was dark by the time we were doing them. Since it was our last night and we had taken the tents down earlier that day, we slept in shelters.

On the Saturday morning we had the closing flag ceremony before saying goodbye to everyone. It was a little bit sad saying goodbye but we knew we would all be meeting up again in November.

I had so much fun camping in Denmark and hope to get the opportunity to go to another camp next summer.