1.1 - Our Aims & Principles

The work of Woodcraft Folk groups is underpinned by a unique philosophy which makes the way we work different from other organisations for children and young people. This philosophy is outlined in our Aims & Principles, and describes what Woodcraft Folk believes about young people and the wider world. Our Aims & Principles commit Woodcraft Folk to working for peace, promoting co-operative approaches, safeguarding the environment and supporting our members to become active citizens. They form part of the constitution of our organisation, and can be altered only by a democratic vote by our members.

What are Woodcraft Folk’s Aims & Principles? 

The Aims & Principles of Woodcraft Folk are set out as part of the documents that make up our constitution, and are as follows:

Preambled
The Woodcraft Folk is an educational, empowerment and advocacy movement for children and young people, which seeks to further the International Co-operative Alliance’s Statement on the Co-operative Identity. It seeks to be recognised as the Co-operative and Trade Union movements’ educational and empowerment organisation open to all with the aim of building an environmentally sustainable world built on children’s and human rights, equality, friendship, peace, economic & social justice and co-operation.if

 Education for Social Change
 We seek to develop in our members a critical awareness of the world. We will work to develop the knowledge, attitudes, values and skills necessary for them to act to secure their equal participation in the democratic process that will enable them to bring about the changes that they feel are necessary to create a more equal and caring world. As an educational movement, we believe that equal opportunities should extend to all aspects of activity and participation in the Woodcraft Folk. We will combat oppression or discrimination in our movement, whether on grounds of age, class, gender, race, sexual orientation or for reasons of disability. We will educate our members so that they may take these issues into the wider community.

A Co-operative and Sharing Attitude to Life
We believe that to further our aims it is vital to approach our educational work through the principles of co-operation. To achieve this we will provide a programme which ensures that our members practice co-operation through all the activities in which they participate.

International Understanding
Our motto is ‘Span the world with friendship’. We will therefore encourage and develop international understanding and friendship through our educational work and by our exchanges between children and young people of different lands. We will promote a greater understanding of the world amongst our members so that they are aware of the inequalities which exist in it.

 The Rights of the Child
In our work with children and young people, we respect and defend their individual rights, and encourage them to participate responsibly and democratically, in all aspects of Woodcraft Folk activity.

 Religion 
The Woodcraft Folk welcomes all children, young people and adults, who wish to become members of the movement, and it asserts the right of all its members to practice the faith of their choice providing it does not contravene the aims and principles of the movement.

One World
 The Woodcraft Folk will encourage an understanding of the need to protect our environment and the use of the world’s resources. With this aim we will seek to encourage our members to protect our urban and rural environment in the interests of all.

A World at Peace
Because of our international outlook and concern that all shall enjoy the right to freedom from the immorality of war and want, the Woodcraft Folk is dedicated to the cause of peace. Accordingly we associate with the movement for world disarmament and for the transfer of those resources directed to the destruction of life into channels which will be used for the fulfilment of humanity’s needs.

 Affirmation
The task of the Woodcraft Folk is the cultivation of a world outlook. Because the Woodcraft Folk is concerned with educational activities, it is accordingly precluded from being involved in activities and policy making of political parties. The Woodcraft Folk expects its members to abide by its Constitution and to participate actively in a movement that is dedicated to all people for all time.

Outcomes Matrix
A successful programme for a Woodcraft group will include a range of activities inspired by our Aims & Principles. The Outcomes Matrix is designed to help translate these big ideas into outcomes that leaders can use as a basis for activities. The matrix takes Woodcraft Folk’s Aims & Principles, together with the themes identified as part of the TREE project, and suggests outcomes for children & young people for each of these which are appropriate for each age group. There is also a version with clearer language which might be easier to use with young members in your group. These are intended as a guide, and the individual needs of groups will vary. You might often choose to revisit the outcomes from younger age groups, although the activities you choose to explore these may be different.

Activity suggestions
There are a number of suggested activities that you could use with your group to work towards each one of these outcomes. These can be found on the Outcomes pages of the website. Many of these are supported by session plans that can be found on the website or in published resource packs.

Using outcomes for programme planning
Your group could use the Outcomes Matrix to inform its planning in a variety of ways. You might choose to take one of the themes as a common thread to run through a whole term’s programme, and run activities to meet each of the outcomes for the age group you are working with. An alternative approach would be to ensure that your group completes an activity from each column over the course of a year.

 


ferent 

from other organisations for children and young people. This philosophy is outlined in our Aims & Principles, and 
describes what Woodcraft Folk believes about young people and the wider world. Our Aims & Principles commit 
Woodcraft Folk to working for peace, promoting co-operative approaches, safeguarding the environment and 
supporting our members to become active citizens. They form part of the constitution of our organisation, and can 
be altered only by a democratic vote by our member