FAQs

THE BASICS

When is Common Ground? How long is it?
The camp will last for 10 nights, Fri 29th July – Mon 8th Aug 2022.
Can I come for part of the camp? How much would it cost?
Yes, you can come for five nights, either the first half (29th – 3rd) or second half of camp (3rd – 8th). If you are involved in setup or takedown e.g driving a lorry or minibus then you may stay the first night or last night free of charge but you must book. More information for drivers to the site will be provided nearer the time.

The cost for anyone attending for five days is £130 if booked by 1 Dec 2021.

Where is it?
The location of the camp is the grounds of Kelmarsh Hall, Northampton NN6 9LY. This is in the Midlands of England with nice countryside.
How do I get there?
There will be plenty of space for parking should you want to drive, or arrive by coach.

You can arrive by train to Market Harborough or Kettering. These are a 15-minute drive from Kelmarsh. Connections: 1hr by train from London St Pancras, 40minutes by car from Birmingham International Airport, or 3hours from Dover. Common Ground will be providing shuttle buses from Market Harborough station and Birmingham International Airport, but these will need to be booked in with the Common Ground team.

International arrivals can also discuss coordinating UK transport with their UK hosts.

Travelling from mainland Europe, you could travel by ferry to Dover, Folkestone and Portsmouth. Or you can take Eurostar to London St Pancras, where you transfer onto trains to Leicester and Market Harborough.

Do I need to speak English?
No. Although English will be the primary language used on camp, there will be three official languages; English, French and Spanish. These will be used all over camp, including in some of the programme. There will also be lots of ways such as signs full of pictures and colours that help people communicate and get around.
How many people will be there? Where are they from?

We expect between 2,000 and 3,000 people. Many people will be members of the Woodcraft Folk, but there will also be groups from across the world at the camp from our umbrella organisation IFM-SEI. You can find a list of IFM-SEI member organisations on their website.

Why should I come?
Mostly because it will be fun! You’ll have loads of opportunities to meet new people, play games and learn from people from all over the world.
International friendship is a central idea of Woodcraft and by participating in, helping to build and contributing to Common Ground 2022 you’ll be a part of a really large community striving to make the world a better place.
These camps don’t happen in the UK very often — the last time Woodcraft Folk hosted an international camp was in 2011 — so this may be the best opportunity for to experience such a fantastic event. After the difficult experiences of the pandemic, all children and young people deserve to come together, for a fantastic celebration of friendship, peace and FUN.

BOOKING

How much does it cost?
£215 per person – if you are part of the Woodcraft Folk or any other Western European country (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Catalonia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK).
How much does it cost for international participants?
The staggered fees for participants outside of Western Europe will remain as in 2020:
Eastern Europe, some Middle East – £155 (Armenia, Belarus , Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Israel)
Latin America, Asia, Africa and some Middle East – £105 (Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Peru, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Palestine).
What is included in the camp fee?
Included in camp fee: 10 days of camping, meal ingredients, central day / evening programme and replacement gas bottles.
Excluded: Travel costs, the first bottle of gas, cooking equipment, village / kitchen tents, tables, chairs or benches. Craft materials for village day activities.
Can I come for part of the camp? How much would it cost?
Yes, you can come for five nights, either the first half (29th – 3rd) or second half of camp (3rd – 8th). The cost for anyone attending for five days is £130 if booked by 1 Dec 2021.
If you are involved in setup or takedown e.g driving a lorry or minibus then you may stay the first night or last night free of charge but you must book. More information for drivers to the site will be provided nearer the time.
What are the booking deadlines?
The early bird booking deadline is 1st December 2021. If you book before this point you will save £5 per person. The regular booking deadline will be 2nd May 2022.
Who has to pay to come?
Everyone 5 years old or older on the first day of camp will need to pay. However many districts will choose to fundraise to subsidise the cost of each group member. Do connect with your district, either where you grew up or close to where you now live, they are often happy to subside your camp fee if you are willing to take on some responsibility.
We do not offer free places to volunteers, however if you are attending as an individual (i.e. not with a district who could fundraise for you) and you have a specific role on camp (running a centre, working in a cafe, working as a steward, being responsible for young people) please get in contact with the Common Ground team.
Anyone under 5 on the first day of camp (29th July 2022) can attend Common Ground for free (accompanied by a carer). Full-time carers for young people with specific additional needs may be able to attend for free – email info@commonground.camp to discuss this more.
How do I pay?
Paying by cheque:
Please make all cheques payable to “The Woodcraft Folk”  Please let us know which district and individuals the cheque is payment for, and write your unique reference number starting “CG” on the back of the cheque. Post your cheque to: The Woodcraft Folk, Unit 9/10, 83 Crampton Street, London, SE17 3BQ       

Paying by bank transfer:
Account name:​ The Woodcraft Folk  
Account number:​ 2039 2756 
Sort code:​ 60 83 01 
Use your unique reference, (CG-four digits) for all payments. You can leave out the hyphen if your bank accepts letters and numbers only. If you have paid without a reference number, please email info@commonground.camp and let us know the amount, the payment date and who it was for. We can then match it to your booking and bring your payment record up to date.
 
For international bank transfers you will also need the information below. 
Swift Code (BIC): NWBKGB2L
IBAN Number: GB93NWBK60023571418024
IMPORTANT: Please request a Foreign payment , NOT Swift payment or International money transfer.

Is travel included?
Travel is not included in the camp fee.Your district or organisation may collectively set a cost for travel, and include this in the cost advertised to you. Group travel can offer the best value for money for all, including the transport of equipment.
We aim to offer shuttle buses on the day of arrival and day of departure from the nearest train station and Birmingham International airport.
Who can come? Do I have to be a member to come to Common Ground?
All ages are welcome at Common Ground. You have to be a member of either Woodcraft Folk or another organisation coming as a delegation. This might be an IFM-SEI organisation or another organisation linked to a Woodcraft Folk group. The camp is primarily for young people, therefore we expect anyone aged over 21 to take some responsibility within their village or on the camp team.
Do I have to go with a group?
If you are under 16: you have to come to Common Ground as part of a group, although this group can be very small.
If you are 16 – 21 and from the UK: you can book on as a lone participant. However where possible you should book as part of a larger group e.g. your district or delegation. Coming along as part of a group will make it more fun and might be better financially. Have a think of any groups you have previously been a part of, or any groups that exist near where you live now.
If you are over 21: These camps are primarily for young people. We expect all over 21-year-olds to have taken on some responsibility within their village or on the central camp team. Capable adult volunteers are extremely welcome, but please contact the district directly that you have most recently been involved with.
We can’t afford it - what should I do?
Have a look at the Fundraising page of the website for tips on fundraising, or email chair@commonground.camp for more help on making Common Ground affordable.

POSTPONEMENT TO 2022

What happens to bookings from 2020?
Individuals and family groups: We have a record of any bookings entitled to the 2020 prices. As mentioned earlier, do think about linking with a local district even if you have moved: there is more financial certainty in a group booking and more chance of fundraising, to reduce the cost for everyone!

Groups: We understand that you may not be bringing exactly the same group of young people to camp as you planned way back in 2019. Participant names and the group size may have changed. Do check your existing booking here and consider how you might find replacement participants if someone has withdrawn. If the group paid Common Ground, the refund cannot be made from Common Ground to an individual. This needs to be administered by the group. We are happy to talk through anything you need clarifying.

We already put named participants on the booking system. Will we be allowed to change the names?
You will be able to amend bookings e.g. number of participants, names etc until 2 May 2022. However if you have a participant with complex access needs, an earlier notification will help, allowing us more time to put reasonable adjustments in place.

We paid from outside the UK and lost 100e in banking charges, will you reimburse us for these?
We are really sorry but we are unable to reimburse you any additional costs.

What happens to the funds we have already raised?
Please contact your donors directly to seek permission for funds to be carried forward, to be used in 2022. Many funders have been sympathetic to the genuine challenges the pandemic had posed to events in 2020

CAMPING

What is a Village and what is a Town?
Everyone at Common Ground will camp in a Village, which is a circle of tents with around 70 – 130 people camping and eating together. Most likely, this will be 1 or 2 Woodcraft districts as well as 1 or 2 International groups. Each Village will have a Camp Chief/coordinator, a KP (=organiser of the kitchen), and First Aider.

Between 3 and 5 villages will come together to form a Town. A town is around 500 people and will have a shared Commons area which has one tent big enough to hold informal evening programme and other low-key activities.

Who will be in my Village? Do I get to choose?
Broadly yes. Districts can choose which other Woodcraft groups to share with and if they wish to support a solidarity delegation. The camp is about international solidarity and friendship, so we encourage all groups to start building those international links well before camp.

As the central organising team we want to ensure that everyone has a tent to sleep in and a village to be part of with kitchen tent and marquee. Occasionally this might involve asking districts to welcome delegations into their village and lend a few sleeping tents for the camp.

What is the ratio between adults and children?
Small children are very welcome on camp, and we have lots of activities for under 10’s. But when planning your group size, please ensure you have enough adults. You will need to meet the required ratio between adult volunteers and children as follows:
1 adult volunteer to every 3 children aged 0 – 5
1 adult volunteer to every 5 children aged 6 – 9
1 adult volunteer to every 8 children aged 10 – 12 and
1 adult volunteer to every 10 children aged 13 – 15.
How are the villages organised?
Villages are organised into groups of 3-5 called towns. Each town will have a large Marquee, called a town common, and each town will share a town pantry (ingredient collection point) with another town. Some activities will be organised at a local town level.
What do I need to bring? Where can I get camping equipment?
We will publish an example kit list nearer the camp but you will need tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats.

Villages will need tents for individuals to sleep in, Kitchen tents with cooking equipment and a marquee to eat under if it rains. Woodcraft districts will need to bring this with them to Common Ground as well as tables and benches if they want them.

If you are coming from another country by plane, your host Woodcraft Folk district may have equipment they can lend you. If you are a Woodcraft district you may be able to apply for funding for new camping equipment. See the Fundraising page for tips. If you are a small or new Woodcraft Folk district you may be able to share equipment with a larger, more established district.

We are a small district, can we ask for help?
Yes! Many large established Woodcraft districts are happy to take small districts under their wing and share equipment. However there is of course a cost to storing and transporting equipment. So we suggest small districts consider paying £10 per person towards a district which is sharing their equipment.
What are international delegations?
Organisations similar to Woodcraft, will often send groups of young people with their leaders to our international camps. There are two types of delegations.
1. Most delegations will be from Europe. They will pay for their own travel and camp fees. However the delegation may travel by plane and might need some sleeping tents provided.
2. Some districts from outside Europe will need extra fundraising support, due to the high travel costs and financial position. Some districts might choose to fundraise for one of these ‘Solidarity’ delegations to cover some or all of the travel costs and camp fees providing sleeping tents and hosting them in their village.

We may also ask a European delegation to support or link with a solidarity delegation, especially delegations who are well equipped and/or will travel over land.

Are we allowed camp fires?
The Kent County Showground will allow fires as long as they are raised off the floor. This could be in some kind of fire bowl (bought or homemade) or some kind of raised platform which would protect the grass underneath e.g made from stones and some sand.
Are visitors allowed on camp?
Yes, on Saturday the 8th of August there will be an open day from 10:00 – 19:00, in which friends and family may visit Common Ground.
When will I find out who is in my village/town?
Just before Pre camp you should find out who will be in your village and the name of your town. At precamp (29th-31st May) there will be a chance to have a tour of the site and meet others who will be in your village/town.

FOOD

How will we cook?
Three meals a day are included in the camp fee, but they are cooked by everyone in turn. Each village will have a kitchen tent, with kitchen equipment and utensils, provided by a Woodcraft district. The menu can be cooked with just a hob but the village can arrange to bring an oven if they so wish.
Villages will be split into teams of 10 – 15 people called clans. Clans will take turns to cook meals, wash up equipment and keep the site clean. The clan duty is purposefully split amongst enough participants, to allow everyone the chance to enjoy the central programme and other activities, beyond their own village.
Where will the ingredients come from?
The central KP (= food) team will, in consultation with the movement, set a menu for the camp and order ingredients. These ingredients can be collected each day at the Town Pantry. A lot of consideration has gone into sourcing the food ingredients sustainably, locally and ethically wherever possible.
What about special dietary requirements?
Please put the group dietary needs and allergies on the booking form by May 2020 so that we can cater for these. Once the central food order has been placed, we cannot guarantee that we can add special ingredients or offer alternatives.
What about selective eaters?
The menu has been designed to offer everyone, including young children, warm meals which are tasty and filling. We encourage everyone to keep a totally open mind – you may end up eating much less meat than you would have at home. Or the dishes may include more beans and pulses than you have in an average week. The camp is a great opportunity to learn about and explore sustainable diets. Do have conversations about this with your group before camp.

There aren’t shops within walking distance but some camp cafes will be set up around the site, so that you can buy a hot drink or a special treat like cake.

EVENINGS

What happens in the evenings?
We want to encourage a good balance between educational activities, partying and rest for all participants. Central programme is organised every other evening. This will finish at 11.30pm. At this point all programme including any amplified music will end. Participants can stay in the central area until 1.30am if they want to, and some centres will be open for low-key gatherings until then. We will encourage people to be quiet there and on their way back to their tents. Stewards will be at hand to assist with keeping noise and disruption down.
We are considering having 1 or 2 nights where music will go on later than 11.30pm and this will be discussed at pre-camp in May 2022.
Every other evening, villages and towns can make arrangements for lower-key programme in their own areas, including acoustic music, games or local performances.
How do bedtimes work?
It is important that the youngest campers get enough sleep. Leaders and parents set bedtimes for the young people they are responsible for. We recommend districts within villages agree consistent bedtimes for each age group to avoid any perceived unfairness.
When will the central area close?
1:30am – at this point anyone still up will be expected to leave the central area and go back to their villages.
Will there be alcohol on site?
This camp will be all about international friendship, with a special focus on welcoming under 10’s. There will only be one space where people can buy alcohol on site. We envisage this space as a calm ‘pub’ environment where over-18’s can enjoy each other’s company while being able to buy and drink alcohol. There will be other, alcohol-free spaces for evening programme that will have much more ‘party’ atmosphere. This is to encourage camp participants of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy the non-drinking spaces.