Young people come together for climate action workshop at Cudham residential

During the Easter break young people from Lewisham and Greenwich, New Barnet, Hornsey, Sheffield Waltham Abbey, Bristol and Newham came together to take part in the All Change residential at Woodcraft Folk’s Cudham Environmental Activity Centre. 

The group, along with Woodcraft Folk staff and volunteers, took part in carbon literacy training as part of the residential. This was led by Emma Fielding from Future We Want and focussed on playing the game ‘How Bad are Bananas?’. The participants were really engaged in learning more about carbon footprints and how our everyday actions can have an impact on our environment.

“I was surprised that make up has such a large carbon footprint because it has sheep oil inside which uses a lot of carbon and energy to use” – Luna (15, New Barnet). 

The participants also explored their own carbon footprint. This was an impactful way for the young attendees to see where eco friendlier changes can be made in everyday life. All the participants made pledges for individual action to reduce their carbon footprint and together the group developed ideas for how Woodcraft Folk as an organisation, could lower their carbon footprint. This included some engaging conversations around travel options to camp, event menus and activities that groups do whilst together. 

After the sessions with Emma, the young participants worked together to create a series of videos about what they had learnt – watch this space to see what they created! Woodcraft Folk, NAEE and RSC hope to share these videos with educators, group leaders, adults and young people in the coming weeks and months. 

Excitingly, the group was lucky enough to have Margaret Fleming (Leicester district) as a KP (responsible for the kitchen) for the residential. The delicious food that the participants enjoyed was all seasonal, locally produced and had an extremely low carbon footprint. This tied in really well with the theme of the residential and there was very minimal waste left over by the group. This sparked debate and conversation around whether all Woodcraft Folk camps and residentials could be more friendly to the planet yet still be just as tasty!

On the final day of the residential, the group was joined by Raquel from the Common Ground board. Raquel led a session with the young participants around how climate is talked about in the media. The young people really resonated with the workshop and shared their own personal experiences of using social media and accessing the news. Many were surprised that according to a recent survey, most young people get their news from their families/households rather than their expectation that all their news updates came from social media. Raquel and the other adults then supported the young people to develop their own session plans to be delivered at Common Ground this summer and with their local Woodcraft Folk groups.

As well as learning about carbon literacy and creating videos the participants sang songs around the campfire, played wild games in the woods, spotted lots of nature including squirrels and deer and made new friendships. 

Those who attended the residential will go on to deliver activities around the climate crisis and lead games of ‘How Bad are Bananas’ and other workshops around the topic of the climate emergency at Common Ground this summer. 

If you would like to find out more about the All Change project head to the project page https://woodcraft.org.uk/projects-campaigns/all-change/ or get in touch with Lauren via email at [email protected] 

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