Common Ground Postponement 2022

Friday, 1 May 2020

Dear Friends,

We have taken the difficult decision to postpone Common Ground until 30 July to the 9th of August 2022(TBC*). The Camp will still take place at the Kent County Showground. 

Needless to say, we have not taken this decision lightly, and for many of us (as for many of you reading) this is a heartbreaking position to be put in. But safety and wellbeing must come above all else, and we believe strongly that the circumstances of the global Coronavirus crisis make a camp this Summer untenable.

The Common Ground Board, staff members, and Woodcraft Folk’s Trustee Board have agreed that moving to 2022 and staying at the Kent County Showground is the best option.

The same dates at Kent County Showground in early August 2021 were not available. We recently consulted on hosting the camp later in the summer of 2021, but it was clear from the consultation that too many Woodcraft Folk Districts and IFM-SEI organisations would be unable to attend due to their school term dates. We also considered alternative venues for the summer of 2021 but none provided a viable option. Additionally, even if all lockdown measures are lifted by the summer of 2021, we recognise that the effects on groups and individuals over the next few months are such that preparing for a camp in 2022 is more realistic for all concerned.  

Moreover the Coronavirus crisis is affecting us all in different ways. For many of us, life will look very different from now on – in ways that are short term, and more permanent. Common Ground is built on goodwill and the free time of hundreds of volunteers. We believe postponing Common Ground until 2022 will reduce the burden placed on those volunteers over the next several months as we all cope with different priorities and acclimatise to our new reality.

We want to give a huge thanks to all the volunteers and staff across the Woodcraft Folk and IFM-SEI networks who have been working so hard to make Common Ground a success – from programme coordinators, to KPs, to group leaders and the behind the scenes heroes processing mountains of admin. This decision is tough for us all and it will take time to process what it means, both practically and emotionally. We as a Board are here to support this however we can, and we hope you can stick with us until 2022. We’re looking forward to seeing you there! 

We are still as excited as ever about organising a brilliant camp; after this everyone will need Common Ground to stand on more than ever. It will be a reaffirmation of the strength, solidarity and international friendship of our movement to come together. The postponement of Common Ground to IFM-SEI’s centenary year is yet another reason to be excited. But you don’t have to wait that long. Our wonderful programme team will be putting on a wide ranging online programme on the dates of the original Common Ground (1st – 11th August 2020) – we can’t wait! 

Any tickets already bought will still be valid in 2022. While we hope that all of you will join us then, refunds will be available for those who require one. More details can be found on our FAQs page.

Coronavirus has put Woodcraft Folk and many of its volunteers under considerable financial strain. If you as an individual, a Woodcraft Folk district or an IFM-SEI organization feel able to help, please see our Common Ground Solidarity fund page. 

In friendship and solidarity,

Tom Brooks (Chair) on behalf of the Common Ground Board

 

*Kent Showground staff are all currently furloughed, so we have not yet drawn up a new contract, but we do have verbal agreement.