Woodcraft Folk were delighted to be asked to run a workshop at the Institute of Outdoor Learning Conference exploring the topic of climate change, sustainability and youth engagement.
The workshop was facilitated by Woodcraft Folk’s Chair of General Council, Aggie Taylor and Jo Holiday, Lockerbrook Centre Manager. Woodcraft Folk planned and delivered an activity with Arran Holdsworth from the Field Studies Council and Billy Knowles from the Youth Environmental Service.
Jo and Aggie created a workshop that challenged the participants (service leaders in outdoor education) to think about the role outdoor learning centres and environmental education organisations have in responding to the climate crisis. With various activities and presentations, they shared the ways in which Woodcraft Folk are working towards decarbonisation and our projects on the environment. The team demonstrated the ways that woodcraft Folk’s program, centres, strategic plan and board are led by young people and how essential youth and child participation is to both the future of outdoor learning and to fighting climate change.
It was inspiring to challenge the sector leads to implement meaningful youth participation. There was a lot of self-reflection on why this was important for the participants’ organisations and beneficiaries, as well as some thinking about ways in which this could be implemented in the future.
Despite the high level of discussion, an awful lot needs to be done to centre young people in outdoor learning and environmental education and ensure that their needs and wants, especially in relation to the climate crisis, are the priority of those delivering to them.