A Visit to YOMAC

Sally has been away this week at a residential camp for young people from all over the country involved in climate change projects. I don’t explain it very well so check out http://www.youmeandtheclimate.org/ for a better explanation.

I popped down for the weekend to help out, see what was going on, and, yes, to spend some time with my lovely wife.

It was a difficult couple of days. I had to:

  • get to know everyone, despite only being there for just over 24 hours;
  • help out with some of the work;
  • try desperately NOT to chip in too much (the project is led by the youth with adults just facilitating);
  • find my way around the campsite and bothey;
  • stay out of people’s way where necessary;
  • learn the in-jokes and find my way around some of the more difficult aspects of communication and relationships that go on in any 10-day residential with hugely diverse people;
  • find some quality time with Sally;
  • and, of course, I wanted to feel like I’d left my mark, been myself and made a difference.

It was a bit of a mental, physical and emotional juggling and it left me pretty tired.

But, what I saw while there was a hugely diverse group of young people aged 14-19 with a huge passion for educating people about climate change, working their socks of and contributing all sorts of wonderful gifts and talents to the cause.

There were actors, artists, scientists, IT “geeks”, vegans and meat-eaters, nature lovers and city-slickers, people who love camping and people who hate it. They were from all over the country and haven’t spent much time together but they got on like a really good team. They were bright and understood not only climate change issues but a whole variety of other political issues.

I was really very impressed with the young people. The news may portray the bad things about our youth: knife crime, grafitti, yobs and hoodies; but the opposite end of that scale is people like the ones I met on Saturday: talented, hard working, committed, fun, intelligent teenagers who want to make a positive impact on the world in which they live.