Orkney Inter-Island Fun Days

Animated map of the Orkney islands highlighting Rousay, Shapinsay and Hoy.
Animated map of the Orkney islands highlighting Rousay, Shapinsay and Hoy.

This summer, the young leaders and staff from the Community learning and development team hosted summer fun activity days across three of the Orkney Islands: Shapinsay, Hoy and Rousay.

With funding from The Young Islanders Network this summer, they were able to offer a program of events on some of our closed Islands.  By offering this to Hoy, Shapinsay and Rousay they were able to offer a full day of events to each Island and were able to travel there and back within the same day.  


green field, blue skies, adults and children playing football. yellow cones around.
Games in Hoy

The program for the day was split into 3 sessions the first was aimed at secondary aged young people, the second was a family picnic and the afternoon was a family games session with crafts. Each day, along with members of CLD staff we were accompanied by 2 local young islanders, this gave them the opportunity to talk to other island residents and reflect on how their agenda ties in with the feelings of these islands.  It was also a good opportunity to interact with young people on the islands that might not yet have heard of YIN and what they aim to achieve.


adult helping young people paint rocks at a table. paper, spray bottle and blue roll on table.  people in background, one standing and one sitting.  pink chairs stacked in background.
Painting the rocks

The morning session, which consisted of a ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ style session where they offered a range of ingredients, equipment and some basic recipe, from this they could decide what they wanted to cook, if they wanted to stick to the recipes or modify them and they could decide if they wanted to work together or in teams.  They also used ingredients bought in the local shops so that these recipes could all be recreated at home without the need to source off island.

For the lunch session they had a bring your own picnic session. This was planned to give a relaxed and friendly setting where the young islanders could highlight all the important things they are working on and get feedback from the community.

The afternoon was a family fun session where they offered rock painting and seed planting, kindly donated by the Employability team.  During this session our young islanders got involved helping with crafts and games. They also provided snacks in this session.


two young people cutting apples and  other food.  wearing white plastic aprons. wooden background, cupboard doors.
Preparing the food

Hoy 10th July

Monday was a fantastic day of sunshine, Amy, a CLD youth worker based in hoy, was on hand to help the day run smoothly. For the morning session we had 2 local young people, they decided to work together to make Macaroni cheese with bacon, pancakes and a fruit compote. 

They both worked hard and worked well together and were delighted with their mornings work which they ate for lunch. They had some left-over ingredients so they gave it to the young people to take home so they could make it for their families.  Having since spoken to them, I (Karen) can confirm that they have been making macaroni cheese for tea at home.

Amy also said on the day that if she could of picked 2 young people on the island that that would benefit most from a session like this it would have been these 2.

The family picnic was well attended with 5 families (6 Adults, 12 YP) in total, all stayed for the games session and crafts. 

With the day being so sunny they got to play field games like rounders and football while the younger ones worked away at the crafts.

They had an evaluation sheet out for the participants to sum up their experience.

‘it was Brilliant’

‘It was very fun I enjoyed everything’

‘We had fun as a family and made memories that will last a lifetime’

‘It was like youth club but longer and sunnier and it was really fun – Jack’

‘Thank you for a lovely day, it was great to see everyone playing and enjoying themselves’

Young people, Hoy

One also of the parents emailed me (Karen) the next day to say:

‘I just wanted to thank you and the team on behalf of the folk who came along yesterday. We had a fantastic day and it was lovely to spend time with the kids bonding as well which isn’t common with jobs and various other things!’

Setting up games

Shapinsay 11th July

On Tuesday morning we had 1 young person so our young islanders joined in with them.  They made choc chip cookies, cinnamon scones apple and cinnamon scones, fruit compote, tattie wedges and curry sauce. Quite an effort for all involved, the young person too the curry sauce home to make for tea.

We had 2 families (4 adults, 6 yp’s) arrive for the picnic and stay for the afternoon. With poorer weather we stayed in for the games and opted for rounder and beanbag games.

‘Enjoyed making scones, cookies and curry sauce, next time bring more people to try more recipes’

Young people, Shapinsay

‘It was very friendly and welcoming. My daughter has made lots of tasty, different foods, all provided free, its great to have activities brought to the island instead of having got go to town all the time’

Parent, Shapinsay

‘Thank you for your time to come to the island to provide this opportunity for others’

Parent, Shapinsay
two young people in aprons laughing and pointing open hands downwards.  chopped onion on a chopping board and a silver pan.

Rousay 12th July

On the Wednesday we had 2 young people attend, and again our young islanders got stuck in to help. They made tomato sauce with pasta, chocolate cookies, lemon drizzle cake, soup, wedges and egg fried rice.

We had 2 families arrive for the picnic with 2 more arriving for the afternoon session, 5 adults, 7 kids. As this group were all much younger than previous days we set up a mini obstacle course and played games like duck, duck, goose and farmer farmer.

‘We loved the games, picnic and craft’

‘I liked the games’

Young people, Rousay
young person in a blue jumper and while apron stirring a pan filled with grated cheese and other ingredients.

On behalf of everyone at the Young Islanders Network and Youth Scotland, we want to say a big well done to the young people and the staff in Orkney for organizing and delivering this fantastic summer programme in the islands!

We look forward to continuing to support young islanders in the Orkney Islands and to see the young people share their learning and grow their leadership skills.

If you would like to plan, lead and deliver a community challenge to support your young islanders or if you would like to show us what you have been up to please let us know at naomi.macdonald@youthscotland.org.uk

Written by Karen, Youth and Family learning worker, CLD Orkney Islands Council.