As Community Cruisers was to provide bike parking at the Highland Games, in my new role of Volunteer Coordinator, I gave the President a call to see what they required. The President, Sandy Bunch, has a rather strong Glaswegian accent. As I came off the phone, I had a disturbing feeling I had committed to something a little more than bike parking!
A few days later, a follow-up phone call from Sandy confirmed that I had indeed agreed to becoming the Volunteer Coordinator for the whole Highland Games! Good grief! Somebody, PLEASE, remind me to never again grunt assent when I don't understand a word!
My first committee meeting was filled with talk of kaylees, heavy sports and whiskey tastings. The only part I was sure of was the whiskey tasting. That, I could get into! Consulting The Google, I discovered that heavy sports was the competition one finds at Highland Games. It includes athletic events such as the tug o'war, caber toss, hammer throw, stone put, weight throw and sheaf toss.
It took a little more searching for me to discover kaylee is actually Ceilidh and is a party which includes music, dancing and often story telling - along with drinking; a lot of drinking. (Editor's Note: ... and when an Australian takes a pause and remarks on someone else doing "a lot of drinking," that's serious.)
I also discovered that Highland Games are a VERY big deal and people travel the globe attending them. The regalia, the traditions, the pomp and ceremony of the Pipes and Drums, the amazing skill of the dancers, the toe tapping talent of the musicians and the extraordinary capacity of all in knocking back whiskey and beer!
My role was to find and coordinate the 250-odd volunteers (and gosh, some of them were certainly odd!) required to help with the event. The task was not quite as daunting as it first appeared as so many people just love volunteering for the games!
The weekend turned out perfect weather and record attendance. A success all round! Now the big question - will I do it again next year??
|The pomp and ceremony (and a rather grainy photo from non-COVID times!)|
|The festivities from the bike parking|
|Look who I conned into volunteering!|
|More of our wonderful volunteers!|
The weather ended up cooperating. Canmorons and all those of Highland-descent came out in droves and tartans to blow out the COVID cobwebs and enjoy some sunshine. In spite of COVID restrictions introduced two days before the event, the outdoor portions went forward. Record attendance, record revenue ... all led to a good experience for us.
All in all, a happily haggis-free experience.