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30th International Summer Camp for Young Disabled opens

Sunshine, showers – nothing can dampen spirits

Co.Kildare, 11 August 2013

Arriving guests, Clongowes Wood College

Arriving guests, Clongowes Wood College

As 600 guests, helpers and volunteers descend on Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare, Ireland, the 30th International Camp for Young Disabled swings into action. Three years in the planning, the Irish Association’s teams of members and helpers are at their posts, schedules are consulted, lists are posted, balloons wave in the green, white and orange colours of the Irish national flag, alongside the Order’s red flag with the eight-pointed white cross – now the fun really begins.

Clongowes Wood College, the venue for the Order's 30th International Summer Camp for Young Disabled

Clongowes Wood College, the venue for the Order’s 30th International Summer Camp for Young Disabled

The Camp, first established in Austria in the summer of 1984, from small beginnings is now a fixture in the international calendar of the Order of Malta. This year, guests have an array of enticing activities and games to sign up for: air rifle shooting, archery, drama workshops, carriage driving, arts and crafts activities and many more, with trips to a local whisky distillery, to Malahide Castle and to Dublin also on the agenda, all rounded off with discos and music events every evening. The guests, who come from 20 countries, meet and greet in a Babel of excitement. The camp, with its ethos of care and friendship – motto is Yes, You Can! – gives them the chance to challenge themselves with new experiences and activities, as well as to find again friends from other camps, other years.

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.