Last week, myself and Louise attended the Federation of European Williams Syndrome “Sound and Action” camp in Sweden. We were asked to attend by the Williams Syndrome Association of Ireland as leaders for the Irish group attending.
Firstly, Williams Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by the deletion of some material on chromosome number 7. It occurs in approximately 1 in 20,000 births.
The FEWS camp, organised this year by the Swedish Williams Syndrome society, is an annual camp for young european people with Williams Syndrome. It is funded under the Youth for Europe program within the EU.
This years camp, titled “Sound and Action”, provided musical tuition and varied activities to the groups from the 12 countries that attended. There was a choice of four theme groups available – rock, pop, choir and african drumming, of which the Irish group were involved in three – rock, pop and african drumming. As one of the leaders for the Irish group, I got the chance to attend classes in each of these three theme groups, as well as some of the activities. The activities included swimming, volleyball, day trips, computer games and african dance and choir workshops.
Overall, everyone seemed to really enjoy the camp. The schedule was packed full, so we were all tired every evening, and at the end of the week. The end-of-week concert went very well, and was a great way to show off what the participants had learned during the week. We met lots of lovely people from across Europe and got a lot more insight into the varied capabilities of people with Williams Syndrome.
All in all, it was a great week and a very worthwhile experience. Congratulations to the Swedish WS association for a well organised and well run camp.