by Bron McLeod
This year, amongst all the fun, the Young MacLeods had the privilege of working on the small pier at Dunvegan Castle as part of our pre-Parliament voluntary project. Tripling the number of participants from 2014, we put our group to hard labour. The North Room Group (NRG – find out more) volunteer week was organised and assisted by Jeroen Roskam, the Castle Custodian. Ironically, the task was to dig up the old concreted pier from an NRG week, decades ago, and re-pave it.
However, I assure you, the week wasn’t all work! We allowed time to explore our historic lands, visiting the Fairy Pools with a splash, climbing MacLeod’s Tables with gusto and coasting to the Coral Beach.
Once Parliament kicked off, the Young MacLeods joined in the week’s festivities and traditions of ceilidh dancing, whisky tasting (for some), tartan wearing and enlightenment about our heritage.
Afterwards I was asked to present my ideas, along with others, to ACMS. It was a vision for the ‘Future of Young MacLeods’ which was received positively and I thank those who supported me in producing it.
Along with the proposed name change to ‘Young MacLeods’, one of the key ideas is to have an interim event in Australia, possibly in 2020, inviting any past and present Young MacLeods and other interested persons. I am hoping this will encourage young members and non-members to connect, keep in touch and form long lasting friendships, as well as lasting memories. (2020 watch this space!)
This NRG volunteer week and Parliament was the first for 10 of the 12 participants. Here are some of their highlights:
“Coming to Skye I thought it would be great to meet young MacLeods from other countries, try new things and see Scotland! I enjoyed exploring the island of Skye together and working at the Castle. The project may not last a lifetime, but definitely created a lifetime of good memories with new friends.” – Robin McLeod (Canada)
“2018 MacLeod Parliament was the most unforgettable two weeks of my life! Working at Dunvegan Castle and exploring beautiful places in Scotland were the highlights for me. It was a truly unique experience meeting so many relatives from all over the world.” – Rebekah Cutshall (USA)
“Highlights for me at my second meeting of Young MacLeods were: making close friends from around the world, Fairy Pools and climbing the MacLeod Tables, spending time in and around Dunvegan Castle.” – Megan McLeod (Australia)
Saying goodbye to new friends and kin was difficult but the joy of the occasion, the fellowship and the strong bonds with Clan members shines on. Interested in being a Young MacLeod? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org