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Spanning the world with friendship

In partnership with UCL and the Institute of Education, Woodcraft Folk delivered its second symposium focusing on Woodcraft Folk’s motto ‘Spanning the World with Friendship’.

Debs McCahon, Woodcraft Folk CEO, said

“The event was inspiring, bringing together young volunteers, archivists and academics to celebrate the diverse international work undertaken by Woodcraft Folk. It was great to hear from 17 year old Eedie who shared how participating in an international seminar had given her the confidence to get more involved in Woodcraft Folk governance.”

The event, originally planned to be face to face at UCL, was hosted online due to recurring rail strikes, but that didn’t thwart the enthusiasm of the presenters or audience.

The symposium heard from Rich Palser as he described the origins of many camp traditions, the importance of clans and how Woodcraft Folk’s founders wanted every camper to make a contribution, to take ownership and not simply receive a service. Rich quoted Basil Rawson from 1964 saying “A child who repeatedly practices a socialist way of life as a member of a community at camp develops the habits which it eventually tends to apply to life in industry, at home, in politics, and everywhere in that other life away from camp.’ 

The audience was also delighted by the presentation from Kathryn Hannan, UCL Archivist, who shared items from the Woodcraft Folk archive including badges and a quilt. Woodcraft Folk’s archive is publicly available by appointment. Woodcraft Folk is also keen to welcome volunteer archivists to support the cataloguing of items and to work with the Heading to 100 working group to use items in the archive to support education at group level. For more information contact 

The symposium was brought right up to date as Jack Brown and Hannah Khan shared their experiences as Common Ground Board members. Jack and Hannah celebrated woodcraft Folk’s most recent international camp which hosted 2,700 campers from 22 countries.

Copies of the presentation and recordings  can be found here.

Make sure to visit Woodcraft Folk’s archive & get involved in sharing Woodcraft Folk’s heritage

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