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A year as an ESC volunteer in Woodcraft Folk

Volunteers are essential to the running of Woodcraft Folk. The charity is grateful to be part of the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) volunteering programme which is managed by the European Commission. As part of the programme, Woodcraft Folk have hosted many volunteers over from the EU over the years including the Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain and Italy.

ECS volunteers carry out essential work at Woodcraft Folk which has seen them take on roles such as supporting with the running of camps, creating resources and supporting young members on international workshop trips.

As much as Woodcraft Folk gains from having volunteers, there is also a lot to explore in the placements for volunteers too. The volunteers learn valuable skills and gain diverse experience taking part in a range of tasks, they also get to work on their communication skills, make friends and get a taster of living in a new country. It always makes for a sad event when the placements come to an end as the ESC volunteers are usually with the charity for a year and end up becoming part of the Woodcraft Folk staff family.

Woodcraft Folk recently said goodbye to ESC volunteer Eva Chatrain who has been working for the central staff team taking on a range of responsibilities such as communication activity across a range of campaigns and channels, helping to deliver programmes and supporting with local group nights and played an essential part in the delivery of Woodcraft Folk’s successful Common Ground international camp last year. The charity wants to thank Eva for all her hard work that has made a huge contribution and that she is welcome back anytime and they wish the best of luck with her next adventure.

Eva shares her Woodcraft Folk experience below:

“I started my ESC experience in February 2022 as a communication volunteer with Woodcraft Folk. Back then, I had no idea how amazing my experience was going to be. I was lucky enough to learn new skills, to grow and to participate in a lot of projects during this year. I worked with the Communication Manager to promote Woodcraft Folk, I also helped with the international camp, Common Ground, I supported Camps for All with the planning as well as a group leader and much more.

It was the first time I was going to camps and participating in an international camp, it was a great experience. I really enjoyed all of those memorable moments; singing near the campfire, going hiking or canoeing, learning bushcraft and meeting new people.

During this year, I lived with a host family in London, Newham. I was able to have a local Woodcraft Folk experience, I helped run the Pioneer and the Venturer groups and I was involved with the preparation and participation of district camp and residentials. 

I met and worked with a lot of incredible people that made my experience unique. I am so grateful for everything that happened to me during this year. My experience as an ESC volunteer is now over but I will continue to stay involved and try to come back for the next camps. I am going back to my home country with so many great memories, thank you all for that.”

You can learn more about Woodcraft Folk’s volunteering opportunities here and international projects to get involved with are found here >

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