Life-long international partnerships

two venturers at camp showing their crafts

For any group that is thinking of whether to link with an international delegation for Common Ground – the answer has to be yes – it is a lot of work, but like anything that you have put a lot of work into, it is so rewarding.  

My first experience of an international delegation was when I was 13. I was in Exeter Woodcraft Folk and we camped with a Polish delegation at Year of the Child camp in the Malvern 1979. These young people arrived so excited, they had the equivalent to their parent’s weekly wage to spend, turned out they couldn’t even afford to send a stamped postcard home. What a learning curve that was for me, I can still vividly remember the last circle sitting with children from all around the world thinking how we were spanning the world with friendship. This really did have a life long impact of total respect and interest for people all around the world.  

Hinckley young people and KKSP delegation from Indonesia

Much more recently, at CoCamp in 2011, Hinckley Woodcraft Folk in partnership with Waltham Forest, raised £5,000 to bring over a delegation from Indonesia, a group we’d met the year before in Finland. We inspired the young people in the group to find out about Indonesia and then we raised money running Indonesian craft workshops to anyone who would pay us as well as a whole lot of other money-making adventures. Again such a rewarding experience, the delegation were so wonderful and 9 years on my daughters are still in touch with some of them on Facebook! This experience will be in their memory boxes forever. A positive life long experience – sign up now for your group to have an international group at the next international camp, Common Ground 2020. 

by Sarah Saunders

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