What do you do at a Gaitherin?
You make three Choices of instruments/activities from a list of about ten. You do your first Choice activity twice a day and your second and third Choices once a day. Groups are of mixed abilities and you will be taught how to play according to the level you are at. In between Choices there are activities and games and lots of interaction with our youth workers. You eat your own packed lunch at the Gaitherin and on the Friday evening there is a concert where your first Choice group performs to family and friends. There is also a concert on the Tuesday evening where the tutors show off their skills. This is is followed by a ceilidh.
I would like to change my choices
The new booking form will have shown you the choices which were available when you were completing it. In order to keep this information up to date for others making bookings it is not possible to swap choices until bookings close. If your request can be accommodated at that point then we will do our best we we can’t give any guarantees so please choose carefully to start with!
What is the food like?
Participants bring their own packed lunch. After lunch and at break times (Tues to Fri) there is a tuck shop in case you still have space!
On the Friday tea time before the performance we have pizza delivered for everyone.
Evening meals for those staying residential are hot two course meals. Varied breakfast options are also provided. Residential participants will be provided with their own packed lunches.
What is staying residential like and who stays residential?
There are places for 24 participants and 6 youth workers at the Sir Arthur Grant Centre (SAGs) near Monymusk. There are two dorms of bunks beds and a large social area. Residential places are usually allocated to the older participants who apply. However if a participant from Aberdeenshire would be otherwise unable to attend then their application will be considered. Participants are bussed to and from SAGS and in the evenings there are lots of fun and games including a bonfire night and jamming session with the tutors on the Wednesday. Doing the Gaitherin as a residential participant is pretty full on but very popular!
Who are the workers?
As well as the team of parent volunteers who organise the Gaitheirn there are a lot of paid staff. The tutors lead the Choices and are all excellent musicians and experienced teachers. The youth workers are selected for their excellent skills in working with young people, their knowledge of the Gaitherin and their enthusiasm to embrace the unique Gaitherin spirit. Each team of staff is led by a Coordinator who makes sure everyone knows what they are doing and works closely with the committee to make sure everything goes safely and smoothly. At the Easter Gaitherin each participant is allocated to a youth worker who will look after them in between their Choices. Many tutors and youth workers have been to Gaitherins as participants in the past and this is what helps achieve the special ethos and atmosphere of a Gaitherin.
What are Shadows?
The Gaitherin is committed to developing young people and once our participants reach S3 they can volunteer at the Easter Gaitherins to shadow either a tutor or a youth worker to help with the primary aged participants. Shadows receive training in youth work and some even move on to be paid staff once they are too old to be participants or Shadows.
I am worried that I won’t fit in
This is perfectly understandable if this is your first Gaitherin but the staff and volunteers are brilliant at making everyone feel valued and appreciated. Very quickly you will feel like part of the great Gaitherin family!
How can I as a parent be involved in the Gaitherin during the week of the Gaitherin?
There are many jobs which the Gaitherin relies on parent volunteers to do during the week of a Gaitherin. These include helping prepare and serve lunch and evening meals, running raffles on the Tuesday and Friday evenings, clearing up on the Friday morning and a multitude of other small tasks. You will be asked to contribute where you can.
How can I as a parent be involved in the Gaitherin all year round?
The Trustees of the Gaitherin are all parents of participants past and present. They ensure the charity is run according to its constitution and aims and is governed correctly. The committee is made up of trustees plus other parent volunteers involved in the practical organisation of the Gaitherin weeks. New volunteers to be on the committee are always welcome and will always be found a job! There are about 4 meetings a year usually held on Sunday evenings. Parents can also significantly help the Gaitherin by volunteering in the Garioch Charity Shop on the occasional Saturday morning or afternoon. The Gaitherin receives a share in the profits from the shop which helps keep the price of the Gaitherins down.
Will I ever be able to take my family away on holiday during a Gaitherin week again?
Good luck with that.