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Issue Eight

The Day The Tory Came

Comment PROJECT Bonanza 4 KOODOO


Sack Your Headteacher


I was ushered into the office through crowds of enthusiastic and passionate protestors; news pass in hand steering me through where I met Mark Spencer the Conservative Mp for Sherwood. Jovial and pompous he shook me warmly by the hand almost overflowing with compliments for the Courier and quick to offer me the comfortable chair whilst he took a non-comfy one (clearly trying to get into this young journalist’s good books).


n the 6th of August, Conservative Mp Mark Spencer came to the CoCamp open day as an opportunity to learn more about Woodcraft Folk. When he arrived he was greeted by a group of protestors with the intention of questioning him on Conservative policies. There were mixed responses to how successful this was. Spencer was keen to encourage this type of interaction and attitude towards challenging the government; but the opposing side acknowledged the debate as good felt patronised and belittled.

It all gets a little awkward when we sit down and I ask what he thinks of CoCamp from what he has seen, “it’s a great opportunity to get together, get to socialise in a safe environment and come and express their views whatever their views are, so overall it’s pretty positive”. This vague answer when coupled next with the “I got an idea [of what CoCamp is] but unless you come and see these things first hand you never really understand so it’s been an education in many respects” didn’t really reassure me that he knew what he had let himself in for.

Next followed a tour of CoCamp and Spencer invited the people congregated from the discussion to follow the tour. Near the late night program area chants of ‘who’s kettling who? We’re kettling you!” arose and a crowd of protestors with placards appeared and surrounded Spencer, asking questions and expressing their views. After a while of questioning the tour had to be moved on and there was general outcry of not being allowed to say what they wanted.

When asked about how the government’s policies are actually going to help the young people today he merely stated the fundamental nature of the economy and how it is a necessity to helping the

Whilst moving up towards Blue Cedar there was a potentially problematic moment when a couple of members of the protest march were accused of throwing things at Spencer. Reports say that pine cones were definitely thrown but later in the day the majority of the protesters agreed that on the whole the protest was not violent and there was a feeling of the other protestors stopping others from arguably taking the protest too far. The rest of the march consisted of journeying followed by chants such as “no if’s no buts’ no education cuts” and “Tory scum”. The tour finished at the office with the protestors gathering on the stairs awaiting h i s

It all gets a little awkward when we sit down and I ask what he thinks of CoCamp youth; “it’s very challenging obviously”. It was a disapointing slip into the Neoliberal status quo where the market comes above all moral concerns and painted the picture for the rest of the interview. Inevitably we moved onto the protest which took place and was still taking place outside the office whilst we spoke and his cutting response “only 10% of the camp” seemed to imply that everyone who didn’t protest did not object. He picks up education as a key theme of the protest and states that the Pupil Premium has been brought in specifically to challenge this. I pointed out that the Pupil Premium policy had actually been in the Liberal Democrat manifesto not his which stumped him entirely. CoCamp took a pause last night for the whole camp to come together and remember the atrocity that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagisaki in 1945. The commemoration involved a beautiful procession from each of the four CoCamp towns; followed by singing, remembering and readings from elfins.

return from his in interview with the press. During the interview int the protestors remained chantin and then moved towards the car outside chanting attemp to kettle his car and make their park to attempt voices heard again, however Spencer’s car was rou brought round the back to the office for convenience and to prevent the situation getting out of hand. Some people gathered pr with the protestors however did not agree with the protesting pro methods and were singing peace song songs to try to put across their views.

Mark Spencer MP


Interview with Mark Spencer MP

Lydia Harper Protest Observer

The Tory

Chicken News

After Spencer Spen had gone a discussion/ debate broke out in-between Silver Birch and Blue Cedar with wit a variety of views represented spreading from complete anger that he had even bee been invited to those who felt he should ha have definitely been invited.

Points of Contention The CoCamp board’s right to invite a Tory to the camp thus attempting to represent the whole camp’s opinion; ‘the board is naive and should be held to account – no not the board the individuals responsible’, ‘they have done so much for us, this camp wouldn’t be here without them’. The lack of respect from both Spencer and from Woodcraft members; ‘if he’d treated us with respect, I’d have treated him with respect’, ‘I don’t believe in his political ideals but I believe in not being rude to people’. The Tory attitude; ‘we understand the Tories, they don’t understand us’, ‘Woodcraft is all about educate for social change...we should learn from different people to us!’

Another change of subject and back to the protest “It’s often young people take the opportunity to protest against the government of today.” He feels that often young people often can get too excitable and don’t consider the facts; “Sometimes it’s [a protest] a social day out, you’re not suggesting a five year old has a strong opinion over public sector reductions…they’re just with mum and dad.” Although Mr Spencer seemed keen for people’s voices not to get dismissed he seems more than happy to dismiss younger people’s beliefs purely based on age. And finally he feels that voting at the age of 18 has “worked for many years and that there needs to be an informed understanding of the world before being allowed to vote” which implies the maturity of 16 year olds is not good enough for him. Mark Spencer seems to be a great farmer friend…but as a politician? Well he seems to be a politician through and through; avoiding questions and not really knowing the answer or the context. However I think this opportunity has been an incredible challenge and learning curve for him.



News & Comment Can all equipment that has been borrowed from the comms centre please be returned as soon as humanly possible

Sack your headteacher Luke Flegg Woodie with Hoodie

For absolutely loads of kids, school is boring and pretty horrible; at least for those of us that don’t have an awesome group of friends and probably a couple of amazing teachers. If we’re honest, I think we can all agree that for children, the reality of secondary school is that it’s mostly about making

For absolutely loads of kids, school is boring and pretty horrible your teachers not punish you and helping the school to compete in league tables. If only students felt like the point of school was to make us happy; by helping us discover what we love, what we care about most, what we’re good at, and Remember to ask an adult to help you with scissors

ultimately prepare us for the lives that WE want to lead. Then we’d wake up in the morning excited about going to school; a place where anything is possible, a place where our passion and curiosity leads our curriculum rather than gets us in trouble for asking questions or distracting us from a rigid lesson plan that everyone’s fed in the same way. So, I've come to CoCamp to hold a Workshop/Talk in Bebop on Sunday (today) at 8:30pm to explore how things can be different – and they will be another one on Monday. I'll talk about how I ended up in a democratic school with no headteacher - just a weekly meeting of all the students to make all the kinds of decisions a headteacher would normally take.

we’d wake up in the morning excited about going to school; a place where anything is possible

Cut the bottom off

Cut a “v” going to side of top

Push the point created under and through the top

Put down your scissors Cut in half from the (watch out foryoung children back up to writing trying to steal them)

Push the wings outwards

Cut out tail & Cut out semi-circles next to the bottom to shape the wings feather to taste


Venturer Committee Report Written by Alex Moor Edited by Chris Bowler

Milk carton’s a secret Tai Lister Not-so-secret friend

A card here, a banner there and a few cool gifts thrown into the mix. ‘Secret friends’ is a great way to do something cool for someone you do or didn’t know. It put’s a smile on people’s faces, and that is as good a reward as any. In village 18 there have been small presents, big presents and those in between. Their presents range from small bracelets & biscuits, to a huge banners and signs. One girl received a present made in bushcraft! Gifts have been bought, made and in some cases given from people’s own belongings.

Committing Venturers

A couple of days ago you may have noticed an article about the election of the venturer committee. Well – good news! The fifteen chosen candidates met on a sunny Friday morning for our first official meeting. The initial phase began with us telling each other our names, districts and favourite colours. (If I remember correctly, red was

one person suggested we try a national version of “Secret friend” the most common) Contact information then being provided by everybody, we had to decide what to do. After a few minutes discussion, one person suggested we try a

none at all! The elfins seem to be putting more effort in then some of the older, more experienced woodies. The people who seem to be shining are those who go Although some are to workshops. Presents are made and given from most and seem to be the most committed, others seem appreciated. As a non gift receiver, I say get down to some workshops, go to your to be hesitating Although some are committed, local library, be active and make your others seem to be hesitating. Some secret friend feel your love! have rarly made gifts, and others

national version of “Secret friend”. This is a where you are paired up with another person or group and they are your best buddy/ies, someone to be kind to at all times. However, to do this we needed contact details, therefore we will be making a round of all the villages looking for anyone who would be interested Blue Cedar town in being a connection for us. More than one from each village centre is fine. If we don’t find you, feel 14:30CCT on free to come and put yourself forward - but remember to look Sunday out for us anyway! Everyone We are all open and ready for you to meet us, please come up and have a Welcome chat. We hope to do the best we can during our time as your representatives.


Carbon Beastmen Episode 2 The Beastmen The strange creationists

After our narrow escape from death and/or a permanent vegetative state had been on the road for three days since our last report was sent to the CoCamp Press via carrier Falcon. We were headed to silver birch. Lesley Harrelson a.k.a. Terminator Jones was analysing the surrounding area, was foraging for our next meal. He would never tell anyone how he got that nickname, just that we had better call him it, the redness of his eyes when I first met him, made my gut believe that was probably a good idea. He was the tech expert, the muscle of the operation. Barry Snake was the third member of news team 16, mainly he looked after the carrier falcon and took care of its eggs.


Having been on News team 16 for the majority of his life now, ever since he left the London Street gang known as “Bad Jizzle” we thought it was time to up his responsibility. Thus we gave him the job of reading the map, according to Barry S. we were almost at the Silver Birch, now known in certain circles as the ‘den of thieves’. After attempting to shelter from a heavy down pour of rain we finally came to a village, at first we thought we had arrived. Terminator Jones pointed out that he detected an anomaly with the surrounding area, when cross referenced with the collaborating data he had on file for Silver Birch. It was a wordy sentence but it roused my suspicions despite me not knowing what half the words meant. I noticed a young woodchip, soaked to the skin muddy and looking very upset. It was important to let it know we were not a threat. I said in my kindest stern voice “You there child, Where the Hell are we?” The child trembled with reassurance. “Y-y-yellow Aspen, who ar-,” I turned at Barry and roared “Yellow C&%*@$g Aspen?! What the hell Barry, No more Falcon eggs for you, ”Barry hissed in disgust. But I would charm him back to his senses later. How the hell did we end up here? After further polite discussion turns out Barry was colour blind, which was a real stroke of unpredicted misfortune as upon further inspection we saw the map had no colour at all and all the village names were written on the page.



News & Comment Project Koodoo Launch

Woodcraft Centres

Pat Dowson Koodoo enthusiast

Yesterday, Woodcraft Folk’s General Secretary, Jon Nott, launched an exciting new project to buy a national campsite in time to host the next international camp in 2017 – The Courier was there to catch the key points from his speech. The co-operative community we’ve created here is the living embodiment of our values and principles. And the relationship we’ve established with the Scouts is just one fantastic example of how we work in partnership with others to achieve our vision of a sustainable world built on children’s and human rights, equality, friendship, peace and co-operation

“This idea is no idle dream comrades – we can do it, we shall do it” And yet, even with a welcome as warm as this and the strength of co-operative spirit that we have generated, there is something missing. That feeling you get when Woodcraft Folk come together on our own sites and centres. The sense of community, of common ownership, of shared responsibility for each other, for the land we live on and for future generations. Many’s the time we’ve sat around the

campfire and dreamed our dreams of a Woodcraft Folk campsite large enough to host our major national and international camps. Dreams of a site entirely powered by renewables, dreams of a site fed from it’s own permaculture gardens, a site that is part of its local community, a home for Annual Gathering – our yearly festival of the Folk, a training centre, a permanent bushcraft camp. As many dreams as there are members of the Woodcraft Folk. While searching the archives for information about international camps of the past, I came across a letter written by one of my predecessors, our National Organiser Henry Fair – known by his folk name: “Koodoo”. In 1943, while we fought to rid our world of fascism, Henry Fair was also looking to the post-war future and the need to start preparing the tools to fashion a new world. A world where our values of co-operation, peace, equality and friendship would be practised in every workplace,

taught in every school, and lived in every community across the world. He wrote to every member of the Woodcraft Folk, launching the National Campsite Fund, the foundation stone of rebuilding the Folk after the end of the war. Inspired by this vision, General Council have decided that now is the time to turn our campfire dreams into reality. So it is with great pleasure that I announce: In 2017, th e next international camp will be held on the new Woodcraft Folk National Campsite. To quote Henry Fair, Koodoo himself, … Start discussing your plans for the Fund now – put it into action – and the site is ours. Speed the Adve nture!” A workshop for all those interesting in shaping and delivering Project Koodoo takes place this afternoon at 2:30pm in Red Oak Town Hall.

• Lockerbrook Outdoor Activities Centre, Derbyshire • Cudham Environmental Activities Centre, Kent • Hamsterley Forest Outdoor Centre, Co Durham • Height Gate Outdoor Centre, West Yorkshire • The Darsham Country Centre, Suffolk • Woodcraft Park Farm, Lurgashall, West Sussex • Scarletts Campsite, East Grinstead, Sussex

>>CoCamp on Twitter


@athertonjohn Got a #cocamp badge, @woodcraftfolk good luk raising the £1m for a sustainable camp site #permaculture #coops

>>CoCamp on Twitter


@mao20110725 @woodcraftfolk @CoCamp2011 All over the world must be peaceful. from JAPAN.

No Socialism Without Sustainability Kat Budd Climate Cat

CoCamp is themed around cooperation. About working together. All together. And yet climate change is still an issue that we don’t ever seem to manage to cooperate on. It’s still disputed, ignored and denied. The climate will change. Humans will be affected. End of. The term ‘climate change’ implies the science, the knowledge of how and why the Earth is changing. It discusses the cold, hard facts. It is, in fact, pretty incomprehensible. Which is why we can so easily disconnect ourselves with the reality of it. But the concept of sustainable development provides the connection between environmentalism and our humanity. It provides an alternative solution to dealing with climatic change (other than accepting the “end of the age of mammals”). So let’s broaden our focus when discussing climate change and give sustainable development a bit more room. Sustainable development is very much centred around socialist ideology. It reminds us that if we do nothing against climate change, we will be practicing selfish, conservative morals. We will in fact be letting down those who live in the greatest poverty. We will consume as much as we can, as quickly as possible without considerations of others.

Sustainable development aims to create solutions to environmental problems by integrating them with our economy and society. It

All Together Against CLimate Change is an IFM-SEI project, whichs helps young people to develop educational media campaigns on climate change encourages retention of biodiversity via sustainable farming practices and acknowledgement of the crucial role that ecosystem services provide. Sold? I hope so, because now is the perfect time for us to start co-operating on this issue. One of the most exciting conferences on sustainable development is going to

happen next summer in Rio de Janeiro. It’s marking 20 years after the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The themes are green economy, poverty eradication and addressing the institutional framework for sustainable development. It’s crucial that our global decision makers take these issues seriously. Let’s unite the left. Let’s co-operate. Let’s work all together against climate change.

Extreme green jobs: towards a greener economy


#cocamp Tomorrow is the final edition of The Courier. What should be in it?

Comment Bonanza! The day the Tory came This protest was in bad taste

You can’t say we’re not passionate Simon Phillips Open Day Co-ordinator

Cadan ad Tomos Disgruntled Welshman strikes again The freedom of expression and thought is a pinnacle of the Woodcraft Folk ideology, and should be at the core of our society. As I’m sure any active Woodcrafter would be able to tell you, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (which Voltaire didn’t actually say, BTW). I may be defending your right to say things, angry protestors, but I’m still going to criticise the fact that you have. As a past attendee of anti-cuts protests, I would consider myself to be at least semi-au

It is this sort of immature action that, in my view, helps give the Woodcraft Folk a bad name amongst a lot of members of the public.

I have signed the petition to apologise to Mark Spencer, and would encourage you to do the same. We may not agree with is ideology or his policy, but we should at least have enough self-respect to show him we’re not a bunch of children throwing a tantrum.

Peaceful Protest Rosa Hamilton (12), Ella Remande-Guyard (10), 10), Alex Bluck-Foster (11) and Satya Singh (11)

We all think, although we are not a big fan of the Conservatives/Tories that shouting and throwing things at people will not solve any problems. Everyone should be welcome to the Woodcraft Folk no matter what their culture is or beliefs are. If there is an issue with anything it should be settled over an ordered conversation. It is very hard for somebody to understand what Woodcraft Folk is about (peace and equality) if we ourselves are not showing that .People will not support us if we are unforgiving and hateful to others. If you agree with us please show it by being kind and caring to other people.

stalwart activist, through non-violent peaceful discussion and protest.

We’ve always beckoned outsiders to Open Day to show what we’re about, and CoCamp is no exception, inviting the representatives of the local area – the Head of Children’s services, Councillors, MEPs – and also the local MP, Mark Spencer. Who happens to be a Conservative. But this wasn’t discussed – because in a representative democracy that’s what you’ve got: the elected figurehead.

And this is where I was left both overjoyed and saddened this week.

It doesn’t mean we agree with them. It doesn’t mean we like them, or would have them round for tea (we wouldn’t). It certainly doesn’t mean we support them, or their political party. It’s about us engaging and showing people what a phenomenal, vibrant community we create – and hopefully bringing them on the journey and changing them too.

fait with the art of protesting. As a Liberal Democrat, I do disagree with some of the government’s policies, and I will shout and make a fuss about it when this is the case. However, yesterday’s protests aimed at the visiting Tory MP Mark Spencer were in bad taste. Here was someone who probably completely disagreed with the Woodcraft Folk’s ideology but was making the effort to engage with our organisation, which for a Tory is ruddy marvellous, and some of our members treated this as an excuse to shout abuse at him. It is this sort of immature action that, in my view, helps give the Woodcraft Folk a bad name amongst a lot of members of the public. As a movement of (apparently) reasoned and principled young people, should we not instead engage those that we disagree with in debate and mature discussion?

You can’t say the Woodcraft Folk aren’t passionate about what we stand for - and against.

I have never been so proud to be a Woodcraft Folk member than when we’ve been out in full force at a demo – whether at the million-strong anti war protests against Iraq, or those who led the student anti cuts marches across the country over the past year. Through these events, it’s great to see how our work empowers young people of all ages to express their voice and campaign for change – making protest accessible and safe for the youngest elfin alongside the

This protest was in bad taste Zoe Waterman Chair of the CoCamp Co-operative

As we reach the final few days of CoCamp I am amazed by how our community has grown in just one week. Each village has a different feeling, each town its own atmosphere and rhythm of life, and yet the elements come together into a whole, co-operating to create for real a vision of the world as we would like it to be. In villages every single individual is doing their bit to build this dream, working hard and long hours as well as having fun. At a town and a whole camp level others are also doing their bit – running cafes and libraries, stewarding, working in Folk Supply, the food depot and groceries, at the info point, MEST UP and the office. CoCamp couldn’t exist without every single person here and that is its great strength. The fact it is working, that we have really built a living, breathing, debating, disputing, crafting, singing, dancing community here in Sherwood Forest is a testament to what is possible and a powerful message to everyone who visited CoCamp for the Open Day yesterday.

There is one thing missing from this community, one aspect that I feel should be a cornerstone of all our work and have been shocked and appalled by how easily it has been tossed aside by some. And that is respect for the work of others. Each of us is working hard on our element of the camp, and it is all too easy to forget that those around you, especially our young people, are also working hard, are also tired, are also wonderful, passionate,

The fact it is working, that we have really built a living, breathing, debating, disputing, crafting, singing, dancing community here in Sherwood Forest caring members of CoCamp, of Woodcraft Folk and IFM, and that as well as looking outwards we must look in, and support each other in what we are doing here, because it is a truly amazing achievement that no one of us could have made alone. I look forward to the final days of camp being full of hope and positivity for what we can do when we all work together as one, and go singing to the fashioning of a new world.

Harry Ellis-Grewal ewal Woodcraft Folk Member er


If the title of this article is understood as will its perspective on the events of Saturday. However much the half baked argument surrounding the idea of of inviting this M.P to our co-camp is pushed around , it Is clear by the events of today that this was an incorrect, undemocratic decision. The events of today were not “a small violent minority”, as termed by an individual present, they were self organised by woodcraft members without any pressure from any individual or group or people within the camp. The greatest triumph of this protest aside from the removal of the conservative m.p was the political participation of young people within our organistation. Young people mobilised themselves, elfins and pioneers educated themselves from the events of today, an understandable parallel with the creed of “education for social change”. So comes the fact that events of today are far more in line with woodcraft, maybe not in the opinion of the “under-representative” leadership of this camp, but in the sense of what we as an organisation stand for. The unfortunate support of this individual by the leadership, has made me question my membership of woodcraft as it has by many others. It is repulsive, that all the work put in by young people, surrounding multiculturalism homophobia, the pride march, sexism workshops and anti racist workshops, to invite an individual against all of these views, ideologically opposed to these ideals to walk round this camp is embarrassing to woodcraft, and insensitive to those who have fought for all these ideals. Members of woodcraft involved in the recent student and worker action, who have been physically hurt to the extent of broken bones in some cases, and are having there futures destroyed by the conservatives. did this seemingly naïve “board” really believe that these individuals would stand by and let this atrocity take place. If they did there is a question to be raised firstly on the internal democractic nature of co-camp and on wether that leadership is any longer representing the interests of woodcraft. The protest today took on a passion that can only expected by the youth of this organisation, It is a triumph for common sense and standing up for what we believe in, even if it is disagreed by some among camp. The counter argument was basically

the same , that we want this m,p to come to our camp and see a cute elfin doing some craft work and go back to his chums at parliament and spread the message of woodcraft, there was even the laughable concept of “our camp could change his mind”. This individual who clearly follows a whip system as he still remains an m.p is not going to be ideologically changed by this camp, that is entirely realistic and disappointing, the those at the head of this camp would believe such things. The protest today was led and organised by young people, It was not as rumours have stated organised by a select few “militant activitists”, it was genuine woodcraft grassroots organisation, far more “woodcrafty” than the board. Some protesters were throwing things at Mark Spencer, this we must disagree with, individual acts of violence can only be seen as detrimental to the organistation and the cause, but it must be seen in proportion to what the con-dem coalition are doing to us. A condom on a shoulder is in an entirely different “kettle” of fish to obliterating the prospective futures of these young people, cutting jobs, arresting and committing violent acts against protesters and privatising our public services. The march and removal of the m,p is just the start, the issue needs to be widened, the now top-down organisation of the movement needs to be questioned, and it will be at the rally tomorrow, 3 o clock main entrance. I will end this article with a quote from “mojojojo” or joseph from the newham district, the pioneer group, “if we fight the tories everywhere, why not here”

Petition for an apology Ruairi O’Boyle Village 4 Petition in favour of apologising to the local MP Today the local MP, Mark Spencer, came to the CoCamp site to get an idea of what The Woodcraft Folk is about, and an opportunity to see our values and what we believe in firsthand. Instead, what started out as peaceful, civil debate was turned into a personal attack. Anti –Tory slogans were chanted, he was sworn at, he had stuff thrown at him, and he was victimized and chased around the site. Adam Fidler and I have organized a petition with signatures of people who are willing to speak out against the actions of the people responsible. We hope to have it included in the apology letter being sent by the CoCamp committee, explaining that we see these actions as being completely un-Woodcrafty, and not being representative of what we believe Woodcraft to be about. Anybody who feels misrepresented by these methods of protest, and would like to have the chance to show that the Woodcraft Folk and CoCamp specifically is not about shouting people down, and not giving them a chance to voice their opinion is welcome to come and sign the petition in Village 4 before the letter is sent.

To see people debating his invitation on Friday, and voting that he should not be uninvited, but instead come to learn from us – fabulous. To see so many of our young members fiercely holding the line with him in debate at camp on topics from cuts to policing of demos – a totally inspiring experience. And the ‘kettling’ – fantastic! This was undermined by the actions of a few. Throwing missiles, damaging property, and verbally abusing staff, stewards and other volunteers is not OK. This is Woodcraft Folk, and violence and verbal abuse does not belong here. That we’ve since received a 200 strong petition in the office calling for us to apologise to him about today only underlines this. I want to see more dissent, protest, energy and passion in Woodcraft, and everywhere but this needs to be within the guidelines we’ve all agreed by joining the Folk to march together as one.

Protest must be effective. Sarah Lawson Mest-Up Coordinator

The idea of protesting against the tories is really important but only if it is effective and I felt that the actions today were not. The protest was uncoordinated and lacked creative originality which eventually led to the hatred and scum-bashing that was thrown at the MP quickly spiralling into hatred to any authority figure, including volunteers on a woodcraft camp.

The protest was uncoordinated and lacked creative origionality

This is not cool, if we want to fight the tories in solidarity we need to get more sophisticated and intelligent tactics. However, the wierdest bit for me was after chatting to the mp about nadine dorris, an mp in the conservative party that promotes abstenence education, he not only vehermently disagreed with her views on this issue but also went on to suggest that she did not even ''practice what she preached'' LOLCANO.

Adam Ramsay Activism Manager People & Planet

Few things annoy me more than young people being told we are the future. Because while it is true, it misses the point. Young people are here now, ready to take part today. And so as the world re-entered the stormy waters of economic crisis, where better to shelter for a night than surrounded by young people at CoCamp? Before the session I was speaking in, I was treated to a thoughtful debate on whether it had been right to invite a Tory MP onto the site. In the session itself, people displayed a better grasp of the fundamental questions of economics than many of the old men to whom we are so often told to defer. Chatting afterwards with people across the camp, they cared about the world and had an excellent grasp of what's gone wrong and of the challenges we face as a result. Now, of course you Woodcraft Folk are engaged, just as the student activists I work with through People & Planet are. You and we are like that because of a process of education and of empowerment - a process I saw ongoing at every minute of the camp - from co-operative games to camp-fire songs, meetings to meal-times. We are all the products of our upbringings and of our communities and of our experiences. Woodcraft creates communities and experiences which empower and educate. But the truth is that no one is apathetic - everyone cares about their family and friends. What Woodies (and People & Planeters) have more often had the chance to see is how the problems faced by our friends and families and the problems faced by other families and groups of friends around the world are inter-connected. And so we see that we have to work together to solve them. We have to co-operate. All around the world, our generation of young people has understood something simple. Unless we grab today, unless we co-operate now, there will be little left for us tomorrow. In order to grab today, we need education and empowerment. CoCamp reminded me that with these things, ordinary young people are more than capable of understanding together the challenges we face, and of building together brilliant new solutions. I look forward to doing this with you.


#cocamp Taking Condoms from Mest-Up is totally fine but please put them in a bin biin after using them even if you’re just having aviing a water-baloon fight.


News Flash Any car parked in the 2 rows of cars to the drive in the car park urgently need to be moved to allow coaches to arrive. Please check with the stewards if in doubt

The Ghost Village

Chicken News Chickin’ Likin’ Good Adam “The Fidler” Fidler

Lydia Harper

Nature Corespondant

Undercover Reporter

It was 5am on Friday when we assembled. Our spears were fashioned out of flattened and sharpened Vango tent poles and our faces were painted with UV paint.

Mystery encapsulates CoCamp as the suggestion of Ghosts and a supernatural presence in the campsite pervades conversation. Rumours of a Ghost town near Silver Birch Library are enhanced by suspicious campers who are wary to keep their distance. The ‘Ghost Town’ itself sends an ice cold breeze whistling through the nearby trees filling any passer-by with a chill of fear and dread. Several empty shells of old green drill tent stand in a ghostly circle, “It’s like the empty unfulfilled souls of young Scouts are still here,” says nearby resident, Will. “Sometimes I hear the ethereal sound of a woggle or the haunting timbre of a bugle!”

Its clear something or someone wants or needs whoever, or whatever is or isn’t there to do something or not.

On approaching the Ghost town itself there is a sense of something or someone or somebody...a power or force or presence which clearly or unclearly wants or needs, whoever or whatever is there or isn’t there to speak to someone or do something or not for some unknown or known reason – spooky! The Ghost circle is causing trouble for the nearby Bebop Café and its team of volunteer workers. Josh Dodd speaks about what this proximity is like, “It’s a lot like not living by the ghost town but with more ghosts.” More rumours become uncovered in The Bebop. “Will Searby has been possessed by these demons for weeks” comments Josh although Will insists “Its a Faustian pact for more tea”. Whatever this means it’s a worrying sign of modern times when even tents are not safe from the billowing floaty apparitions of the undead.

Swimming in the Rain

Rowan Pearce (8) Sam Moon (10) Village 4 Corespondants

On Thursday we went swimming in the swimming pool near the Robin Hood statue. It was ABSOLUTELY freezing! But i'm glad to say that when you get in there for a while it gets warmer. Personally I find that it is better that it was raining because you get a lot more wet. But unfortunately we had to leave early because it was too wet. When you jumped in lots of times in a row it felt like minus degrees, but think, would freezing cold water stop you having fun!?

After a long night, seven caught chickens and almost impaling Ciaran a Pioneer’s foot we sat and relaxed back at camp to prepare the fowl for jerk chicken on Saturday night. I also managed to get a quote from Jennie an adult from Village 4 who marvelled “It was completely within the Woodcraft ethos as there was no packaging, zero food miles and we used Co-operation. P.S. Watch out for bear traps.

Plague of chickens swamps Village 20 Anna Donne Animal Welfare Expert

Village 20 has found itself a popular chicken destination, with at least 11 chickens spotted at the time of writing. Dylan Furse has become our chicken whisperer, retrieving the chickens and returning to their rightful home. While most campers are happy to be visited by our feathered friends, our KP Morgan Jones is less pleased, saying “I really really really hate them; they’re disgusting. They make me wanna be sick because of their gobbly faces and their flappy wings.”

Killer Chickens Conspisory

Palestine Calling

Ben Bonneraja

Exotic Creatures Analyst

The Chickens are everywhere! Whether you’re zipping up in your sleeping bag for the night or chatting up the girl/guy of your dreams you’re likely to find a chicken in the mix, runining the mood.

Stuart Walker


ast night our Palestinian delegations shared their experiences with over 200 comrades from across the globe. The delegations gave a slide show and presented films showing their work with young people and how they keep going despite constant disruptions to their daily routines. They talked about how the Wall and the overall Israeli occupation affects young people. For example, many thousands of Palestinians are held in prison for political reasons or for minor acts of defiance against the occupation. These prisoners include many young people and the parents of young people. The youth movements present at CoCamp run projects to help these young people. The delegations engaged in a discussion with comrades following the films and as a result of that discussion four key actions that local groups and individuals could do to help were identified:

After a slow start we got the knack of catching the birds by using an Elfin and her impressive chicken impersonation.

Palestine Calling Actions Put pressure on governments to recognise Palestine as an independent state. Organise exchange visits between Woodcraft groups in Palestinian youth organisations. Boycott goods that come from Israeli settlements and buy Palestinian goods. Visit Palestine

Today in village 21 our council circle was thrown into chaos as the chickens forced their way in and began running a muck - pecking at the ground and even preening from time to time. In my expert opinion the out of controll climbing population of chickens must be linked with the sharp decline of people from village 11 and 12. Sure, we’re told they have a tummy bug and have to hang out only with each other but I suspect it’s a cover up for them being pecked to death by hordes of killer chickens.

The expressed in this paper are those of the writers and do not neccesseraly represent those of Woodcaft Folk or IFM-SEI