Discuss your ideas about conflict resolution, to create a group treaty. This will be a way of recording how everyone wants the group to behave to avoid conflicts, and how to deal with any conflicts that arise. Here are a few suggestions the leader can introduce if necessary:
• Never hit someone else
• Never raise your voice at someone in anger
• Never swear or use bad language at each other
• Always try to resolve a conflict by discussion
• Never let a conflict continue outside a meeting
• If you can’t reach agreement, ask someone else to act as a mediator
• Never deliberately provoke a conflict
• Remember the value of saying ‘I’m sorry’
Use simpler phrases for younger children e.g. ‘we will not shout’, ‘we will say sorry’, etc. Write suggestions up on a large piece of paper, or someone can keep notes and read them out. Once the group has drawn up a list together, check whether there are any points people don’t agree on. Is there anything extra someone wants to add? How is the group going to decide on a final version? By voting? Or do they want a complete consensus from everyone? From this task you may learn some ideas about how you want to work together in future.
When you have a final version, write it out neatly and get everyone to sign it at the bottom. Display the treaty in your meeting place so that everyone can see it and remember it.
- What behaviour is not acceptable at Woodcraft Folk? Why?
- How can we challenge unacceptable behaviour?
- What should we do if we’re not happy with the way we’re being treated?
- When should we look at our group treaty in the future?