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Woodcraft Folk has been delivering activities for young people for almost 100 years. Over this time, there are phrases and words that are traditionally used to refer to certain activities, roles or parts of Woodcraft folk activities and camping and residential trips.


Activities that involve developing outdoor living skills e.g. firelighting, foraging, wood work such as whittling, cooking on the campfire etc. 


Clan (sometimes known as rota) groups are traditionally made up of young people and adults, the groups take it in turns to ensure that:

  • meals are prepared,
  • the campsite is clean and tidy
  • all of the meals are washed up
  • the kitchen and eating area are ready for future meals
  • Activities are set up and cleared away

It is expected that participants of all ages take part in clans to their own appropriate level. Younger children can help with different tasks to older young people and adults. Clan is a great way for young people (and adults) to learn new skills, gain independence and develop a cooperative attitude.

Council Circle

Traditionally each morning at an event there will be a council circle, this is a time for all campers to come together to:

  • hear about the programme for the day,
  • remind about upcoming clan duties for each group,
  • claim lost property
  • ask questions
  • report issues (e.g. leaking tent, lost item, too much talking before bed etc.)
  • play a game together
  • check in on how everyone is feeling
Folk Marshal

A person or team who are responsible for the coordination of programme and activities during the event. See more details in volunteer roles

Grub kit/Mess kit/Pot bag/Mugs-up kit

A unique, labelled, personal  bag that contains a plate, cutlery, bowl, cup and tea towel to use at meal times. Some groups provide all meal time equipment where as some ask participants to bring their own.

Ish Ash Osh

A made up way of saying 1,2,3 – often said before starting a game or a song to ensure all start at the same time!

Keeper of the Garbage (KG)

The volunteer or team responsible for keeping the site clean and taking care of waste. See more details in volunteer roles

Keeper of the Provider (KP)

Oversees kitchen activities and pre planning of menu and shopping list. See more details in volunteer roles


An activity where all participants are encouraged to share a song, sketch, joke, talent with the rest of the group. Often, a Merrymoot takes place around the campfire and participants have had some time to prepare their act in small groups or individually.

Morning Cry

The camp alarm clock! Traditionally there is a verse to be cried by someone or a small group to wake the camp to get ready for the start of the day but groups can also shout “awake, arise” when it is time for all to get up and start the day.

Tent parents

Older young people who help Elfins/Pioneers with bedtime activities such as reading stories, helping to prepare sleeping areas, overseeing teeth cleaning etc.


A chance for young people to have a clean up of their tents!

Traditionally a wapenshaw involves laying a tarp outside your tent, emptying out the contents and encouraging putting dirty clothes into a spare bag, keeping track of wash kits etc. This is a good chance to keep tidy but also to notice if there any issues e.g. wet sleeping bags, leaking tents, lost toothbrushes etc. 

Wide Games

Games played over wide spaces


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