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Common Ground: from Idea to Reality

By Jack Walker, Programme Team and Newham Woodcraft Folk member.

For a while now, Common Ground has been a far away idea for a number of us. There were lots of conversations about how we had ‘loads of time’ and it all felt a bit abstract. This is beginning to change.

At our last Board meeting, there were lots of conversations about what we are going to do in the next 2 (TWO!) years and some huge concrete steps have been made; we’ve booked the site, we’ve named the camp, we’re creating resources to prepare all our members. In other projects I’ve worked on, this rush of reality has been terrifying but for Common Ground, it’s exciting. There are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, I’m excited by the ideas the camp is being built on. Common Ground will be a camp that is accessible for under 10s. We don’t think this will be easy but we are putting a lot of energy into getting it right. In Woodcraft, our biggest age group is 6-10 so it’s only right that we make sure our next big camp will be suited to them. Of course, it will be great for everyone else too.

It’s exciting to be organising a camp that has such a focus on being accessible to all. Everything from programme design, menu creation and the communications about the camp is being designed to make sure that everyone is included and I’m proud to be part of it. As well as under 10s, we’re going to make sure this camp is fun and exciting for everyone, including volunteers by looking at how we support our volunteers before and during the camp. We’re also going to make sure the camp reinvigorates Woodcraft and reminds ourselves why we are such an important, powerful and unique organisation.

Common Ground is also really exciting because it’s been so long since Woodcraft’s last Big Camp. By the time we open up the camp, it will have been 9 years since Co-Camp. I wasn’t at that camp but I have fond memories of 2006, 2001 and 1995 and I’m excited to be part of the next one. The entire Board are determined that this will be worth the wait!

The Board is an exciting group of people. It is dynamic, young and international. We are working well together in ensuring the vision of the camp is brought to life. We want to work with you to make it happen.

Soon, we’re going to be in contact with you and your groups and we want to hear from you! What do you want to see on camp? What do you want to do? What are you excited about camp? Start discussing the camp in your groups and we’ll see you soon!