Archive on display

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Working closely with the Institute of Education at UCL and the University of Brighton Woodcraft Folk are pleased to announce new opportunities to access our archive and to learn about the history of Woodcraft Folk.

To celebrate the arrival of Woodcraft Folk’s archive at UCL we will be hosting a symposium exploring the histories of Woodcraft Folk. The event “Education for Social Change” examines the organisation’s long-standing and innovative engagement with children and young people. Woodcraft Folk’s aim, since its inception, has been to utilise education as a tool for social change towards the ‘fashioning of a new world’. The symposium will evaluate these contributions, examining how the practices of Woodcraft Folk have framed the experience of childhood and adolescence over the last century, often in opposition to prevailing social and cultural norms, and, equally importantly, it will explore how children and young people have articulated their identities and experiences inside the organisation over the same period. In so doing, the symposium will examine the place of Woodcraft Folk within a broader set of progressive educational approaches and also its distinctiveness in how these ideas were (and are) understood and acted upon. Crucially, the symposium will explore not only the successes and achievements of the organisation but also, in the spirit of critical engagement with the archive and histories, those times when Woodcraft Folk failed in its ambitions or struggled to meet the challenges of changing values.

Confirmed topics include: the founding years of woodcraft scouting in Britain and Germany; socialism and eugenics in Woodcraft Folk’s early educational policy; Leslie Paul’s progressive cultural networks; Labour youth movements in the first half of the twentieth century; Woodcraft Folk and the Trade Union Movement; Woodcraft Folk, landscape and outdoor education; cosmopolitanism and internationalism in Woodcraft Folk’s citizenship training.

Confirmed speakers include: Paul Bemrose, Doug Bourn, Andy Flinn, Robin Hicks, Suzanne Joinson, Rich Palser, Annebella Pollen, Susanne Rappe-Weber, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP.

Event includes: film screening, archive handling session, oral history listening post, poster display.

Ticket prices include refreshments and lunch. To book* your place at the symposium please visit 

As well as the symposium event, Woodcraft Folk’s heritage exhibition will also be available for FREE public viewing for the month of September. The exhibition space is open 7 days a week and up until 9pm enabling Woodcraft Folk groups and other youth groups to visit. If you would like to visit the archive or view the exhibition please do contact to arrange a suitable time.

*Bursaries are available. To apply for a bursary please contact