Young People Take Action For The World They Want To See At Camp

Friday, 10 May 2019

Stopping Plastic Pollution. Votes for Children. Climate Justice. Promoting Peace. Children's Rights. These are the issues that young people at The World We Want To See Camp (4th-6th May) chose to take action on.

The camp was designed to serve two purposes: developing young people's confidence and inspiring them to take social action. It brought together young people and adults from groups across the region, including many from new groups that have been established under our Eastern Region New Groups Project in the past year. Over 50 people took part in the camp and for nearly three-quarters of participants, this was their first ever Woodcraft Folk camp. For many it was also their first ever camping experience. 

The programme of the weekend was designed to test a model for taking young people on a journey to develop their own social action projects. Alongside typical camp activities such as putting up tents, campfire, clan and free time to play in the woods, young people took part in a wide game and worked together in groups to develop a social action project. 

On Saturday, participants arrived, built camp, and then got stuck in to wide game. In small groups they took on the role of country delegation to a UN Summit and completed seven challenges to ready themselves to make their presentations. Each challenge linked to one of our Aims & Principles. They learnt about clans and co-operation, represented their chosen country with a flag and name, created a camp charter of rights and responsibilities, thought about diversity in creating passports, took on a water challenge with finite resources, learnt to resolve conflict in their team, and prepared a statement on what their ideal world might look like. The game finished with "The World We Want To See Summit" where each country presented their ideas to the other delegations. 

On Sunday, Pioneers, DFs and adults explored their individual and shared priorities for the world they want to see, and used a variety of decision-making techniques to narrow these down to five topics on which they want to take action. Throughout the afternoon they chose which project they wanted to work on and developed something creative to present to the other campers. In the evening, they screened videos on climate justice and votes for children, presented a banner advocating for peace, demonstrated an activity for reducing plastic pollution, and lead each other on a scavenger hunt about chidlren's rights. 

Monday morning presented a learning experience in packing away tents, as well as a chance to create individual action plans outlining how they hope to take their social action forward beyond the event. 

The weekend was put on at no cost to participants. It forms part of a programme of social action activities in Cambridgeshire funded by a £2000 grant made jointly by #iWill and High Sherrif Award through the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation. It followed on from our 'Bushcraft and Social Action Day' in Hinchingbrooke Park in April. The final activity as part of the grant will be a reflection and evaluation day in September, once young people have had a chance to put some of their social action ideas into practice. 

Having run the activities, we are now looking to make tweaks to the session plans and resources and further develop them at the event in September before sharing them online with the whole organisation. However, if you've got a camp coming up this summer and would like to look at including some of the social action activities we've developed, or are thinking about applying for a local grant to do something similar in another part of the country, please do get in touch. You can email or call 020 7703 4173.