Manchester planning meeting

In February, members of the Common Ground board from Woodcraft Folk met for a day meeting in Manchester. 

four people sat around table in big meeting room

It was a good chance to update each other about how the planning is going and we all appreciate having the chance to meet face-to-face although it was a shame not to have our international board members – Jess, Jasen and Klaus – and our young Elfin and Pioneer representatives present. There was a productive vibe, we made lots of decisions and we even made use of our biscuit and lunch breaks to chat about things not on the agenda. 

One of the first things we discussed was a proposal for spending the ‘solidarity budget’ which will help IFM-SEI members from sister organisations in African, Asian, Latin American and parts of the Middle East and Eastern European regions attend Common Ground. Woodcraft Folk districts will be able to apply for some money to top up to their fundraising efforts to help their partner organisation. 

In the morning we also finalised the job descriptions of two staff members who will be employed to help everything run smoothly. 

Laurie and Jack gave an update on the Centre Coordinator applications (they are still looking for people to run the Hands On, Heritage, Feminism, Under 10s and Media centres and people to support the Arts and Anti-racism & Anti-fascism centres!) Ellen also led a discussion about communications and gave a sneaky insight into some of the merchandise we are going to get soon… 

We have an enormous timeline with lots of tasks to help us plan what needs to be done when. When we first met as a board in September 2017 Common Ground seemed both daunting and distant but creating a timeline was a really useful tool to know what needs to be done by when and keeps us accountable and on track! We have just passed the ‘500 days to go’ mark (check out the counter on the website) but when we reviewed the timeline this meeting, the 1st August 2020 seemed to be getting closer and closer! 

We looked at the bookings so far and talked about how we can encourage districts, groups and organisations to book on. The booking system is already open and live. You get an early-bird discount up until December 2018 so get talking to your groups about it, put the dates in your calendars and save some money by telling us you’re coming! For ‘solidarity groups’ whose participation, travel and visas will be supported by a Woodcraft district, we need to know you want to come by the early-bird December deadline but the earlier the better so we can match you up to a partner group. 

board meeting agenda

Finally we finished off with an open space session where we thinking about how we can promote Common Ground at Venturer Camp this summer (look out for the Common Grounds cafe!) and also discussed the legacy of the camp and how it can help shape Woodcraft Folk and our internationalism in the future.